Places To Eat In London: Bun House, Soho
I have the perfect spot for you in Soho where you can perch on a little table out in the street in the sunshine, enjoy a cooling pot of green tea and some fantastic (and cheap!) food and just relax on a Sunday morning. If you have not already been, Bun House is your new favourite weekend destination. They offer a small selection of things done well: steamed filled bao buns, imaginative sides, and Asian pickles, and if you’re drinking tea not beer, two adults can easily fill themselves up for around £20. Oh, and they do takeaway too!
All of the buns are steamed to order, and you can try each of the pickles to see which you prefer when you order at the counter. There is a stash of hot sauces and chilli oils in the corner if that’s your thing, and while mostly you’ll need to keep an eye on your ticket for your order to be called out, if they’re not too busy, they’ll bring your buns right to your table – your tea will arrive straight to you, anyway.
We both had a chicken and barbecue pork (I was tempted by the fish and prawn, but I wanted to save room for dessert!), and both were absolutely excellent. Warm fluffy buns, with rich, generous flavourful fillings – if you just want one, though, the pork with it’s perfect blend of sweet meat and unctuous fat is the clear winner.
I had the daikon pickles; sharp, curious, and with just a hint of chilli, I was not sure about them at first, but they steadily grew on me, and provided the perfect palate cleanser between bites of fluffy bun, and the one side that you simply have to order: the glass noodle salad (I asked for mine without chopped peanuts). The noodles are thick, cool and glossy, with just that perfect bit of bite. There is chilli there to give them some punch, but not too much that it is overwhelming, just that perfect amount of toasted sesame oil to make them a little bit slippery (in a good way!) but not oily, and the fresh coriander added a burst of green flavour. God I could eat a massive bowl of these noodles most lunchtimes.
One side we were not too sure about were the cured duck tongue fries, covered in a delicious, unctuous, mayo like sauce. They were curious, and rather good with the sauce, but the ones at the bottom we were not too such about – perhaps not enough flavour, and a bit too fried?
So, I was saving room for dessert: while I did want to try the red choc bun (pigs blood and dark chocolate), I’d seen the custard bun, full of a squirty, cured duck yolk and orange custard bun all over social media, and I just had to have it. Okay, so don’t eat this on a first date (I’m surprised I did not get it all over me), and the custard *is* super hot and runny, but so good you just can’t miss out. Seriously, save room for this one.
There is a tea house with some more dishes down in the basement which I want to head back to try, but as they do do takeaway boxes and it is only a 20 minute walk from my office, don’t be surprised if you see takeaway cartons of glass noodles and pork buns across my desk popping up on Instagram sometime soon!