4 Must-Try Steamed Buns in London

By Malika Dalamal  |  October 21, 2013

While some may consider Taiwan's sandwichlike gua bao (often referred to simply as "bao" or, more generically, "steamed buns") as Asia's answer to a hamburger, steamed buns have now become something of an international food trend appearing in noodle bars, food trucks and Korean, Chinese and Japanese restaurants around the world. Filled with meat, fish or veggies, this easy-to-eat snack is more satisfying than a sandwich but lighter than a burger. Check out our picks below for some of London's must-try takes on the steamed bun.

  • Yum Bun

    Soft, warm Hirata-style buns are offered in a variety of flavours by this award-winning food truck-turned-restaurant. The signature pork version is filled with slow-roasted Blythburgh pork belly, cucumbers, spring onions and hoisin, while a mushroom bun with miso glaze and toasted walnuts will keep vegetarians happy. There are also beef, salmon, chicken and fried fish buns, each served with complementary dressings, sauces and toppings.

    31 Featherstone St., EC1Y 2BJ

  • Flesh and Buns

    As the name suggests, steamed buns are a big feature at this izakaya restaurant in Covent Garden. Fillings such as flat iron steak, fried sole, crispy duck leg and lamb chops are served separately so diners can build their own buns and add extras like lettuce, cucumber and pickles.

    41 Earlham St., WC2H 9LX

  • Jubo

    The recently opened Korean canteen offers a selection of fluffy steamed buns filled with slow-braised beef, roasted portobello mushrooms or slow-cooked pork belly with pickled cucumber and hoisin sauce.

    68 Rivington St., EC2A 3AY; 0207 033 0198

  • Rock Lobsta

    Punk chef Carl Clark is nothing if not bang on trend, so it's no surprise to hear about the addition of a sticky duck steamed bun to his menu of "trash" food at tiki lair Mahiki in Mayfair. The fluffy, sweet bun is served with "smacked cucumber."

    1 Dover St., W1S 4LD