So I mentioned in the last post that I'll give a little update on some of the lovely edible distractions in my life. I only got round to writing about one, but perhaps one will do because I think it deserves a whole post on its own. It was a mad mad night, 31 May, in fact it was a mad mad month leading up to it.
We invaded Yum Bun's kitchen that night, armed with pots and posters and party lights. For those not living in London, or for those living in London but under a rock, Yum Bun is one of the rockstars on London's street food scene. They've recently got a permanent shop in Old Street, right at the super trendy Rotary Bar, so this is us entering hipster foodie land.
We've done buns before for plusixfive supperclubs, and my mum's pork belly bun in particular, is a recipe I just can't bring myself to post on this blog because I'm sure she's going to get rich and famous for it one day. A traditional Asian home/ street snack, kong bak pau is a soft white fluffy steamed bun shaped like a clam (called gua bao), in which a slab of triple-cooked pork belly is sandwiched, along with some crisp fresh lettuce. Yum Bun does some wonderfully creative takes on this classic with slow-roasted belly pork, karaage chicken, sticky salmon etc. We decided it's time to bring more bun love to London and throw something entirely different onto the table at that. Because I'm young and crazy and believe I can conquer the world, I sent an overexcited email to Lisa (Yum Bun) and turned up at their shop with a small batch of rendang to bribe them. And hurrah, it happened.
Well, it wasn't actually that easy. I really wanted this pop-up to be successful so we even held bun tasting sessions (thanks J, Ed , Wen and Wen's entire family for the really hard work, er tasting buns that night). Think rows and rows of herbs, salads, toasted peanuts/ coconut, fried shallots/ garlic, even crushed kueh pie tee shells. In the end, we came up with the ox cheeky rendang bun, ox cheek slow-braised in coconut and heck load of spices; and the "I-can't-believe-it's veg" popiah bun, braised turnips and mushrooms topped with a fiery sweet lime chilli. And then there were all the posters and crazy tweeting and retweeting.
The day before was simply mad. I thought I was all done with my prep, ready to go for a job interview and a dinner party; but a sudden flurry of ticket sales because of some last minute features on a couple of popular London lifestyle sites meant a grocery run between the two events, turning up at the party carrying See Woo bags (best dressed award, definitely), and returning home at midnight, half-drunk, to cook up a second batch. The day itself, was even more mad. If you had one or three or maybe even six of the 500 ++ buns we sold that night, thank you so much for the support. And big thanks and love to the team that night especially, Jason my co-chef/ fellow plotter, Wen the beer lady/door bitch/ cash machine, Javier our saviour (thanks for being there on such short notice), and the fabulous Lisa and her yummy team and shocking (terrible) playlist.
Yes, one giant distraction over, but a lot more up my sleeve I hope. I finally finish with Central Saint Martins; last night was the opening night of my degree show. I'm excited and relieved and scared all at once that I'm graduating, but hopefully more exciting things come my way, edible or not. SOMEONE HIRE ME.
For more,my instagram. And a few other people's.
Recipes for the night (adaptions to suit buns but pretty similar):
Ox cheek rendang
Photo credits to the brilliant Ming.