Bun House and Tea Room, London, UK
A few months after opening Bun House upstairs, husband and wife team Z He and Alex Peffly have opened Tea Room in the basement of the former Moroccan restaurant and hookah joint Maison Toureg in London’s Soho quarter.
Both spaces – designed by He’s interiors studio Five Line Projects – are inspired by the classic cha chan tangs of 1960s Hong Kong: invariably, heaving, atmospheric cafés that are open at all hours, and feed a quickly rotating roster of customers with homey Cantonese fare.
Whilst Bun House is a nostalgic mélange of glazed ceramic garden stools and dark wood carpentry and serves the titular buns alongside Chinese street snacks, down a deep green stairwell, Tea Room frames its menu of lethal cocktails and Cantonese fare against a more noir backdrop of rattan furniture by Sika Design, exposed brick, brass and velvet drapes.
Head chef Zhang Chenquan’s menu is a particularly interesting mix of traditional fare, zhooshed up as sharing plates for Millennial Londoners – to whit, Oolong-smoked quail, claypot rice and tea eggs – all washed down with organic Lapsang Souchong and pu-er, or, if you’re feeling particularly daring, bartender Franky Rodrigues’ baijiu infused with toasted maple, five spice syrup and smoked pear.