Ichiba Japanese Food Hall, London
Level -2 Westfield London Shepherd's Bush W12 7HB
A new venture from the Japan Centre, Ichiba in Westfield London is touted as Europe’s largest Japanese food hall.
Spanning 17,400 square feet and with seating for 200, it’s a dynamic expansion of the traditional food hall experience that brings together both Japanese food and culture.
Ichiba is a joint venture of the Japan Centre Group and Cool Japan Fund, designed to ‘help support businesses to promote Japanese food and culture overseas.’
There’s a playful noodle bar serving up ramen, udon and yakisoba, along with a bold mix of street food options. A bakery offers matcha brownies and rainbow lattes, while at a sushi and sashimi counter a sushi chef prepares food to order.
Complementing the dine-in options is a supermarket area, which provides a place for customers to stock up on Japanese cooking staples and treats, as well as Japanese sake and whiskeys.
Retail theatre is key here, with open kitchens giving shoppers an opportunity to watch food being prepared, along with cooking demonstrations and workshops.
The design is warm and contemporary, with nods to Japanese design and culture through elements such as signage and wall coverings resembling traditional shoji, and overhead lighting redolent of chopsticks. Clear sight lines make it easy to connect and navigate through the different sections of the store.
Cohesive and comprehensive, the food hall aims to be a destination and community hub. With a weekly calendar of events, workshops and tastings, it has plenty to draw shoppers in.