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This Chinatown restaurant shares hopes for the future of Chinese food in London

Bun House head chef Z shares his tips for Cantonese style cooking at home
Bun House head chef Z shares his tips for Cantonese style cooking at home

Talking the Year of the Dragon, and the future of Chinese food in London, with steamed bun specialists Bun House

Steamed bun specialists Bun House in Chinatown have been specialising in Cantonese style Chinese cooking ever since they opened in 2017.

As it was recently Chinese New Year, earmarking the start of the Year of the Dragon, we spoke to the restaurant’s head chef Z to ask for his lowdown on the current Chinese gastronomy scene in the capital, from the best places to eat to hacks for making simple dishes at home.

Hi Z. In your eyes, what about the Year of the Dragon is so special?

The dragon is one of the most impressive creatures in Chinese folklore so we have been having fun with it, creating dishes inspired by the Year of the Dragon.

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How did you get the inspiration for your special lantern bun set?

One of the most unique traditions of Chinese New Year is the snack platter that every household prepares to welcome guests during the Lunar Festival. Filled with an abundance of candies, nuts, seeds, and savoury snacks, each item in the platter symbolises the fortune to come in the new lunar year. We have crafted our own special platter in the form of an afternoon tea set, with the distinctive Bun House twist to celebrate the Year of the Dragon.

How do you think Chinese food is doing overall in London at the moment? A lot of family-run Chinese restaurants are apparently shutting down – does this bother you?

I think a new wave of Chinese dining concepts is emerging across London. Knowing and having gone through some of the same challenges, it is always sad to see small businesses struggling to survive regardless of the cuisines. However, we are very fortunate in London to have customers with such wide and diverse appetites, which allows the new generation of industry to trail and thrive making new dishes.

Where do you go in London to eat the absolute best Chinese food?

I have lived in a few different countries around the world and I would have to say London’s Chinatown is one of the best in the world. The array of offerings in our Chinatown is up to date and diverse enough that anyone can find something that they can enjoy. However my personal favourite is a tiny eatery by my neighbourhood in Spitalfields, a place call Lucky Dog, serving northern east Chinese dishes.

Is there one Chinese dish that’s easy to make at home that you would recommend people try to make?

Nin Gou – lunar cake. It’s a kind of glutinous rice cake that can be made with three ingredients – glutinous rice flour, sugar, and water or coconut milk if you want to jazz it up.

Read more: Top fine dining Chinese restaurants in London

Read more: Where to eat for Chinese New Year: Best London restaurants to celebrate the year of the rabbit