Pop up bun shop
|Barley & Buns|
"Barley & Buns" is a newly opened "pop up" inside Spice Market, which is now part of the W hotel inside Chinatown. Taiwanese steam bun has gathered a massive popularity in London in the last few years thanks to street food vendor such as Bao and Yum Bun. So there is no surprise to see more restaurants riding onto the trend. Spice Market's buns has a mixture of Asian styles which draw flavours from places such as Thailand and Korea.
|soft shell crab bun|
The giant soft shell crab bun was a real mouthful with nicely fried crispy crab in a bed of sweet and spicy Asian slaw, the kicks of the chili and lime worked in harmony and the bun was soft and light which was just wonderful. Short ribs bun had a fine balance of sweet and savoury taste, the freshness of the apple did just enough to offset the rich soy dressing, and the beef itself was really moist. What didn't work on the night was the duck curry bun, the barley texture was too thick for my liking which totally overpowered the mild flavour of the duck.
|fried chicken bun|
|pork belly bun|
I enjoyed my dinner at Barley & Buns, they have tried to do something refreshingly different with some modern twist on the buns instead of just directly copying what is already successful. Also the setting is a lot more relax and stylish than most Asian restaurants and the service was at a great hotel standard. My small criticism perhaps would be the buns could be a little smaller as you can be totally stuffed after two buns without the chance to try out other dishes.
What I paid:
£15pp with a soft drink
Average cost without drinks and services:
W London Leicester Square, 10 Wardour Street, Chinatown, London W1D 6QF