Yum Bun was one of my first street food discoveries in London and has continued to remain dear to my heart with their soft fluffy buns, sharp crisp flavours, creative combinations, and brilliant smiling people who really appear to love what they do. I was disappointed when they didn’t make an appearance at FEAST at the Tobacco Docks (despite the website for weeks saying they would!) but I understood when I heard they were opening up a more permanent location.
Located next to (and in a way inside) the Rotary Bar and Diner just south of Old Street Station, Yum Bun takes up a space barely larger than their previous stall. The difference is that they have a larger grill and steaming area as well as a fridge and freezer. What does this mean to you? Well, twice as many choices for buns and also a dessert bun!
The two staples (the slow roasted pork belly and mushroom with walnuts) are on offer as well as two new options. First, let’s go back to the classics. The pork belly is ridiculously tender and the rich flavours match nicely with the punchy hoi sin sauce and crunchy cucumbers and spring onions. Wrapped in a pillowy bun, it’s something I can easily eat over and over again. The miso glazed Portobello mushroom with toasted walnuts is possibly the one dish that could make me turn away from meat. The meaty mushroom with the slightly sweet glaze is mouthwatering and the toasted walnuts give you that extra crunch to really made the dish stand out.
The new kids on the block are the namban breaded and fried chicken with tartar sauce bun and a “beef” bun which is really filled with braised oxtail. I quite enjoyed the fried chicken with its light spices and the contrasting textures between the soft steamed bun and crispy chicken. The tartar sauce was a perfect complement and not one I would have guessed but it’s creaminess brings all the components together. It does make for a slightly messy bun, but surely that’s a small price to pay for an excellent eating experience?
I had great hopes for the beef bun as oxtail is one of my favourite off cuts. The oxtail itself was cooked well and they give you a hefty portion in each bun, but I found it missing something. Perhaps a bit of spice and some extra acidity to cut through the rich fatty taste would have helped really bring out the meaty flavours. It’s a new one, and I’m sure they will tweak it a bit more so I’ll be back to try in a little while.
Finally, the dessert bun which isn’t really a bun at all and created in conjunction with Sorbitum. Think ice cream sandwich with a scoop of Sorbitum’s ever so fresh tasting strawberry sorbet being flanked by airy coconut meringue (I assume in house unless the Meringue Girls have been giving some pointers). It is ridiculously addictive with the nutty coconut meringue with shredded coconut providing an exceptional base for the bold bursting flavours of the sorbet.
Well that’s me done, and yes I did in fact order the entire menu in one go. It was just about perfect for dinner and something I think I’ll aim to replicate in a month. Don’t worry, I’ll keep you posted and perhaps see some of your around for Round 2!