This is going to have to be a double wammy review. Why? Because I love this place SO much that I’ve already been twice before having the chance to review my first visit. Since you now already know my 5-star verdict on Bone Daddies’ latest venture, I’m sure you’re interested in finding out what makes Flesh and Buns quite so special.
Let’s start with the name, because whenever I’ve recommended Flesh and Buns to anybody their first response is “flesh and what?”. I’ve searched online to find the most adapt explanation for the Asian-style bun and the two most popular names used are either Taiwanese Gua Bao or Japanese Hirata buns. London is certainly obsessed with these little steamed rice flour buns right now and Flesh and Buns is offering us the opportunity to see what they’re all about.
Hidden along Seven Dials in Covent Garden the underground restaurant takes bookings which is highly recommended at peak times. On both occasions I’ve been sat opposite my dining partner along the rather wide communal table in the centre of the restaurant. The venue boosts loud rock’n’roll music throughout the room so light conversation over dinner does become a bit of a shouting match.
I’m not an experienced sushi eater so I was glad that on my first visit to Flesh and Buns my dining partner could recommend which dishes to try. We ordered the California Rolls, crab, avocado, cucumber to begin which kicked things off to a brilliant start. Beautifully presented, they tasted exquisite!
Although I wanted to order them again on my second visit my brother insisted I try something different this time. I was very glad we did as the Salmon Avocado Rolls, asparagus, daikon cress were equally good!
On both occasions we had to order the Chicken Yakitori, shichimi pepper, because its just oh-my-god sooooo good! The chicken is absolutely mouth watering – juicy, succulant, skewered and grilled.
Everything at Flesh and Buns is best shared – especially as that then means you get the opportunity to try more things! On my first visit we ordered the Crispy Duck Leg for main. Served with sour plum soy (beetroot pickle) your ‘flesh’ comes with lettuce, cucumber, sauce and pickle. The buns have to be ordered separately – two are recommended per person (£2.50 for two).
The slow cooked duck meat, with a crispy skin, was so tender that it fell off the bone. We tore the meat off the bone and begun layering the warm steamed buns with meat, sauce, pickle and lettuce.
On the second occasion we went for the Flat Iron Steak served with BBQ sauce and red onion pickle. Flat iron is probably my favourite cut of steak as its best served medium rare, to get the most of the juicy marbled meat. Although the steak was delicious, I think I preferred the duck with the steamed buns – it just seemed to ‘go’ better.
Now. It’s desert time. Desert has to be my favourite part about Flesh and Buns, actually maybe starters, no desert…
I’d never tried S’more before – but having read a few reviews I knew they’d be something I’d enjoy. Originating from the US and Canada, s’more are a traditional night time campfire treat consisting of roasted marshmallow and a layer of chocolate sandwiched between two pieces of graham cracker.
Flesh and Buns spare no expense to the marshmallow roasting experience by providing a tabletop s’more fire kit. As the waitresses bring them to your table the heads of other diners turn watching the ceramic dish flicker with blue flames.
The marshmallows are served on bamboo sticks with a thin slice of green tea chocolate and two biscuit to sandwich the marshmallow between. Be careful not to let the fire go out when your roasting your marshmallows! They only need to be kept over the flame for about a minute, whilst turning them over to roast them evenly. Once it’s ready place it between the layers and enjoy!
Your sticky fingers now most definitely need a clean up with a nice hot towel brought to your table in a silver bucket. Shortly followed by the bill which was rolled up inside a tiny glass jar. A discretionary service charge of 12.5% is added to all bills.
Both times I’ve visited Flesh and Buns I’ve loved it and I’ve been recommending it to friends since. It has a great atmosphere that’s up beat and social – a good selection of food on the menu and a great dining experience.
ADDRESS: 41, Earlham St, London WC2H 9LX
CONTACT: 020 7632 9500
OPENING TIMES: 12-3pm and 5-10.30pm Monday to Friday and 12-11.30pm Saturday and Sunday