Monday, 24 June 2013

yum bun

Round about the time when I first opened my eyes and ears to the street food scene in London a couple of months into my time here, one of the main talks of the town was the opening of Yum Bun in an indoor location. For quite a while I've been meaning to try them out, especially since they're really quite close to me, and finally I did!

Their charming little shop front is annexed to Rotary just round the corner from Old Street station (and another place I'm dying to visit!) so although there is very minimal space to eat your very yummy yum buns in the store, you are welcome to take your buns next door if you get a drink there.

There are usually 4 'regular' buns on offer, as well as some specials. Prices are still 'street food' prices and, for greedy pigs people that want to try them all, you can get them for a pound off by buying two at a time. At lunch times, the bento box is a great deal and your 2 buns will come with soup, salad and some gyozas!

On the left here is the special of the day, the crispy pollock with Korean spicy sauce, whereas the one on the right is the 'regular' portobello mushrooms with miso glaze. As you can see, the filling is extremely generous in the soft white 'gua bao' buns (like those from Bao).

The pollock was succulent in its light batter shell, going very well with the slightly spicy kick from the Korean spicy sauce (which is milder than the regular Korean sauce because Yum Bun uses it in mayo form). The crispy crunch of the pollock is just so satisfying when paired with the soft silky gua bao!

As a devout meat eater, I was less excited about the mushroom bun, but I was proven wrong because it was just as good as the others. The mushrooms had a perfect texture, soft but not completely without bite, that complemented the soft bun. The flavour of the miso glaze is milder than the other more punchy varieties as expected, but brought an interesting twist and was definitely not bland or boring.

Here we have the fried chicken with chilli dressing on the left and slow roast belly pork in hoisin sauce on the right. I'm usually not great with spicy food, but the spiciness of the chicken bun was well balanced by tartare sauce in it and, like with the pollock, the crispiness of the chicken just fits perfectly with the soft and silky bun.

The knock out for me, though, was the slow roast belly pork. Bucking the trend of using pulled pork that seems to be everywhere these days, the pork in the bun comes as one entire piece of melt-in-your-mouth fatty goodness that has the texture of soft butter. The heaviness of the fatty belly pork is counteracted by the tart twang of the hoisin sauce and the fresh and crisp cucumber, to make for a very well rounded bite.

A huge thumbs up for all the buns I managed to try and immediately loved, especially to the mushroom bun because getting a meat eater like me to enjoy it so much is no mean feat! Yum Bun definitely deserves all the accolades it's received and a belated congratulations for making it to a (relatively*) permanent location from a new fan!

*if I remember correctly this venue was originally slated to last only until the end of the year. Not sure if this is still true, so hurry up and get yourselves to Yum Bun before they're gone!

Food: 8/10
Environment: 6/10
Service: N/A
Price £ out of 5

You can find the Yum Bun home page here.

Yum Bun on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

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