Sharing is caring! In Asia, we are very used to the sharing concept. In the West, while people love gathering around for food, it is not that common to order sharing plates. When Market Hall comes into the scene, it slowly revolutionizes the food scene in London.

What is very familiar to us- a food hall, is new to Londoners. Says in the name, Market Hall, is a market within a hall.

Market Hall Victoria
Credit: Christopher Horwood

After the success in Fulham, recently opened is the new Market Hall in Victoria. Right opposite to one of the busiest main transport hub, Victoria station, the space that was an Edwardian shopping arcade, a restaurant and a club since 1909, now houses a wide variety of food stalls that covers almost everything you crave or didn’t know you would be craving for. Spread across 3 floors with over 400 seats are also home to BaoziInn, Monty’s Deli, Flank, Squirrel and Kerbisher & Malt, some of London’s biggest hitters like Koya Ko by Koya,Gopal’s Corner by Roti King, Super Tacos from Breddos, Nonna Tonda from Fat Tony’s and bunshop from The Marksman and the Fanny’s Kebabs and Press Coffee, which also have a presence in Market Hall Fulham.

There is a unique combination of decorative Edwardian elements, robust industrial features and its modern interior design. Only discrete and minimal alterations have been made to the external appearance of the Grade II-Listed elevations as a respect to the original history. The façade has had the original historical shop fronts refurbished or reinstated at ground and first-floor levels, rebuilding the relationship with the street that was abandoned by the nightclub in the 2000s. The steel structure and brickwork, roof-light and roof timbers, stained glass, wood panelling and rough plaster that are original have been exposed and providing an authentic backdrop to the kitchens and bars that we now see.

From homemade pasta to Japanese udon; Chinese dimsum to curry and freshly made roti, Market Hall is the new vibrant hotspot for goodies, quick alternative to breakfast and business meetings, or a handful of lunch options under one roof. Much of the architecture in the hall was from its original build in 1909- The Victoria Street Arcade. George Sherrin, the architect for Victoria station, also designed the arcade and parade of shops fronting Terminus Place, and this single storey construction was extended to a second floor in the 1920s.  The site has operated as a canteen during World War I so it’s not the first time food scene come under the roof. Only this time, it makes a slight difference in the variety of cuisines one has to offer.

We sampled a few dishes from different restaurants, and they were as delicious as one can imagine.

Beetroot, tumeric and spinach infused tricolour dimsum from BaoziInn. Don’t be fooled by the colour, they taste quite close to what we have in Hong Kong.

Chicken curry with Roti by Gopal’s Corner. Freshly made roti served sizzling hot and crispy. Yum!

Locally roasted coffee from Press coffee. A market hall doesn’t complete without a great cafe.

Rice set from Koya Ko. The infamous authentic Japanese bistro in the heart of Soho.

Udon from Koya Ko. Of course serving their signature udon too.

Apart from being the UK’s biggest food hall in Central London, each Market Hall has its own lifestyle section too. To coincide with the launch of the rooftop in Market Hall Victoria in summer where classes from a new boutique fitness and wellness studio, MOVE will be held, Soft Serve Society has moved in for a 6-month pop-up. The vision for MOVE is a continuation of Market Halls’ ethos of uniting industry gems together under one roof and making them accessible to the local community and visitors from across the city. Having already launched in the Market Hall Fulham, it is only logical that MOVE opens in Victoria.

Flexibility is at the core of MOVE’s philosophy. Boasting having none of those rigid membership contracts allows customers to try as they go, picking and choosing from regular classes and one-off events as and when they wish. Sessions will run from early morning through to evening, Monday to Saturday, and can be booked in advance for £18 each, with up to ten sessions available to buy in bulk, bringing the price down to £15. ‘Move & Munch’ classes are being scheduled every Saturday morning at 9:15am and 10:15am. These sociable classes are designed to encourage friends and strangers alike to convene, exercise and dine together. Now sharing is genuinely caring!