I got to try YumBun last year at The Long Table in Dalston, and have craved them ever since. They have had regular spots at Kings Cross Eat St and Broadway Market for over a year I think – impossible for me to sneak into a lunch hour due to the distance, or too inconvenient to reach on a weekend. Enter Kerb – a new offshoot of Eat St, a weekly market in the Shadow of the Gherkin. Taking centre stage this week? Yep, you guessed it, YumBun. Result.
Having tried these buns at the place that brought these ‘gua bao’ to the forefront in New York, Momofuku, as well as other places like BaoHaus, I have become slightly addicted, and was there like a shot at midday today.
First up, the pork bun – slow cooked Blythburgh belly, with cucumber, spring onion and a little squirt of hoisin and sriracha. The meat was meltingly tender but a little blandly seasoned. The sauces were punchy enough to lift it though, it lasted about 30 seconds.
The mushroom, strangely, seemed meatier than the pork, definitely my favourite of the two. It was probably because it was more liberally salted, and had a deeply savoury white miso sauce on it. Seriously, I could drink a pint of the stuff. The walnuts are a nice touch too.
Value wise, £6 seems a lot for two buns (£3.50 for one), I don’t know if it was just general inflation or prices were hiked for city folk, but I remember them being £5 last year. Also, it’s a slow moving queue, at least 15 minutes in a fairly short line, which is a large proportion of most people’s lunch breaks – but I think it’s just about worth it.
Pork & mushroom buns
Mess Factor – 4 as soon as you take your first bite, the filling bids for freedom out of the sides
Value – 2 £6 seems a little steep for a not particularly filling meal
Taste – 5 the pork is a classic combination, the miso-mushroom-walnut brilliant
Speed – 1 snail paced queue, despite the frantic servers