Trio of new dessert brands open at Chinatown London

Dishing up dessert success in Chinatown London, Shaftesbury has announced three exciting new dessert signings to add to the line-up, expected to open this summer. The additions will continue to bolster dessert demand within the destination whilst complementing the current dining offering.

Leading Japanese fusion dessert specialist, Kova Patisserie has signed for a 240 sq ft unit at 20a Newport Court, opening in May. In addition to Kova’s signature mille crêpes, (pictured with other sweet treats) the new Chinatown Location will introduce its new tea and fruit drink lines. Kova’s new drink menu is handcrafted by its experienced patisseries using the finest ingredients that are used in the Michelin-starred restaurants.

The brand places a focus on embracing and adapting elements of Japanese culture and French patisserie to create its own unique identity, incorporating ingredients sourced directly from farmers in Japan and France.

Neighbouring the Kova Patisserie unit, Taiyakiya has signed for a 200 sq ft unit. The new concept comes from the people behind Cuppacha Bubble Tea, who currently have a site just three doors down at 20 Newport Court. The brand will offer a range of traditional taiyaki, savoury croissant taiyaki and taiyaki fish-shaped cones with soft-serve ice cream and creative toppings.

Through numerous research trips to Japan, the team have carefully sourced the finest Japanese ingredients including a unique soft serve flavour that currently can’t be found in London. The space has been designed by Holland Harvey, and will include a commissioned painting by independent artist, Carlos Penalver.

Completing the trio is Meet Fresh, who have signed for an 1,800 sq ft unit at 100-102 Shaftesbury Avenue, next to YiFang. The location will be the brand’s UK flagship store, run by Alex Xu, who also owns Happy Lemon on Newport Court. The space, designed by an in-house team, will cater for approximately 55 covers.

The authentic Taiwanese dessert brand will serve healthy desserts made fresh daily, including Taro Q balls, herbal jelly and smooth tofu pudding. Established in 2007, the brand has over 300 sites across China as well as locations in America.

Julia Wilkinson, Head of Group Restaurant Strategy at Shaftesbury, said, “Kova Patisserie, Taiyakiya and Meet Fresh are all brands that offer a fusion of modern trends with traditions from the Far East, perfectly reflecting our vision for this iconic area of London’s West End. They join a line-up of dessert brands leading the way in Chinatown including Mamasons, Tsujiri, Yolkin and Bubblewrap.”

Jon and Ben, founders of Kova Patisserie, commented, “We are excited to bring our modern desserts to Chinatown London, the frontier of the Asian dessert market. Having absolutely no artificial flavours in our patisseries and drinks is important to us, we use only the best quality ingredients, such as ceremonial grade Matcha, to seamlessly combine Western and Eastern patisserie making, fit for modern palates regardless of nationality.”

Emily Foo, co-founder of Taiyakiya, stated, “Taiyakiya is eager to offer Londoners authentic Japanese flavours, from the traditional flavours to the latest Harajuku trend. As Chinatown is London’s only destination where the East truly meets the West, it is the perfect fit for our brand. Our other concept, Cuppacha, benefits from exceptional footfall on Newport Court so we were confident this is the right location for Taiyakiya – the ‘Taiyaki House’.”

Alex Xu, UK Master Franchisee of Meet Fresh, commented, “I can’t wait to bring this popular Taiwanese brand to the UK for the first time, and we can’t think of a better destination for our debut than busy Chinatown London. With unique Asian flavours and an exciting feature that can only be found in our flagship stores worldwide, we are really looking forward to launching our London flagship just in time for summer.”

The signing follows the news that Chinatown tenant, Mamasons Dirty Ice Cream, scooped the award for ‘Best Sweet Treat’ at The Golden Chopsticks Awards 2019.