<p>Aaron and Icy Mo, owners of Shoreditch Chinese bakery Ong Ong Buns</p>

Aaron and Icy Mo, owners of Shoreditch Chinese bakery Ong Ong Buns

Owner of ‘searingly honest’ viral London Chinese bakery menu shines light on dyslexia and autism

‘For the first time in almost 40 years, my ‘different’ communication style made people happy,’ Aaron Mo says

Kate Ng
Monday 31 January 2022 13:13
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The owner of a Chinese bakery whose menu item descriptions on Deliveroo went viral last week has opened up about his struggle with dyslexia and autism.

Aaron Mo, one half of the couple behind Ong Ong Buns in Shoreditch, said he had “crippling anxiety” about his writing being seen in public as he had been “made fun of” before.

But his menu item descriptions went viral last week after Twitter user Ed Fear shared them on the social media platform and said he “can’t get enough” of them.

Fear wrote: “Can’t get enough of these searingly honest menu item descriptions from the Chinese bakery near me.”

He shared screenshots of some of the items. Under a listing for Char Siu (BBQ Pork) Bun, Mo wrote: “This bun is filled with Chinese BBQ pork. It is as big as a child’s head but it’s so moorish [sic] people buy two.

“I think it’s overrated and prefer the tuna sweetcorn bun. But you do what you want to do.”

Mo, who runs the bakery with his wife Icy, also wrote under the Turkey Ham and Egg Bun: “This is the halal version of the classic ham and egg bun. It is topped with cheese. I’m not a fan of egg so I don’t recommend it. Yuk. But hey, egg fans are cool too.”

Even a bottle of Diet Coke did not escape his honest opinion, as Mo described it as “slightly meh”.

The tweet was liked by more than 52,800 people and shared hundreds of times as Mo’s writing caught the platform’s attention.

Some previous customers to Ong Ong Buns shared their other hilarious experiences of visiting the bakery, with one person writing: “Omg is this Ong Ong Buns? Went in there and ordered a rose milk tea, and the guy in there basically tried to dissuade me from buying it! It was delicious, tasted like hot Turkish delight.”

In an Instagram post, Mo responded to the viral tweet and wrote: “As a dyslexic with autism, I have crippling anxiety about letting people read my writing.

“Like many dyslexics, people have made fun of my communication style and mistakes (that I cannot see) and spoke to me as a second class colleague, and made me feel useless.”

Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that can cause problems with reading writing and spelling. It’s estimated that one in every 10 people in the UK has some degree of dyslexia.

Mo said that starting Ong Ong Buns and taking over the marketing side of the business was a “nightmare” for him as it meant having a customer-facing role and doing writing tasks.

“However, for the first time in almost 40 years, my ‘different’ communication style made people happy (but not in a cynical way),” Mo continued.

“Even better, haters were making nitpicking comments and people defended me! Thank you, especially Ed Fear.”

Rounding off the wholesome interaction, Fear commented on Mo’s post and said: “I had no idea when I tweeted your *brilliant* Deliveroo listings that it would go so viral, but it’s a sign that people should be reading your writing!

“Never be embarrassed about errors – anyone can fix spelling mistakes, but having a unique point of view and something to say is much, much rarer.”

Mo told The Independent that the overwhelmingly positive response to his writing made him feel good and validated because he used to be reprimanded at his previous job for it.

“This is how I talk to customers in real life, so it’s reflected in the way I write and I’m just glad the public seems to enjoy this honesty you tend not to find in sales,” he said.

“The fact that my honesty and lack of filter wasn’t reprimanded, but in fact embraced and defended in the comments was really encouraging. It was nice to be appreciated.

“I hope people who struggle with similar issues can see that being dyslexic and autistic is not embarrassing and nothing to be ashamed of, and that others will accept it and see that these difficulties are not the notoriously bad things people think they are,” Mo added.

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