I’m obsessed with Bao buns. I have been ever since my best friend introduced me to them a year ago. I can never turn away from them when I see them in food markets or if I’m down in China Town. Now, the Spice Market in the W Hotel is giving the street-food favourite a rather luxury rework with a Barley & Buns pop-up this Christmas.

Open until the 18th December 2015, you can tuck into a fluffy range of Taiwanese bao-style buns, paired to perfection with beer cocktails and craft beer.

Side note: I hate beer, but these cocktails are probably the best cocktails I have ever had, I didn’t expect to like them but the Ginger Shandy is a dream.

Giving the humble bun an upmarket makeover, the buns are generously filled with incredible Spice Market-inspired fusion flavours, including succulent soy glazed short rib, apple and jalapeno; crispy soft shell crab bun with Asian slaw and sriracha; and Malaysian vegetable, crispy garlic, ginger and sweet soy - I recommend paying the crab bun particular attention!

You can check out the full menu here, or check out the specials below:

Lunch Special
2 buns + 1 side + home-made soda for £16.50
Every day from 12pm to 3pm
Pre-theatre Special
2 buns + 1 side + 1 Barley cocktail for £19.95
Every day from 5pm to 6:30pm
Happy Hour
Buy 1 Barley cocktail get one free
From Sunday to Thursday 5pm to 7pm
Evening Special
1 Barley cocktail pitcher and 5 free mini-buns for £45
Every day from 5pm


For more information or to reserve:
Book your table online
+44 207 758 1088
[email protected]
 Closest stations: Piccadilly Circus/Leicester Square


Written by Neil Thornton
London-based coffee drinker. Editor by day, blogger by whatever time he finds spare.