Beer & Buns is an exciting new pop-up in East London. Loosely based on the concept of a Japanese ‘Izakaya’, it offers craft beers and cocktails, paired with delicious Asian food, against a background of rock beats. The atmosphere is thoroughly fun and casual. It is a perfect venue for after-work shindigs; letting your hair down over booze and banter. There are pinball and popcorn machines to bring out the inner child in you!
The interiors are unlike any of its surrounding corporate neighbours; tables and walls are replete with graffiti and anime. Think ‘Shoreditch meets Tokyo’!
We were kindly hosted by Steven who ordered us some cocktails to begin with. The Yuzu Bellini (Frizante 754 draught prosecco, yuzu purée) was lemony and refreshing whilst the Strawberry Sake Fizz (Frizante 1754 draught prosecco, strawberry nigori Sake and strawberry puree) was fruity and fizzy. At £6 a glass, these were pretty insanely priced for a city location.
B&B has the UK’s largest selection of Japanese Craft beers and some rotating special guest beers, so if you are a craft beer aficionado, this place should definitely be on your must-visit list.
To complement the booze, there are carb-centric light bites as well as food with healthy twists (without ruining the fun factor) – something that will surely echo with all the health-conscious millennials.
First up were the Salt and Pepper Chilli Squid (£4.95) – soft, silky squid cooked in light batter which did not feel too heavy on the palette. Upon enquiry, I was told it was made of rice flour.
The Deep Fried Yasai Gyoza (£3.95) were ace; engorged with a delicious but light vegetable filling.
The Korean Hot Wings (£4.50 for two) were the overall winner from the first round – premium jumbo chicken wings, marinated and then triple fried. Each one of them came slathered in fiery, finger-licking sauce. Be sure to keep those wet wipes handy for this one!
We also sampled a spectrum of the Steamed Hirata Buns (£4.50 each) which is their signature offering.
The Bulgogi Beef, Spicy Korean Kimchi, was decent. Here the beef was slightly overshadowed by the strongly fermented kimchi – which is not necessarily a bad thing if you like kimchi.
The B&B Signature Bun (Chicken Karage with Japanese Yuzu Koshu Slaw) was pretty good. The slaw was fresh and had a nice crunch to it.
But the surprise scene-stealer was definitely the Halloumi Katsu, Arugula, Harissa Mayo. Deep-fried halloumi wrapped in a blanket of fresh rocket, tossed in lemon dressing was so sensational that I started harbouring thoughts of giving up meat for good!
Even the sides were top-notch. The humble and bland cucumber was given an exciting makeover in this Smashed Cucumber Salad (£3.50) version with the addition of garlic, scallions and a powerful soy and ginger dressing.
All diet goals were happily put on hold with the arrival of the Cheesy Korean Fries (£4.50). It was everything that you expected from a naughty night-out.
B&B is a place that does seriously awesome food and drinks, but does not take itself too seriously. It is definitely a place to visit with a bunch of mates or on a fun date. For a City location, the prices are pretty compelling and you can easily have an epic night out here without feeling the pinch!
Location: K10, 3 Appold St, London EC2A 2AF
More information can be found here.
N.B. I was invited to review.