clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

London Celebrated Lunar New Year with Cutesy Baozi and Nose-to-Tail Cooking

The Year of the Pig met with many interpretations across the city’s restaurants

Year of the Pig is this Chinese New Year, and London’s restaurants celebrated with cutesy pig bao buns Bun House [Official Photo]

Welcome back to Insta Stories, a column examining the London restaurant scene through the often-problematic medium of Instagram. This week’s filter is same.

News of the week

As teased in last week’s column, Tuesday saw the start of a new lunar year — commemorated in several Asian countries and perhaps most raucously among the broader Chinese diaspora. Cue all manner of celebration — quite a lot of it pig-related, and blissfully little of it having any truck with Veganuary or, ahem, ‘Veguary.’

View this post on Instagram

*UPDATE: MORE XL and XXL NOW ADDED*. WE SHIP WORLDWIDE! The stars are aligned: 2019, our 25th anniversary, is also the Year of the Pig in the Chinese calendar. It is our good fortune too to have spent a quarter of a century in a city of such fabulous diversity. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ A restaurant, says Fergus, should be woven in to the fabric of a city. Over the last 25 years we have seen London change, with Chinatown rents tragically forcing out longstanding family businesses. But we have also seen an increased appetite for Chinese regional cuisines - particularly Sichuan - which have always had the Nose to Tail philosophy at their core. Nose to Tail is so much older than our own quarter century; we are proud to share the ethos with the restaurants and people who make the fabric of our city such a continuing, evolving joy. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ This T-shirt celebrates St. JOHN turning 25 on the Year of the Pig. It is our first ever in auspicious red. The front reads St. JOHN in simplified Chinese text and, on the back of the neck, it reads 猪年 (Year of the Pig) / St. JOHN at TWENTY FIVE. Link in bio, or click the image! . . . . . .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #yearofthepig #stjohnat25 #fergushenderson #chinesenewyear #nosetotail #stjohnrestaurant #quartercentury

A post shared by St. JOHN Restaurant ( on

MVP (Most Valuable Pig) of the week

Given the weekend featured Super Bowl Sunday, it feels appropriate to be crowning a single iconic performance from the previous few days’ swiping and scrolling. Step forward, Soho’s Bun House, whose cutesy seasonal baozi are so hot right now they’re practically self-steaming.

View this post on Instagram

Happy Chinese new year! #yearofthepig

A post shared by Sunday Times Food (@sundaytimesfood) on

Feed-clogging event of next week

With grinding inevitability, one handy hook for Insta-content gives way to the next just moments later. Lunar New Year? Over it. Now it’s all about Valentine’s Day — think pink, think roses, think hearts, think chocolate. Absolutely don’t think ruinously expensive set menus with token glass of bubbles on arrival.

Team-building exercise of the week

Does the team at Morito have any vacancies?

View this post on Instagram

#salmorejo #malaga

A post shared by Morito (@moritotapas) on

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Morito (@moritotapas) on

View this post on Instagram

Migas for lunch!

A post shared by Morito (@moritotapas) on

Colour palette of the week


Promising new technique of the week

More restaurants should get into this deep-frying cheese thing.

Dish of the week

Menu-writing alchemy. Adding “fritti” after any foodstuff makes it 50 - 75 percent more appealing; adding “with aioli” takes things into very rarefied territory indeed. All that’s missing here is the classic suffix, “and chips.”

View this post on Instagram

Rabbit fritti with aioli

A post shared by Trullo Restaurant (@trullo_restaurant) on

Shot of the week

So pretty.

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Nikkitha Bakshani (@nikkitaha) on


32 Exmouth Market, , England EC1R 4QE 020 7278 7007 Visit Website

Bun House

24 Greek Street, , England W1D 4DZ 020 8017 9888 Visit Website