What: A Hong Kong-style ‘tearoom and bar’ specialising in authentic Cantonese cuisine that also serves an eclectic selection of Chinese-style cocktails.
Who: Alex Peffly and Z He have opened Wun’s on what was formerly the flagship site for their Bun House brand on Soho’s Greek Street (it having been relocated to a larger location on Lisle Street in Chinatown earlier this year).
The food: The menu is predominately inspired by food from He’s childhood, and includes many Cantonese dishes she grew up with including her gran’s sour plum braised duck that’s made from a secret family recipe. Wun’s serves separate lunch and dinner menus, with many of the dishes designed to be shared and prices mainly set between £10 and £20. Central to both menus are a selection of clay pot rice dishes with such toppings as soy-braised aubergine; slow-cooked pumpkin seed and flower mushroom; and lardo-fried shallots. Main dishes at lunch include pumpkin congee with cured yolk and mince; satay beef noodles topped with a fried egg; and pan-seared dumplings, while the dinner menu features sugar-skin ibérico char siu; wok-fried marrow and scallops with cured black bean; and brussels sprouts with fuyu sauce. A brunch menu is also available at the weekend, and includes Hong Kong French toast with peanut butter and cheese; cumin potato hash with egg and mince; and ibérico char siu clay pot rice served with a fried egg.
The drinks: According to Peffly and He, much of the impetus around converting Bun House to Wun’s was the opportunity to develop the tearoom concept they had established in the restaurant’s downstairs area when it was still under the Bun House name. This has included experimenting with a range of bespoke cocktail ideas, which has been distilled into a menu featuring more than 30 cocktail options including a range of tea-based virgin cocktails. As well as a selection of classics including martini, Bloody Mary and gimlet, the menu features a green bamboo and quince cocktail made with bamboo fenjiu, pue’er tea liqueur, fresh quince and mango; chrysanthemum and haw with Tou Mei chrysanthemum wine, haw liqueur, plum sour and dehydrated haw; and plum and ‘Coke’ with sour plum-infused baiju, liquorice, sour plum tea and five spice syrup.
The vibe: Wun’s aesthetic is inspired by 1960s Hong Kong, with the upstairs restaurant designed by He to reflect the city’s open-air street cafes. While Bun House originally had very limited seating, the restaurant now has space for around 30 covers with table seating also available outside. The downstairs bar has been decked out with neon lights and velvet seating and a late-night license until 3am on Fridays and Saturdays.
And another thing: The decision to not double down on the Bun House concept may suggest the brand is no longer flourishing as it once was, but Peffly and He tell BigHospitality it is actually to do with the limited production capacity they had at the Greek Street site; the new Bun House in Chinatown has a much bigger kitchen space. The pair say that they plan to open more satellite Bun House locations within food halls and markets in the near future.