Flesh and Buns – London WC2H
September 5, 2013 § Leave a comment
Get involved at this Izakaya style basement den – the food exceeds expectations – it’s fun and really rather finger-licking good.
Flesh and Buns is the newest venture from the guys behind Bone Daddies (which serves super ramen for those who don’t know). Located in a basement in Seven Dials, it is very easy to walk past, as both my fellow diners soon discovered. A hint, look for the massive sign for Flesh and Buns on Earlham St.
The venue is filled with sharing tables wrapped around bunker seating, a scattering of round tables and one long, tall counter top table, which I think is certainly the preference if there’s only two of you. As we were a three, we squeezed into a bunker, ordered some toxic looking cocktails, some ‘Chips and Dips: Rice crackers, avocado shiso and tomato jalapeño‘ (£6) and got stuck into the menu, which is fairly straightforward, until you hit the mains section, which is where the fun really begins.
We shared small plates of ‘Fried Squid, Japanese Pepper, Lime‘ (£6.5), ‘Soft Shell Crab, Jalapeno Mayo’ (£9.5) and ‘Grilled Corn with Lime Spice Butter’(£4.5) – all fine, though nothing particularly special. There is some sushi on the menu but I’m making the Japan Centre my regular luncheon spot so we moved straight onto mains – Flesh and Buns.
You choose from a dozen or so ‘flesh’ options – ‘Braised Pork Belly‘ (£14), ‘Salmon Teriyaki‘ (£13), ‘Crispy Duck Leg‘ (£14) or ‘Lamb Chops‘ (£24) to name a few. All are cooked until deliciously soft – perfect for pulling apart and sandwiching between soft and sticky hirata steamed buns (along with some lettuce leaves, cucumber slices, pickles and sauce in any combination that you so desire). Delicious. The salmon teriyaki was my standout dish – perfectly grilled with soft, flakey flesh, flavoured with the sweet and saltiness of the teriyaki sauce.
Here is where our meal, sadly, ended for we had enjoyed so much already that to even thing about desserts was uncomfortable. But, unusually for a Japanese restaurant, the desserts are supposedly outstanding – I have heard nothing but gooey good things about the ‘S’Mores‘ (£8) – your classic fireside-camping snack brought to your table, served with flaming coals! Maybe not high-end fine dining, but as with much of the rest of the menu, it’s playful and unique.
Flesh and Buns is a fun take on the current craze of fast food fashion. It’s noisy and kinda messy and needs to be approached with a bit of a ‘can-do’ attitude. But the results are truly delicious.