Securing a snug spot in the squiggle of cafes and restaurants at SDA Market is Between Buns, braced to charm with everything that it packs in-between. And there is plenty — from fish schnitzel to tenderloin piccata, pulled pork, grilled chicken and tuna, salmon and ham, to scrambled eggs, eggplant and mushrooms, fitting perfectly between slices of bread, of assorted variety, baked freshly in their basement. Sparse and elegant, perked up with pops of blue and yellow upholstery, the décor is simple. The industrial detailing belies the finesse achieved on the plate – some dishes come with the fancy flourish of microgreens.
Given the name, it is easy to assume that the best comes in a bun but there is much to discover in the salads, bar bites and dessert sections that are loaded with off-centre interpretations of well-liked dishes. For instance, their imaginative take on the precious jewel of the breakfast crown — Scotch Eggs. A doughnut of pork mince holds in its cavity a silky yolk cooked to a perfect near-runniness with a side of house salad with splashes of lemon molasses that add depth to what is already a dish of well-seasoned complexity. Soft meets crunchy while creamy flirts with tang in the sesame-crusted blue fin tuna salad mantled in avocado salsa and lemon juice — that go a long way in adding further interest to the dish, giving it a burst of summery freshness. Since booze isn’t an option at the restaurant yet, sweet and salted lime soda — done just right — and a Vietnamese brew by Sleepy Owl can be relied upon to give the food company.
The mainstay of the restaurant is the burger. While they have a range that can leave one spoiled for choice, there is the option to devise one’s own platter of three small buns. The Truffle Mac-n-Cheese Burger with cocktail sauce and mustard cheese fondue iterates that good burgers don’t always have to be meaty but when they are, as with the Fish Schnitzel Burger with tapenade mayo and guacamole, and the Grilled Lamb Burger with mature cheddar, they tend to be powerhouses of flavour. Between Buns also has a large “Pressed in the Bread” section. The Slow Roast Pastrami Cubano — generously stuffed with smokey and salty pulled pork, the ciabatta bread is plated with a sider of crackling chips — deep fried pork scratchings. Theirs are easily the best in the city.
This restaurant is a pork lover’s paradise, especially as the meat can be found in the dessert section too. Their take on the subversive bacon ice-cream, British chef Heston Blumenthal’s signature dish that he serves with tomato jam, French toast and jellied Earl Grey, comes without the frills but leaves behind sugary tones of smoked bacon.
This fast-food with a gourmet flair, New York-leaning, casual-dining space makes for a great hangout. For what it’s worth, this reporter has visited the restaurant thrice in a span of 10 days.