First look at new Bun Box stall on Norwich Market
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019
The popular Japanese-inspired eatery is now four times bigger - with seating.
Two-and-a-half years ago chef Tim Irvine set up Bun Box on Norwich's award-winning market, hoping to share his passion for Japanese cuisine with the city's growing foodie audience. "I didn't feel there was a lot like what I was doing in Norfolk when I started, so that was the driving force for opening," Tim says. "We went to Japan and travelled there a bit. The amount of street food and quick, convenient dishes struck me. Especially in cities like Tokyo and the busy train stations - how they could produce such a lovely quality of food so efficiently. That's what I wanted to do. To offer lovely Japanese dishes but quickly so people don't have to stand around on their lunch break."
Diners lapped up his bowls of katsu and gyoza dumplings, making the stall a go-to destination. And so popular that he's had to expand the operation. Bun Box has moved from stall 23, to stalls 72, 73, 82 and 83- the former location of RS Bakers - where there is seating all around (great news for fans as it's not easy to eat curry on the go).
"We were really limited with what we could do before, with regards to how much space we had to prep, store and cook, but having more space and a bigger stall will allow us to do lots of new dishes."
So, in addition to that delicious katsu curry (all made from scratch, including the sauce), and dim sum, you'll be able to get your greedy mitts on a new sweet potato croquette katsu curry, vegetable sushi, and an expanded range of dumplings - hand made every day.
"We're really excited to be able to do bento boxes. Those are ready to go hot and cold meals with a selection of bits in there. We'll have things like teriyaki salmon with some rice and salad bits and pickles, and garnishes like sesame green beans. Another might have a type of Japanese rolled omelette - tamagoyaki - or sesame chicken."
Extra space means Tim can up his game when it comes to pickles - expect to find the counter eventually brimming with his creations. And he's thinking about sweet dishes too.
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"We might start doing these Japanese style pancakes. They have a kind of custard or red bean filling. And there's a Japanese roll cake, like a Swiss roll, but with a really fluffy sponge filed with whipped cream and fresh fruit. There's so much we can do here."
There are hopes Bun Box will have a licence in the future, enabling Tim to sell wine, beers, sake and spirits.
And, in warmer weather, he'd like to be able to have extended opening hours some evenings too.