Bun house has been on the list to go to for a while now, it uses to reside in Greek Street, in Soho next door to Pleasant Lady Jian Bing Trading Stall which is also owned by the same group. Bun House closed down to be refurbished as Wun’s Tea room which as re-opened its doors recently.
Bun House location
Bun House has relocated to Lisle Street in Chinatown, it’s not exactly a restaurant or a café. It’s part cha chaan teng, and Nando style queue and pay upfront. The minute you walk inside the place, you see huge bamboo baskets stacked high steaming those fluffy white buns away. There’s also another counter to collect the other hot food.
The menu is right behind the bamboo steam baskets, bao’s are decently priced at £2.50 per a bun besides the bo lo yau bao (pineapple butter bun) £3.80. You see other Hong Kong street food style treats like curry fish balls, pickles, wok-fried noodles and my favourite egg tarts. Rice pots are also available, with a selection of Asian beers, herbal teas and soft drinks.
Now, Bun house operates as a first come first serve place. If you decide to sit in, you place an order by the till get given a ticket and wait for your ordered number to shout out. The other hot food takes a while to be cooked and is transported via the food lifts. You can sit anywhere as you please. Upstairs seating was empty when we arrived but as it got later in the evening more people filled the seats and we ended up sharing with other people.
The interior is decorated in green and white, there are white straw chairs and tiny round marble top tables. The corner we sat had a long black glass table and stalls.
Collecting the buns, it’s fun to watch staff mark each bun with a big wooden stamp with the Chinese character in red ink of the flavour inside. Chinese words are constructed per a character, we ordered a pig, lamb, chicken, fish and custard baos. Along with small snacks like wok-fried noodles and custard egg tarts.
Steamed bao’s are fluffy and milky in taste, break open in half it reveals flavoured meat or running custard inside. The lamb bao was the best out of the bunch, minced lamb meat, seasoned with cumin.
The pineapple bun is a must, we got lucky and had a fresh one out the oven, the top is crusty, broken up and sliced in half with a slice of butter ready to melt.
Hong Kong-style snacks
Wok-fried noodles are cut up ribbons of ho fun, flavoured with soy sauce, bird eye chilis, onions, spring onions and strips of red bell peppers. The wok hei can be tasted in this dish, salty, pronounced savoury flavours.
Egg custard tarts
These are not the best egg tarts in Chinatown, Bun House is a shortcrust version that seems a bit dry to shallow. The egg custard is nice and silky.
Overall, I enjoyed what Bun House has to offer, would love to see HK style tea on the menu as it’s one of my favourite drinks to order at cha chaan tengs in Hong Kong.
For more information please visit Bun House website.
26-27 Lisle St, London WC2H 7BATags: bao, Bun House, chinatown, hong kong, review