Chinatown is always a good time, but now that Bun House has relocated, there's even more reason to visit. Bigger and more beautiful than its former spot, the new restaurant on Lisle Street (Chinatown’s main street) offers much of the same Cantonese steamed bun goodness, plus a handful of great new Hong Kong-style street food snacks, like cheung fun, garlic basil wings, and curried fish balls. Take a wander through Chinatown, browsing all the things in the Chinese supermarkets, then score a seat upstairs on Bun House’s fresh and airy second floor. It kind of feels like you’re somewhere far away with all the greenery and hanging lanterns.
Bun House imports beers from some of Hong Kong’s coolest craft breweries so get yourself started with a cold one. On to the food, the pillowy virgin white buns are steamed in bamboo baskets downstairs and stamped with red Cantonese letters to identify flavours. They’re visually appealing (and great for the ‘gram), and at £2.50 each, they’re super affordable. Order a few. I loved the veggie three-mushroom bun and the tasty fish bun too, while Ed went wild for the beef and pig ones. Buns aside, the cheung fun is a must. I fell in love with these glutinous rice noodle rolls in Hong Kong when I’d get them from the ferry port stalls and eat the slimey soy-doused noods out of a plastic bag. Here, they’re wok-fried with a fiery little kick. The smacked cucumber is also great albeit pretty heavily drenched in oil, and Ed raved about the chilli tripe...if you’re into the offal vibe.
As delicious as everything we ate was, the highlight has to be dessert. Exploding custard buns! Leave room because they are a total must-order. Yes, you will spill hot, gooey custard down your front (or, do what we did and squirt it half-way across the room — oops), but obviously that’s half the fun. They are SO GOOD.
Loved Bun House. And they do takeout too, should you be in the market for a quick cheap Canto-snack.
BUN HOUSE, 26-27 Lisle St, London WC2H 7BA