Rebecca Wilcock sinks her teeth into a’bun’dance at bunshop, the new opening from the team behind The Marksman in Victoria Market Halls
bunshop’s creations initially started life as a side dish at Hackney’s Marksman pub, and now they’re going it alone.
Chefs and bun-creators, Jon Rotheram and Tom Harris have set up (bun)shop in a corner of the new Market Halls Victoria, selling a menu inspired by British classics.
The buns are a cross between Russian piroshki and Chinese bao buns – sort of like a mini pie, but with bread instead of pastry. The dough is a Victorian-era recipe which is proved, filled and shaped, proved again, then baked and finally steamed.
Victoria Market Halls is a two-storey food hall with 11 resident restaurant kitchens and three bars. Directly opposite the main station, the building was formerly incarnated as an Edwardian shopping arcade, and super nightclub Pacha.
Now it’s a super hipster place to meet and eat, with exposed brick, steel beams and a huge skylight.
Good things come in small packages. The buns themselves look quite little, but their size is deceiving – two buns plus a side is perfect for lunch.
We went for one of each on the menu:
1 Beef and barley has a delicious short rib mince with barley and onion, accompanied by a whipped horseradish cream to give it a kick.
2 The welsh rarebit came with a Henderson’s Relish and is a melting combination of cheese, chestnut mushrooms and mustard.
3 The bacon bun is filled with braised ham hock, bacon and toasted oats, with a homemade ketchup on the side.
4 And then there’s the curried lamb bun; soft lamb mince spiced with ginger, garlic, chilli and curry leaves, and a salt lime yoghurt – absolute perfection.
The dough is soft and buttery, leaving the buns with a shiny golden top, sprinkled with salt crystals. It’s pure delight to bite into and find the awaiting filling.
On the side, you can choose between triple-cooked potato cubes, sprinkled with dried smoked chillies, capers and dulse (a red seaweed), sweet pickled cucumber and kraut with dill, and a chopped salad with a mustard dressing.
The Wordrobe Verdict
No one really seems to be sure how to describe these little buns – my advice is to just go and try them for yourself.
They’re contradictory in many ways: stodgy but light, small but filling, plain on the outside and packed with flavour on the inside. I’m really glad they’ve escaped the confines of a side dish and are making it on their own.
Make it happen
Website: Click here to find out more
Where: Market Halls Victoria, 191 Victoria St, London SW1E 5NE