I was browsing through Instagram and following that visual rabbit hole as far as it could go, when I stopped at a picture of Bun House and Tea Room in Soho. Bao buns are booming in London and instead of Taiwanese style Bao buns, Bun House serves Chinese style buns. This means that instead of being open, they are closed. And like the best presents what they contain inside is all kinds of perfect…
The Bun house and Tea Room is in the middle of theatre land in Soho. It’s a small unassuming place with people spilling out of it and long queues. If you want to eat there you need to get a table otherwise you have to take the food to go. I managed to get a table and tried to be as patient as possible when waiting for my meal to arrive.
The menu is small and there is only one vegetarian option – a Bao bun stuffed with three different kinds of mushrooms. Usually I mind not having multiple vegetarian options and while I would love more choice this Bao bun was delicious.
Light and fluffy and full of warm, spicy, woody flavours – I ate three of those in about 5 minutes. And that’s probably only a very slight exaggeration. I also tried one of their custard Bao buns with very high hopes. There is a sign in the restaurant saying that if the custard inside isn’t runny they will give you another custard bun for free. The custard in my Bao bun was VERY runny!
I can see why this place is so popular right now and I know how lucky I was to get a table. A friend of mine went at 6pm and had no problem at all finding a seat so there are times when it isn’t heaving with people. However if you do go, be prepared to change your plans and get a takeaway instead! When i went the downstairs Tea Room was closed but apparently in the evening is a den of inequity…or as den-like pleaces in Soho can get!