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Spinning the idea of a Taiwanese Gua Bao bun, street-food favourite Yum Bun serves clam-shaped steamed buns stuffed with high-quality ingredients, such as pork belly and hoi sin, or ginger salmon and spring onions.

eks why zed designed Yum Bun’s first premises just off Old Street, London. The design process began with the product itself. This cute, handmade delicacy is small and pretty, yet packs a punch of flavour and texture. The centrepiece of the Yum Bun shop is a bar and canopy made from raw pine, a material which complements the steamed buns being served. The shop layout follows the Japanese ‘izakaya’ format, scaled down for the 10m2 floor plate.

An L-shaped counter allows a couple of people to sit at the bar and watch the buns coming together. The floor is laid in honed slate, and glossy pink tiles line the walls. The interior design retains an informal street-food element, with the bar counter constructed with exposed timber stud work. The shop is in place for only 10 months, which allowed experimentation with materials. The bar top was constructed in copper, without a finish, to see how the patina develops over time.

Graphic elements enrich the Yum Bun experience. A new logo launched with the shop; a cute arrangement of rounded letters in the original Yum Bun pink and yellow colours. This logo is christened in neon inside the shop, positioned so it is visible from City Road. Menu items have been cartooned, with labelled ingredients being thrown into the buns. These can be seen on blackboard panels, hanging above the bar, swapped out as new buns are added. We started with a low budget and a small space, and gave Yum Bun a space to (temporarily) call home.

Credits:
Interior design: Rowan Taylor for eks why zed
Graphic design: Ed Taylor for eks why zed
Photography: Rowan Taylor

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