After a successful pop-up above The Owl & Pussycat pub in Shoreditch, Flat Iron has found itself a more permanent home on Beak Street in Soho.
It’s a no reservation restaurant with a downstairs bar and a small ground floor dining room which seats around 30 people. The room is everything you’d expect from a new trendy restaurant with exposed brick walls and a general feeling of shabby chic which seems to work well in the small space. The only thing I wasn’t that keen on was the loud rap music – maybe I’m just getting old!
The most important thing about this restaurant is what they sell (clue is in the name) – flat iron steak and only that. If you’ve never heard of it before it’s a cut of meat from the cow’s shoulder which is totally under used and very cheap to buy.
The menu which was hung on the wall was small and simple – flat iron steak, four steak sauces, chips and a few salads is all that’s on offer.
Whilst we decided whether to go for the steak or the steak, some beef dripping popcorn was brought to the table. It was salty, beefy and delicious. Beef and popcorn works pretty well I’ll have you know.
The risk when somewhere sells only one thing is that it has to be really good – and sadly (even though the steak’s only a tenner) it really didn’t live up to our expectations. The steak, served pre-sliced, was cooked medium rare as requested but we found it to be rather chewy and just a bit boring. It didn’t really have any flavour – our waiter told us the steak had been grilled yet it lacked the smokiness that comes from grilling.
It totally didn’t fill me up either – I left feeling really hungry. I would have ordered myself another one but that would have meant spending £20 and for that money I could go and get a “real” steak from Hawksmoor round the corner.
The peppercorn and bearnaise sauce (£1 each) were both great accompaniments for the steak but we could have done with larger portions of them as we quickly ran out.
The house leaf salad that came with the steak was served in a glass (not sure why) and there was hardly any of it. The tangy wholegrain mustard dressing worked well with the lambs lettuce but I would have rather had a bowl of the stuff.
The beef dripping chips (£2.50) were crunchy and delicious – they were seasoned perfectly and the dripping made them really rich and meaty.
The steak knife looked great – it was a mini meat cleaver. It was fun I’ll give it that but it wasn’t hugely practical as we struggled to get the sauces out of their pots using it.
I didn’t hate my lunch at Flat Iron however I did find it disappointing. As it’s all they sell the steak should be the star of the show but I felt it neither looked nor tasted very impressive at all. I would have rather just had the beef dripping chips and the steak sauces as they were really tasty – the steak wasn’t.