On Friday evening we were trying to decide what we were going to do for dinner when we saw a tweet that Bun & Bowl, a new restaurant in The Cube, had opened its doors. The obvious choice then! It opened with little fanfare but we’re told they wanted a soft launch ahead of a more publicised opening in a week or two. It has the same owners as Rodizio Rico and the new coffee shop Madeleine. The Cube is fast becoming a new foodie destination with these three venues side by side, the Teppanyaki restaurant moving from The Mailbox during refurbishment, and soon a new Indian restaurant & Cocktail bar.
A bit like London’s Burger & Lobster the concept at Bun & Bowl is very simple. You can have a burger, or a bowl of shrimp (although I would refer to them as King Prawns). There are deviations on what kind of burger you have, and what sauce you have with your shrimp, but that’s your lot other than three salads. We ordered pricey pints of Budweiser (£4.70) while we made our selection from the leather bound menu. There is an attractive cocktail bar, which has a list of classic cocktails which seem to be reasonably priced.
There are some small starter type dishes although this doesn’t seem to be a “3-courser” restaurant. We shared some hummus which came with pitta and cucumber. I ordered the Asian style shrimp dish (£12), with ginger, lemongrass, and spring onion. The shrimp dishes come with bread to dip in the sauce, although on opening night I had slices of bread rather than the promised home baked white role. Nonetheless, the bread was tasty, although perhaps a little at odds with Asian flavours? That dish would have suited noodles better in my opinion. The flavour was very good. The shrimp are served shelled but with the tail on, which if I’m honest is a bit of a faff as they’re in the sauce. I found myself trying to remove the tails with my teeth to avoid getting covered in the liquor. They could do with providing finger bowls to freshen up. It wasn’t a very hearty dish and I’m glad we shared some crispy sweet potato fries on the side (£3.50).
The other dish we tried was the sliders (£12), these American treats – small beef burgers – are becoming more and more popular in the UK. At Bun & Bowl the sliders are three mini beef-burgers, one “classic” and two of your choosing. We went for the pulled beef-rib burger and the mushroom burger. The pulled rib burger was particularly tasty, but all were cooked to just medium, and were succulent. They were served on light sesame-seeded brioche buns. Sides are ordered separately.
We were customers number two and three, and we would rarely review somewhere so soon, about an hour, after opening. The staff and kitchen will need to bed in, and tweaks made to dishes to make the restaurant work. I look forward to going back once it’s been open a few weeks to see the proper finished article.