Restaurant Review: BúnBúnBún
Set on the Kingsland Road, moments from Hoxton, is BúnBúnBún, a Vietnamese market-style restaurant serving traditional Asian cuisine. As happen to be planning a trip to Vietnam at the end of the year, I was keen to try this place out to get the taste buds flowing.
A tell-tale sign that the guys here know what they are doing was the reassuring sight of just a handful of spare tables in the restaurant on a Monday evening. From this point on I was expecting big things – and BúnBúnBún didn’t disappoint, both in terms of size and flavour of the dishes.
A quick scan of the menu and my attention was instantly drawn to the salt and chilli soft-shell crab, so not wanting to get too risky with the starters, we decided we’d share that and the failsafe option of chicken satay skewers.
The soft-shell crab was a generous dish and could have passed for a main on its own; it was nicely seasoned in its deep-fried coating and is certainly one I would recommend you try should you come here. The satay skewers passed with flying colours too.
For the main, we chose the beef ball noodle soup and deep-fried sea bass (warning: avoid wearing white should you be ordering the former!). Both of these packed plenty of taste and the sea bass in particular was an impressive-looking dish, arriving with both head and tail intact.
(Spoiler alert: despite not tasting like any meatball I’d tried before, I was relieved to learn after consuming the whole thing that the beef balls in the noodle soup were not in fact beef balls, if you get what I mean!)
As for the venue itself, it had a very informal feel, with a selection of benches and standalone tables giving you a choice of how lively you want your evening to be. Our waiter was a great host – he made sure that our glasses were never too close to being half-empty and was more than happy to advise on the intricacies of some of the more unusual dishes on the menu.
We will be sure to visit BúnBúnBún again, if nothing else just to try out some of the more unusual offerings available. If you’re keen to try authentic Vietnamese food in what feels like an authentic Vietnamese market-style restaurant, you really won’t find many better places than this.