Bun House, the Chinese steamed bun café with a site on Greek Street in Soho, has announced that it will open a second, bigger restaurant and tea room in Chinatown in the new year. Founders Z He and Alex Peffly will open on Lisle Street in February, the latest in a string of trendy new openings to arrive in central London’s historic east Asian restaurant centre.
Bun House 2.0’s will largely see a continuation the brand’s focus on traditional Cantonese steamed buns, with two new additions: Beef brisket and a soft, brioche-style sweet pineapple bun. Established iterations, such as the char siu pork belly “Pig Bun,” the cumin-spiced lamb, and Instagram-luvvie, sweet custard bun will surely vie for attention in an increasingly social media-conscious food landscape.
Announcing the opening, He said in a statement that she hopes to generate nostalgia among expats at the heart of Chinese food in the city: “Having moved to the U.K. from Guangzhou, Chinatown has always felt like a noisy, thrilling slice of home in the middle of London,” she said. “It’s particularly exciting for us to open Bun House in the heart of Chinese food in the city, and we hope our buns will bring back memories of home for many.”
As well as the buns, for which the brand is best known, the new site “will also pay homage to Hong Kong’s dai pai dong food stalls, with a small hatch inside the restaurant serving up traditional street food style snacks” — such as curried fish balls and cheung fun (traditional rice noodle rolls.)
Drinks will celebrate Hong Kong’s craft beer scene, as He and Peffly plan to work closely with breweries like Moonzen and Young Master. Beers will be joined a range of tea-based cocktails and cold brewed tea.
He, who launched the original Bun House and Tea Room on Greek Street with Peffly in 2017, has also since launched two outposts of the jian bing street food business — Pleasant Lady: in Soho and within the Kitchens at Old Spitalfields market in east London.
The “signature aesthetic” of the space — dark wood paneling and double-fronted glass windows — will be achieved through a design by He’s own Five Line Projects: downstairs, a small number of round tables will provide seating for 18, while upstairs snacking and drinking will be encouraged in a significantly larger — 54-cover — dining space.