Stepping into Flesh and Buns last week for dinner, I thought I had been transported back to Melbourne for a moment. This modern Asian restaurant has such an urban-cool-feel (which is escalated by its underground location) that I was sure I must have been in a Flinders St back alley. I wasn’t – you’ll find this place in Seven Dials near Covent Garden where the cobblestoned alleys are also pretty cool.
I stumbled across this restaurant after doing some Googling for a fun dinner place with a fellow Aussie expat. When I started mentioning my choice to my housemates and was greeted with very positive nods and smiles I figured I had chosen the right spot – we were all right.
Step inside and you’re greeted by what can only be called an urban-oriental bunker. On a Wednesday at 8pm this place was absoutely packed so I can only image what it looks like on a weekend. We sat for a drink at the bar while our table was prepped, before pulling up a chair at a communal bench table which seats over 30 people - there are also booths and singular tables available if you are more than a pair. With a tinder date to our left and an obnoxious American to our right, we sipped our wines and checked out the menu which immediately had my mouth watering. We’re talking all the Asian classics with a modern twist – miso, edamame, sushis, ceviche, Korean wings, and of course their pièce de résistance; a selection of “flesh and buns”. Simply choose your flesh; chicken, pork, duck or various steaks, add some steamed buns and you’re set.
We had the edamame, salmon avocado sushi, salt and pepper calimari and the duck with two servings of buns. Everything was delicious and whilst very filling it wasn’t the kind of food to make you feel like you need to be rolled out of the restaurant. The flesh and buns was definitely my favourite – the duck is served with hoisin, pickled beetroot and salad so you can make up a nice little bun to devour. By London standards prices are fair although when I compare it to Australia I still feel like I’m being robbed. I suppose with the lifestyle that this city offers though I can’t complain.
I simply must return for dessert; they give you your own fire to roast mashmellows and make smores. Just when you think these restaurants can’t up the ante anymore, they drizzle it in hoisin sauce and take it to the next level. 5/5
Where: 41 Earlham Street, London WC2H 9LX
Phone: 020 7632 9500