Eat this: Wun’s, bringing 1960s Hong Kong to London

The team behind Bun House are launching their latest restaurant, bringing in Cantonese eats with a touch of experimentation.

16 July 2019
asianchinesedessertmeatrestaurant openingrestaurants
  • The Gist: Familiar Cantonese eats creatively reinterpreted
  • The Chefs: Founders Z He and Alex Peffly
  • Location: 23 Greek Street, London W1D 4DZ
  • Food in 5 words: Swing into 60s Hong Kong
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How did we get here?

Husband-and-wife team Alex Peffly and Z He stared out serving up traditional Cantonese-style steamed buns with house-made Chinese pickles at Bun House on Chinatown’s Lisle Street.

In spring last year, they opened Pleasant Lady Jian Bing, a hatch on Soho’s Greek Street peddling Chinese street food pancakes. A second outlet soon followed in Old Spitalfields Market.

Now, the founders are transforming the old Bun House site in Soho into a new restaurant called Wun’s. This concept aims to capture the spirit of 1960s late-night Hong Kong, with the restaurant and bar spread over two floors.

Upstairs, double folding windows will open onto the streets of Soho, with tables lined by wicker chairs and communal booth seating reflecting Hong Kong’s open-air street cafes called dai pai dong.

Open until late, downstairs will reflect Hong Kong’s nightlife with a neon-lit bar, velvet seating and a soundtrack of psychedelic and go-go music.

What’s different about it?

Wun’s menu will feature nostalgic Cantonese dishes from He’s childhood – but with modern twists.

For those looking for a light bite, there will be bar snacks of spiced peanut and fried whitebait as well as XO bone marrow with deep-fried mantau (steamed buns).

Starters include ‘three thread’ peanut salad; whole prawn spring roll with wasabi mayo; and tomato pickled in Osmanthus (a flower popular in Asian desserts).

For mains, diners can dig into wok-tossed corn ribs and crispy garlic, barbecue beef spare ribs and lacy dumplings with pork and chives. He’s family’s signature dish, dubbed ‘My Gran’s secret recipe for sour plum braised duck,’ will also feature on the menu, alongside clay pot rice dishes of soy-braised aubergine rice and a selection of skewers.

Sweets will include Hong Kong egg tarts, osmanthus goji ice cream and fried milk – a dessert that Food Spark tipped last year as having potential in the UK as people seek out authentic foods.

“Wun’s means a lot to me – it’s my name in Cantonese for a start – so we’ve created everything I would want from a Hong Kong bar,” said He. “Somewhere to relax during the day and settle down for the night to drink, feast and party until the early hours. 1960s Hong Kong was an interesting time when the city prospered and the nightlife really took off, so Wun’s is a nod to that era and my own little slice of Hong Kong here in London.”

You’ve got to try…

The sugar skin Iberico char siu, elevating this relatively common dim sum dish.

Sparkie also likes…

A dish that plays with a commonplace British vegetable: brussels sprouts with fuyu (fermented bean curd) sauce.

Go if…

You’ve seen classic Cantonese movie In the Mood for Love and want to live the romance of 1960s Hong Kong for yourself.

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