4.0 £25

Flesh & Buns, WC2

Japanese izakaya spot from the chef who brought us Bone Daddies

A short stroll from Covent Garden’s Seven Dials and down some steps in an industrial-style basement space, Flesh & Buns is cavernous but warm and buzzing.

After phoning shortly before and being told they couldn’t reserve us a table we walked in late-ish on a Thursday evening with our fingers crossed and were happy to be given a spot in one of the comfy booths surrounding the restaurant’s never-ending central communal table.

Our waitress (who let me try a couple of different wines before choosing – always a winning move) was the perfect combination of friendly and knowledgeable, talking us through the menu and advising us on the right amount of food to order. Rather than letting us choose too many dishes she assured us we could always ask for more if we were still hungry.

Being a izakaya place, where food is traditionally more an accompaniment to drinks (particularly sake) than the main event, Flesh & Buns’ menu has a good selection of small dishes. We shared a couple: good California rolls (£8.50), which didn’t skimp on the all-important avocado, and chicken yakitori (£4.50) – little skewers spiced with shichimi pepper which were really flavourful and just the right side of hot for a wimp like me. The only complaint was that we were given five pieces of sushi – California rolls aren’t really designed to be cut in half but we managed it, so Mark and I both got our fair share and World War III was avoided.

Then it was time for the main event – the flesh and buns. We’d wavered between flat iron steak, teriyaki salmon and crispy piglet belly, finally deciding on the latter (£14.50). I suppose I can’t say this conclusively without having tried the rest of the flesh options (yet), but I’m pretty sure we made the right decision. Served on the bone, the belly was indeed perfectly crispy, giving way to beautifully tender flakes of meat that, once we’d done a bit of slicing and dicing at our table (it’s served as one piece of belly), were perfect for piling up in the fluffy buns.

The piglet was served with a stack of wafer-thin pickled green apples, adding sweetness, sharpness and crunch to cut through the richness of everything else. Pour over a generous drizzle of the mustard miso sauce and you have yourself a rather lovely self-assembled feast.

By the time we’d polished off the pork (with the aid of a second helping of buns swiftly brought to the table in their bamboo steamer) we were too full for pudding. I soon regretted this though; while we waited for the bill the people next to us were served their wonderfully over-the-top pudding – another self-assembly job, this was Flesh & Buns’ signature s’mores, complete with a little fire (a fire!) right on the table.

I’ll definitely be back soon to sample the cocktails and as much of the rest of the menu as I can – the only challenge will be leaving room for the s’mores next time.

  • Flesh & Buns, WC2
  • Flesh & Buns, WC2
  • Flesh & Buns, WC2
  • Flesh & Buns, WC2
  • Flesh & Buns, WC2

Lively and reasonably priced with gorgeous food and a fab drinks menu Flesh & Buns quite possibly has it all… Not to mention some of the best bathroom wallpaper I’ve seen in London.

Posted in: 4 Star, Central London, Dinner, Japanese, London, Restaurants, Sushi

The Bill

2 Diners
California Roll £8.50
Chicken Yakitori £4.50
Crispy Piglet Belly £14.50
Buns x 2 £2.50 each
Pint of Asahi £4.90
Trebbiano Cantina x 2 £4.30
Total £46.00
Per person £23.00

Contact Info

41 Earlham St,
London WC2H 9LX

020 7632 9500
www.fleshandbuns.com

Square Meal
Flesh and Buns on Urbanspoon

View on map

The Author

Emillie Ruston
2 reviews

Emillie would ideally like to be making her way around the world eating as many meals in as many countries as possible. Until that dream’s a reality there’s plenty of exploring to be done in London (when she’s not forcing her friends to eat the food she’s always cooking at home).

Read Next

LDN

Maison Touareg, W1

The least exciting aspects of Marrakech in the heart of Soho

LDN

Busaba Eathai, EC1

Tasty thai food, a chain worth visiting!

LDN

Bodeans (Soho), W1

Need no teef to eat my beef

LDN

Constolia, N7

Between an Irish pub and a pie shop, Constolia serves up simple, authentic Mediterranean cooking

LDN

Le Mercury Deuxieme, N1

Affordable French cooking in the heart of Islington

LDN

Yum Bun, EC1

Probably the most apt name for a snack joint ever

LDN

Pitt Cue Co. W1

Don't want to queue for 2 hours? Go for lunch! Pitt Cue lives up to the hype.

LDN

Spice Market, W1

Upmarket setup on the edge of Chinatown promises more than it delivers

LDN

Salt Yard, W1

The original Salt Yard Group restaurant has been stripped of it's crown by it's own sisters

BTN

Curry Leaf Cafe @ Temple Bar

South Indian street food outfit pops up to run the kitchen at the new look Temple Bar

LDN

C&R (Bayswater), W2

Hints of authenticity but C&R doesn't quite deliver the real thing

LDN

The Regent, N1

Get off Upper Street and head to this cool pub for one of it's tasty stone baked pizzas