Tag Archives: takeaway

Lunch Review – Yum Bun, Featherstone St, EC1Y

yum_bun

yum_bun

I move around with my job fairly frequently, being that I am freelance these days. I really enjoy the variety of moving to different offices, working with different people and also working in different areas of London. Having spent the last two and a bit years in West London, I am relieved to not have to schlep over there anymore. At the moment I am working for a content agency in Shoreditch, and am very much enjoying the range of lunch time options open to me. I’m a big fan of Whitecross Street Market on Thursdays and Fridays, especially Luardo’s van. YUM!

But one hot, sunny lunchtime this week I decided it was time to try Yum Bun. Yum Bun make gua bao (Taiwanese steamed, filled buns to the uninitiated) from a short menu with options for pork, chicken, salmon or veggie. You can also get a bento box, which comes with 2 buns, a handful of veggie goyza, miso soup and a salad.

I sidled up to the small shop front and joined a queue of Shoreditch hipsters. My lunch buddy, Simon, stood at my side and busily moaned about how trying new places always means queuing (he was NOT a fan of Meat Liquor). I had to say, after being the first in the queue for 15 mins with no acknowledgement from the staff, I was begrudgingly coming around to his way of thinking. Then I was called forward and placed my order and parted with the best part of £8 for a Bento box. Simon’s eyebrows shot up into his hairline and he muttered something about Tesco’s sandwiches. Simon is not a fan of trends. Well, modern trends. I don’t know why Simon is getting such a starring role in this blog post, it’ll only encourage him and he really does not need that.

Anyway, then I waited. There were probs about 4 people in front of me. I waited and waited. Simon left to go to Tescos. I waited. While I was there the staff behind the counter had tetchy exchanges, which always annoys me: dudes, if you have a problem with each other don’t show it in front of customers, yeah? Thirty minutes of pass agg staff and sighing later I was called forward. My buns were dressed and I was given a bag and off I trotted back to the office just in time for the end of my lunch break. Wicked.

I believe this is called the "beauty shot". Keyboard: model's own.
I believe this is called the “beauty shot”. Keyboard and IKEA glass: model’s own.

I was now grimly determined to HATE those stupid, pretentious Taiwanese buns that stole £8 of my hard-earned money and an hour of my time. The service was crap too, I grumbled to myself in my head. “This is definitely going to be terrible and I’ll write a review saying it’s all crap and that’ll make me feel better,” I thought as I got to grips with my first bun, a chicken number with tartare sauce.

Yum Bun's Bento Box - inside
Yum Bun’s Bento Box – inside

However, as soon as I bit into my chicken bun, I was filled with horror and disappointment: this bun was good. It was beautifully seasoned, with a delicately-balanced and nicely sharp tartare dressing. The buns were soft and chewy, like savoury marshmallows. “Great, now I can’t write an arsey review,” I thought, my resolve quickly fading. I’m nothing if not a negative person, guys.

Yum Bun: Chicken Steamed Bun
Yum Bun: Chicken Steamed Bun

I then was ready for my pork belly bun, with plum sauce. I knew it was going to be great, and this time I wasn’t wrong.

Yum Bun: Pork Steamed Bun
Yum Bun: Pork Steamed Bun

I get slightly unnerved by how much fat is on pork belly and what it might do to my arteries, but this was good. The pork was soft and pulled apart easily. The plum sauce was lightly smokey and pretty sweet. There was some salad in there too to give a bit of a crunch texture, and to bring it together so it was like those ubiquitous duck pancakes you get in all Chinese gaffs.

The veggie goyzas were lovely and crisp. The inside was a little insipid, but I often find that to be the way with veggie rolls. The salad was nicely dressed and acted as a nice palate cleanser after the pork. The miso soup? Could have done without it. I mean, it was fine and yeah, I did eat/drink most of it but it didn’t add a whole lot.

Would I go back? Probably not. There’s far too many other gems in Shoreditch to discover to worry about going back to the same place twice. I believe Yum Bun is a pop-up, which is perhaps for the best as they don’t really have a lengthy enough menu to keep people coming back, especially if they have to spend a good portion of their lunchtime queuing. Would I recommend it to you? Sure, go for it. Maybe avoid rush hours, but it’s a good, filling lunch-esque snack. Maybe on pay day, as it’s a bit steep for a regular lunch.

Service: 2/5

Venue: 1/5

Value: 2/5

Overall: 2/5

Yum Bun, 31 Featherstone Street, EC1Y 2BJ

Nearest tube: Old Street

 

 
Yum Bun on Urbanspoon

Food Review – Housebites Takeaway

Rib-eye steak, peppercorn sauce, creamy mash with spring onions and a side of fried plantain - Housebites Takeaway
Rib-eye steak, peppercorn sauce, creamy mash with spring onions and a side of fried plantain – Housebites Takeaway

Countless times I’ve listened to people moan about wanting a takeaway that delivers roasts on a Sunday, or a lovely juicy steak on a Friday night. Well, I’ve discovered the answer: Housebites.

Housebites claims to be “the new way to order gourmet takeaway from great chefs in your local area for the price of a pizza.” Let’s see.

When you visit Housebite’s website, you’ll be asked to input your postcode so they can show you the menus of the chefs cooking in your area In my area (Islington, yo) there’s a selection of chefs, but Wesley catches my eye – he does a mix of Caribbean-style food and some more standard dishes. I placed an order through their website for two lots of what you see above – steak, sauce, mash and side of plantains. Some chefs don’t deliver, but luckily Wesley does, so all I had to do was get the plates ready and wait.

The food arrived still hot. We unloaded it all, and it was packaged well (leaking takeaway is the worst) and my God, there was plenty of it! I couldn’t eat all of it. Although the size of the steak was on the small side, it was a decent quality. The fried plantain were the stars of the meal though – A and I wolfed those right now.

I’d definitely use Housebites again. It’s not the cheapest option when it comes to takeaway – our order was about £25 (inc delivery), but it made a lovely change from MSG-esque chinese or oily curry takeouts. And today’s a Friday, it’s payday – so why not?! Go on, treat yourself.

Housebites isn’t available country-wide yet, but it is spreading.

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