A collaboration of the Real Chow Baby’s Mike Blum, Miso Izakaya’s Guy Wong, and executive chef Chris Lee, Yum Bunz opens today at 935 Marietta Street on the Westside. Originally slated to open this past February, Yum Bunz serves dim sum dishes like bao—steamed yeast dough buns with vegetables or meat—in a fast-casual format.
“It took two-and-a-half years to get this concept off the ground,” Blum says. “It will be fun to see Atlantans get an item you can’t find anywhere else except Wow Bao [in Chicago]. Our bao are totally different than the bao on Buford Highway.”
With more than 100 seats in a brightly lit, shotgun-style space with street-side windows and colorful black, white, and red murals on the walls, Yum Bunz offers everything from Asian soups and salads to dumplings, wraps, and meat-vegetable-rice bowls. There are communal (indoor) picnic benches, plus booths and tables, and everything is made from scratch.
Vegetarian and gluten-free items are available, and beverage options include Thai coffee and tea. Asian beer, wine, sake, and a mango and kaffir lime frozen margarita will also be available—once the liquor license comes through.
Highlights from the menu include yellow curry chicken bao, pork and chive dumplings, and chili sesame noodle salad. There is a special ssam, or rice paper wrap, of the day—something Blum says out isn’t available elsewhere in the city. “It’s like an oversized, chilled Asian burrito,” he says.
A chalkboard-covered wall displays weekly specials under the regular menu. Opening specials include a green chile bao, a green bean kimchi side, and a “jungle curry” bowl—which Blum describes as “similar to panang but with more spices and vegetables.” There’s even a peaches and cream dessert bao.