On paper, Flesh & Buns is an Izakaya (a casual Japanese drinking joint). In reality, food is the focus, with its open kitchen and brilliantly original signature dish.
The Bone Daddies crew opened Flesh & Buns a few weeks ago. It sounded like my kind of restaurant, so I popped along for lunch last Friday and was impressed from the start. Firstly, I could book, and secondly, the Manager took my friend’s nut allergy very seriously, even producing her own ‘nut free’ menu.
Our waitress was equally helpful, enthusiastically taking us through the menu without making us feel harassed. She explained how most dishes should be shared, even the ‘flesh & buns’ we couldn’t wait to get our hands on.
As sustenance, we munched on warm, salted Edaname (£3.50) and wonderful Fried Squid from the list of hot ‘small dishes’ (£6.50). The squid crunched in our mouths like popcorn, exposing tender, peppery meat, livened up with a squeeze of lime.
The ‘flesh & buns’ came in four parts. Salmon Teriyaki (our choice of ‘flesh’ at £13), two buns each, a bowl of salad and a dish of sauce.
We were shown how to flake the glistening salmon, before adding it to the fluffy bun with a strip of cucumber, lettuce and a drizzle of sauce.
I could have eaten the lot, but might have felt differently if we’d ordered heavy Braised Pork Belly or Flat Iron Steak. Either way, it was a delightful sandwich of flavour, with sweet, tender meat and fresh salad bits.
Our waitress was also a mind reader, producing two hot towels just as I noticed how fishy my hands smelt. Freshening up gave us time to decide on dessert – S’More to share (£8).
The Flesh & Buns slogan should be ‘get your hands dirty’ (not that that’s a bad thing). We toasted our marshmallows over a naked flame, before making a biscuit sandwich, complete with bright green miso chocolate and our lovely, melted marshmallow.
Flesh & Buns gets my vote and a LLE Rating of 8.5 / 10. I had to stop myself going again that evening (it seemed excessive), but I’ll be back soon to devour more of them flesh & buns.
Flesh & Buns, 41 Earlham St, London WC2H 9LX