I’ve been in London for the past few days with work, and one of my colleagues had harped on about Flat Iron Steakhouse for so long that when we were finished our long day of talks, and battled the tube on Wednesday we had definitely worked up an appetite for one. I’d never been before, but I love a good steak so was excited to try it out.
I went along with only Liam’s recommendation to go off, I’d never heard of it before, being unique to London, and I’d had no time to take a look at the place online either. We chose the Carnaby branch, on Beak Street, but there are five in total scattered across London for you to choose from.
We must have arrived at 6pm, and were lucky to be given the last spot. The restaurant was tiny, with about four large picnic benches pushed against the exposed brick wall, an industrial lamp above our heads, and a large paper menu clipped to the wall next to each table. It was pretty cool, and reminded me very much of a BBQ and meat place I went to in New York. It was simple, industrial, but really had a character.
Depending on your group size, you could be sharing your table with other people, each one sits eight. There were three of us, and we made up the end of a table already occupied by two girls. There was one other round table in the corner, under the wine shelves.
Our waiter came over and explained the concept, the steak itself, at a straight price of £10, by default comes cooked medium rare, but they’re happy to alter this to your preference. They just believe steak is best cooked juicy, and I agree so was quite happy to have it how it comes. In addition to your steak, you choose a side of dripping chips, creamed spinach, market greens, a salad, or roast aubergine. Then you pick your sauce – bernaise, horseradish cream, peppercorn or ‘Fred’s sauce’. We all went for the same order, steak, chips, and bernaise sauce.
The drinks menu is pretty small, but it’s a no fuss place and it matches the menu. I went for a cider, and then spotted the Fentimens soft drinks on the menu too so ordered a Rose Lemonade as well. While you wait for your food, there’s popcorn to pick at on the table.
Our food arrived within minutes, on a chunky flat iron board. I think it’s the fastest steak I’ve ever been served, but I suppose that is literally all they make – steak after steak. One of the best things about this place, are the steak knives. Chunky, big, flat iron meat cleavers! They’re iconic to the restaurants, and are even used in decorations on the walls, not that you really need them for the meat, which was sliced and so tender.
All of the food, steak, sides and the side salad pot of greens were really amazing. Top quality steak I think we could all have ate again.
I can see why the place gets so busy! The queue by this time was out the door and lining the street and they were taking phone numbers to text people when a table was free. They don’t take reservations so it’s first come first served.
We polished it off and washed it down with our drinks. The whole thing was so satisfying after being so hungry.
I have to mention the waiter’s, who were great, he knew all about the various meat cuts, and the sauces and dressings. They were happy to talk you through the specific beers. ciders and wines as well, and they were all dressed in butchers aprons.
I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience, and I’m confident that any meat lover would. The bill came to no more than £20 per person, with service charge included. For steak of that quality, served that quickly in a chic little environment you can’t say fairer than that.
If you’re ever in London I would definitely recommend finding a Flat Iron steakhouse, especially if you can get there early, I caught a glimpse of the list of phone numbers waiting for texts as we left and it was onto the second page.
2 in Soho – Beak St and Denmark St
Henrietta St in Covent Garden
Curtain Road, Shoreditch
Enjoy – meat lovers! Liam – great choice well done.