Many of us have tried (and spectacularly failed) to recreate recipes from cookery books, but few of us have launched an award-winning business as a result.
When her brother returned from a trip to New York in 2010, armed with Michelin-starred chef David Chang’s Momofuku cookbook, Lisa Meyer decided to test out his legendary Chinese pork bun recipe on her housemates. An accomplished home cook, her buns turned out to be so good, she decided to sell them in the Broadway Market schoolyard.
Fast forward to 2014, and fans of Lisa’s ‘gua bao’ now extend to Chiltern Firehouse chef Nuno Mendes, who used to visit her East London stall with his family every week. Having been officially recognised at the 2012 Street Food awards (scooping the ‘People’s Choice’ award); Yum Bun are now firmly placed in the street food scene, with queues regularly snaking around the block.
It hasn’t been an easy ride by any means. As Lisa acknowledges: “It does tend to take over your life! Your working hours flip; summer Saturdays aren't so much spent lazing in a park, but smashing out buns in one. Thankfully the lifestyle and the people around street food make up for a lot of this.”
Kneading all her dough buns by hand, Lisa then steams them in an industrial steamer before filling them with slow-roasted pork belly, cucumbers, spring onions and hoisin sauce. Other buns on the menu include: Crispy Tofu with pickled mustard greens and crispy garlic; Spicy Beef Rendang and Roast Duck with tamarind.
Described by The London Review of Sandwiches’ Helen Graves as “a cloud-like bundle of pure pillowy heaven”, a Yum Bun is a street food dish every visitor to Model Market should try at least once.
Photos 1 Al de Perez Photo by Giulia Mulè.
Model Market is open every Friday and Saturday 20/21 June to 26/27 September, from 5pm-1am. Click here for more details.
Making shit happen and bringing the vibes.
So far no deaths or arrests.