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  • Writer's pictureTracy Griffen

Steam Bunny - it’s all about the flavours

Chef Tomasz Smektalski

Carbs! Sometimes all I need is tasty, easy-to-eat hot carbs, and quick. When you’re busy, you don’t want to wait for food, but a supermarket meal deal just doesn’t hit the spot.

The brainchild of Tomasz Smektalski, this unassuming bright orange eatery is tucked away from the bustle of Leith Walk on Jane Street and serves an eclectic selection of brilliant bao buns. 

Tomasz, a seasoned chef with over 17 years’ experience understands what a bao bun should be. Post-pandemic he launched the business from a food truck that still pops up at local events. This steamed delicacy is a mix of flour (Steam Bunny uses two types of flour), yeast, sugar, baking powder, and oil – it’s as soft as a pillow and slightly sweeter than its cousin, the dumpling. 

What makes Steam Bunny even more enticing is its affordability, for three-course meals in the evening.

Vegan Tempeh-filled bao

However, I am here for the bao. I try the vegan tempeh-filled bao, and it is so good that I scoff the lot in record time. I return the next day to order the same and take my husband who samples the breakfast bao (a nicely-cooked breakfast, with bao on the side instead of bread – it works). Once again down the hatch pronto, textures and flavours are above what you’d expect for the price. 

It’s not often one encounters tempeh (fermented soybeans) in Scotland, it’s a staple of Indonesian cuisine and delightfully nutty when cooked correctly. Tempeh is a good source of vegan protein too. There’s an evolving selection of baos for carnivores and veggies alike. The sweet bao is an enigma but syrupy apricot, tart fresh blueberries, and crunchy locally sourced bee pollen prove to be an ingenious combo. 

Microbusinesses are the backbone of Edinburgh’s dining scene but are often scandalously overlooked as the owner is usually too busy cooking to spend the time (and budget) on lavish advertising campaigns. Sometimes the eateries that shout the loudest don’t serve the best food. 

This undiscovered gem won’t be undiscovered for long, so visit whilst it’s hot. As Tomasz says “It’s all about the flavours.” (T. Griffen)

Steam Bunny - 2 Jane Street, Leith, EH6 5HD. No telephone number is listed.


Monday – Thursday 12 pm – 8 pm

Friday – Sunday 10 am – 8 pm

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