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Square Meal Review of Flesh & Buns ?

It’s fair to say F&B is a Marmite restaurant: you’ll love it or hate it. Detractors dub the place an “overhyped concept”, with noise levels “so high that we couldn’t hear each other think” and “less elbow room than Wagamama”. While fans say: “This is exactly what London needs more of… laid-back with affordable, fun food and a creative menu.” Either way, the izakaya-style basement joint from Aussie chef Ross Shonhan of Bone Daddies fame attracts a buzzing crowd and is packed most nights. The main event is flesh (think crispy piglet belly, Wagyu steak or fried mackerel) and pillowy steamed hirata buns, built DIY-style. But the varied menu also runs to flappingly fresh sashimi and sushi rolls, flame-hot Korean fried wings in an addictive spicy-sour sauce and crisp soft-shell crab with jalapeño mayo. Cocktails are worth a punt, and the toasted marshmallow s’mores dessert is a firm favourite.

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  1. Published : Thursday, 12 September 2013

    The Celeriac :: Flesh and Buns, Covent Garden

    Fancy Japanese food with a side order of deafening rock music? Head to Flesh and Buns, a brand new and very edgy eatery in Covent Garden. The man behind the madness is Ross Shonhan, who is also responsible for rock and roll ramen restaurant Bone Daddies. His latest offering has done the impossible in London – by creating something totally unique, that really works!...
    More from The Celeriac »

  1. It took a while for me to spot the place, on the black wooden door the tongue in cheek name “Flesh and Buns” text painted with the very familiar logo also used for “Bones Daddies”. The 150-seat Izakaya-style restaurant situated below street level is a lot bigger then bone daddies...
    More from The Food Connoisseur »

  1. Published : Tuesday, 3 September 2013

    little swallow : china doll :: Flesh & Buns, Covent Garden

    Bloggers all over London have been raving about Flesh & Buns, so of course we had to go check out what all the fuss was about. I fell in love with hirata buns at Momofuku in NYC so I was pretty damn excited for the main course.

    Steaming buns are served up to your table for you to stuff full of whatever meat takes your fancy...
    More from little swallow : china doll »

  1. Published : Thursday, 5 September 2013

    Agent Restauranteur :: Flesh and Buns – London WC2H

    Flesh and Buns is the newest venture from the guys behind Bone Daddies (which serves super ramen for those who don’t know). Located in a basement in Seven Dials, it is very easy to walk past, as both my fellow diners soon discovered. A hint, look for the massive sign for Flesh and Buns on Earlham St...
    More from Agent Restauranteur »

  1. Published : Tuesday, 22 July 2014

    TRUsocial :: More buns...

    I am finding myself ever more determined to make my London lunchtimes a little more exhilarating than the oh too frequent practice of scoffing infront of my inbox, clumsily typing nonsense with one finger, while neglecting the food cascading down my almost-smart-but-quite-acceptable office attire. So, off we trot for the second time this month (whatever will we do with ourselves!), Flesh & Buns, which from the outset could've been a bad decision because it's a basement eatery with no windows (not necessarily great in summer, but perfectly ambient in the autumn/winter nights no doubt though)...oops!

    Located...
    More from TRUsocial »

  1. Published : Wednesday, 30 April 2014

    KOJO London :: CHEAP EATS PART I

    I set myself a task of visiting London's 'value-for-money' restaurants and seeing if that phrase actually is upholded for the quality of food being served. This is going to be the first of three cheap eats marathons so wait anxiously for the release of the next few posts!To be honest, this idea came as a slight relief because anyone living in London knows how expensive everything is and it would be nice to have a heavy wallet for a change. The great thing is two of these restauarants are actually a 3 minute walk apart! Lets start off with:Princi I've been thinking about visiting Princi for a while and the opportunity...
    More from KOJO London »

  1. Have been meaning to try Flesh & Buns for ages but somehow had not managed to. We were seeing Skylight, the new play with Bill Nighy and wanted something close and casual and Flesh & Buns was a great spot for a quick and delicious pre cultural immersion meal...
    More from Sam Stewart Etc »

  1. Flesh and Buns is the latest Izakaya restaurant by the people from Bone Daddies, the successful ramen restaurant founded by chef Ross Shonhan who previously worked at Nobu and Zuma. The concept of Flesh and Buns centres around hirata buns, folded steamed buns commonly filled with pork. Here, you have a choice of different fillings, all of which are accompanied by salad, a sauce and pickles. You create your own buns here, filling them however you wish. And as a precursor to the buns, there are also a choice of raw dishes, snacks and small dishes.
    Flesh and Buns has a common appeal. Not only is its concept of ‘flesh...
    More from A Girl Has to Eat - Restaurant Reviews & Food Guide »

  1. Published : Wednesday, 14 May 2014

    The Hungry Porker :: Flesh and Buns

    Located in the touristy maze of Seven Dials, I had heard more about the toilets at Flesh and Buns than the food. All I knew was that it was from the same guys behind Bone Daddies, my favourite ramen joint right in the heart of Soho. If Bone Daddies soothes hangovers with its steaming bowls of molten porky bones, then Flesh and Buns is the cause of those hangovers with its fiery Asian junk food that go perfectly with plenty of pints of ice cold Asahi.

    Set in a dim basement with raw walls this won’t be for everybody. It opened right in the middle of this paired back back, industrial (oh how very New York) trend...
    More from The Hungry Porker »

  1. Published : Sunday, 12 January 2014

    The Hedonist :: Flesh & Buns – Review

    In a bare industrial basement near Covent Garden’s Seven Dials is Ross Shohan’s latest restaurant Flesh & Buns. Shohan was head chef at Nobu and more recently opened Bone Daddies, Soho’s hippest Ramen joint (Japanese noodles for the uninitiated)-but his new place specialises in Hirata. …OK don’t all put your hands up at once…Hirata are Taiwanese buns which you stuff with some salad, some meat or fish and some sauce. And that’s about that for the mains...
    More from The Hedonist »

  1. Flesh and Buns is the latest Izakaya restaurant by the people from Bone Daddies, the successful ramen restaurant founded by chef Ross Shonhan who previously worked at Nobu and Zuma. The concept of Flesh and Buns centres around hirata buns, folded steamed buns commonly filled with pork. Here, you have a choice of different fillings, all of which are accompanied by salad, a sauce and pickles. You create your own buns here, filling them however you wish. And as a precursor to the buns, there are also a choice of raw dishes, snacks and small dishes...
    More from A Girl Has to Eat - Restaurant Reviews & Food Guide »

  1. Published : Friday, 9 August 2013

    Samphire and Salsify :: Flesh and Buns

    Flesh and Buns is a new Japanese restaurant in Covent Garden and is the creation of Ross Shonan who also owns Bone Daddies ramen bar in Soho. It’s based on the Japanese Izakayas (I’ve never heard of them either) which are bars that serve food to accompany the drinks – which are really popular in Japan apparently...
    More from Samphire and Salsify »

  1. Published : Monday, 3 March 2014

    Sybaricious :: Flesh and Buns

    Flesh and Buns. It sounds rather sordid before you even arrive doesn't it?  Carnal cuisine. Descending down a staircase beneath a projector screen of manga cartoons you enter through red doors to a buzzy underground room where excess seems to be the order of the day. At one end of the long narrow hangar of a restaurant is a bar with Asahi on tap and row upon row of sake. At the other is the kitchen, open to the floor and populated by an array of generally rather tasty chefs churning out plate upon plate of glistening meat and steaming sweet hirata buns. in between the two sits a long high canteen style table populated...
    More from Sybaricious »

  1. Published : Thursday, 5 December 2013

    Saying it straight :: Flesh and Buns.

    Flesh and Buns. It wouldn’t be my first choice for a restaurant name. Or even my last. Had I not known it was the sister restaurant to the very lovely Bone Daddies, the Soho noodle bar, I wouldn’t have given it a second look. But having had one of the very best bowls of noodles that I have ever had in my whole life ever ever, (honestly, you must try it, even though you might feel ridiculous amongst all those youthful beards), I was prepared to overlook the irritating name. Almost. It alienates me, frankly and I feel stupid saying it to people...
    More from Saying it straight »

  1. Published : Monday, 3 March 2014

    Sybaricious :: Flesh and Buns

    Flesh and Buns. It sounds rather sordid before you even arrive doesn't it?  Carnal cuisine. Descending down a staircase beneath a projector screen of manga cartoons you enter through red doors to a buzzy underground room where excess seems to be the order of the day. At one end of the long narrow hangar of a restaurant is a bar with Asahi on tap and row upon row of sake. At the other is the kitchen, open to the floor and populated by an array of generally rather tasty chefs churning out plate upon plate of glistening meat and steaming sweet hirata buns. in between the two sits a long high canteen style table populated...
    More from Sybaricious »

  1. Gua bao, or hirata buns if you will, have received a lot of attention due to the launch of Flesh and Buns. This Covent Garden restaurant is from the people behind ramen joint Bone Daddies, but it isn’t the first London eatery to serve gua bao; nor is it the best either. I’ve spent the past couple weeks hunting down every gua bao in London searching for the perfect combination of soft, fluffy, slightly chewy buns filled with moist, fatty, flavoursome meat...
    More from The Picky Glutton »

  1. Published : Thursday, 17 October 2013

    Drifting Epicure :: Flesh & Buns

    “Dear child has many names” is a Swedish saying that fits perfectly for Gua bao. Also known as Hirata bun in English it can be called 割包, 刈包 or 掛包 in Chinese. My favourite though is 虎咬豬, simply translating into ‘tiger eats pig’ because of the shape of the bun (often) with pork as filling.

    This Taiwanese dish entered the London food scene not too long ago and to my understanding been quite well received. I have only tried it once before in London at Yum Bun which is more of a take away place with a few seats by the windows. This weekend I decided to give Flesh & Buns a go with a friend. It’s founded by the...
    More from Drifting Epicure »

  1. Published : Monday, 10 February 2014

    Wrap Your Lips Around This :: Flesh and Buns

    A little playground humour is always appreciated, and so the explicitly named Flesh and Buns has a certain titillating appeal. This is not enough, however, to warrant a visit. In fact a restaurant thus titled seems less likely to be of any value on the food front, when the tone is already set for sensationalism and flippancy. The fear of being at risk of a gimmick is overridden, however, when the legend of a certain dessert makes itself known to me.

    This dessert of promised pleasure involves fire and my undivided attention. Its name is simply the s’more, and it consists of marshmallow lollipops held over...
    More from Wrap Your Lips Around This »

  1. this is somewhere that almost became my favourite restaurant before i'd even been. you know that feeling? where you just know as soon as you get there that you're going to want the whole menu? i'm absolutely enamored by japanese and chinese inspired cuisine, so as soon as i saw these steamed buns all over instagram i instantly knew i needed to try them. i realise these have probably been all over the place in the big smoke but coming from a little leicestershire town it's a real treat for me.

    i was down in london this week, luckily a couple of days before my birthday, and so it was the perfect excuse for...
    More from emily's recipes and reviews »

  1. Published : Friday, 31 January 2014

    S.W. Foodie :: Flesh and Buns - Sushi, Hirata and s

    So, recently I have been craving clean, lean and healthy foods... what better way to kick this than to find a restaurant where flesh is their name and meat is their game.

    Flesh and Buns is the baby sister to that of incredibly successful tummy warming Bone Baddies whose Tonkotsu is one of the best I've eaten. Knowing this, I was definitely in for a treat in a whole other dimension...
    More from S.W. Foodie »

  1. Flesh and Buns is the new offering from those clever people behind Bone Daddies. Having taken the ramen world by storm, they have now decided to introduce London to the joys of Izakaya dining. What, you've never heard of Izakaya? Really? Neither had I. But, given that it is essentially Japan's answer to a pint of bitter and scampi fries (with the bitter replaced by sake and the scampi by sushi), I thought it was something I should explore.

    The restaurant is gigantic, a large high table stretching all the way down the middle. Think Wagamama, but much, much cooler. The menu is made up of snacks, small hot...
    More from Dinnerathon. »

  1. Our visit to Flesh & Buns was much better than expected. Flesh & Buns hits the spot when it comes to Asian soul food. All the dishes we tried during our visit were very good and their pork belly in a bun was uber-sumptuous. For once, the hype surrounding a restaurant is real and fully justified...
    More from FoodiesOnTheProwl FoodiesOnTheProwl »

  1. Published : Monday, 12 August 2013

    wetrykai :: Flesh and Buns - Here come the Hirata

    Located just off Seven Dials, Flesh and Buns (the sister restaurant of the ever-popular ramen restaurant Bone Daddies) is set to become a permanent fixture in the London food culture offering to be the dealer for all us current and future bun addicts. As I headed underground (after the massive painted doors assured me I’d arrived at the correct location) and got shown to my place at the long table, I couldn’t help but get caught up in the lively atmosphere. The music was pumping; the service was friendly and prompt; all key ingredients for a good time. Now I just had to hope the food came to the party. Well, it not...
    More from wetrykai »

  1. Since hearing that chef proprietor of Bone Daddies, Ross Shonhan, was opening up a new Japanese izakaya-style restaurant in Covent Garden, I knew I had to be there in a heartbeat.

    Although I haven’t yet managed to try the ever so famous Bone Daddies, Flesh & Buns is conveniently placed in Covent Garden, just around the corner from where I work...
    More from Ramblings of a Food Addict »

  1. Published : Sunday, 18 August 2013

    SamTheFoodFan :: Flesh & Buns

    From the same people that brought us Bone Daddies Ramen Bar (read my review here), comes the new Japanese Izakaya Flesh & Buns. For those wondering what the heck an Izakaya is, Wikipedia explains it here. Situated in the heart of Covent Garden, the new restaurant is a huge space with a large communal table in the centre, booths on the outsides and smaller tables in between.
    Bestie and I were seated at the long communal table in the centre, I was initially a little disappointed because straight away it reminded me of that other Japanese chain, Wagamama. But thankfully that is where the similarity ends. It took...
    More from SamTheFoodFan »

  1. After enjoying a simply delicious crispy pollock-filled hirata bun from YumBun last week, it’s safe to say I’ve been lured into the one of the biggest food trends to have appeared in London this year. Steam hirata buns continue to boom and are increasingly making an appearance on menus at restaurants such as Flesh & Buns.

    I’d heard lots about Flesh & Buns as a trendy, fun place to dine with equally as enjoyable food, so I booked us girls in for dinner one weekday evening. After a slight misunderstanding with our booking (the waitress had no knowledge of squaremeal.co.uk which we used to book) we were found...
    More from Livelifelovecake »

  1. Carnivorous gnashing to a heavy metal soundtrack? Yee-aye-uh! Who knew going out for Japanese comfort food could provide such a rawkin’ good time? The folks behind Flesh & Buns apparently.

    I had a lot of fun during my dine at the new(ish)ly opened Flesh & Buns izakaya restaurant back before Christmas. From the same lot of Soho restaurant smarty pants behind the exceptionally successful Bone Daddies ramen bar, the cavernous Seven Dials eatery offers a street food menu with a East Asian style buns as the star of the show. I loved the crispy piglet belly buns (with mustard miso and pickled apple, £14.50) and...
    More from Tiki Chris »

  1. Just 9 months after introducing Soho to 'Rock n Roll ramen', Bone Daddies chef and founder Ross Shonhan has opened a 150 seat Izakaya-style restaurant in Covent Garden.

    I caught up with Alex Palumbo, bar manager to find out more about the drinks and his plans for the bar at Flesh and Buns...
    More from Tuck & Vine - Tuck and Vine »

  1. Published : Tuesday, 17 September 2013

    fatmanclaphand :: Flesh & Buns: for goodness sake

    Although it deserves a lot more, my enduring memory of Flesh & Buns is that Sake is disgusting. Mostly it reminded me of those horrid Strawberry Volvic waters, so weakly flavoured that there are more tannins that taste notes.

    Still, far be it from me to dismiss a national drink out of hand (oh, OK then I will). I still drank a bottle of it and had a wonderful time while doing so. Flesh & Buns is a terrible name for a restaurant, and according to my limited knowledge of Eastern cuisine a slightly confused concept, but it's a great place to eat anyway...
    More from fatmanclaphand »

  1. Erm, anyway, for a change we decided to head to Flesh & Buns, which is a subterranean restaurant a hop, skip and jump away from Seven Dials. Set up by the Bone Daddies crew, Flesh & Buns is a Izakaya -style joint (that, between you and I, is a Japanese eating and drinking establishment – a pub, I like to call them but this is probably quite far from what a Izakaya is, but I don’t know – never been to Japan, innit).

    Inside, there are loooong high tables, and more exclusive-looking booths. I was on the high table with the rabble, obvz. It’s worth noting that I walked in at about 7pm and got a table no problem....
    More from The Z Factor »

  1. Still on a high from my amazing ramen conquest at Tonkotsu East, I headed to another much-hyped Japanese restaurant, Flesh and Buns, in Covent Garden. A product of ramen kings Bone Daddies, Flesh and Buns is famed for its mouth-watering meaty dishes as much as it's known for its cheeky name.

    I arrived for my booking at 7 to have a catch-up meal with Leah, an MHC alum who had recently moved back to London. It was lively at that point in the evening - a few large tables were celebrating birthdays, and parties of two were seated in the center of the restaurant at a long, communal table, so it ended up being...
    More from angloyankophile »

  1. Published : Thursday, 12 February 2015

    YUMMEI :: YUMMEI: Flesh and Buns - London - Covent Garden

    I like being led downstairs. It always feels like I'm about to enter in somewhere naughty.

    The atmosphere is pretty electric as you step down the stairs into a dark room with loud thumping Rock and Roll music.

    Flesh & Bun' is the sister restaurant of Bone Daddies from Ross Shonhan.

    Let's see if it lived up to the hype...
    More from YUMMEI »

  1. Having been to BoneDaddies Ramen Bar and found it exceptionally good (Wagamamas who?) I suggested we try out its new sister restaurant in Covent Garden, Flesh and Buns. It did not disappoint.

    Its the first restaurant in London to specialise in hirata buns (DIY filled steamed buns). The restaurant has a simple lay out that reflects the Japanese cuisine and a drinks menu chockablock with saki. We opted for some wine instead...
    More from The Frying Pan Diaries »

  1. Flesh and Buns is an absolute favourite at the moment and my go to place for dirty, delectable, heavenly rock ‘n’ roll Japanese food. This trendy, buzzy underground Izakaya restaurant is the dining innovation from Ross Shonhan who is also responsible for the jam-packed ‘Bone Daddies’ in Soho and High Street Kensington. The restaurant is an intimate but bustling rectangle, with the understated bar at one end and open kitchen at the other, where you can admire the chefs hard at work through billowing puffs of steam. There is a mass communal table running down the middle (which is where they seem to place all the couples)...
    More from Cosi.Eats.London »

  1. Upon first entering Flesh & Buns, I remembered this used to be a basement bar I spent a birthday in about 10 years ago. It had definitely changed a lot since. Flesh & Buns is a Japanese Izakaya bar and restaurant from the same team behind Bone Daddies Ramen. The interior is quite basic, with long high tails and stools dominating the central dining area. My party of two turned up on a Saturday night without a reservation – admittedly rather naïve given this restaurant in a big hit with young London foodies right now. There was quite a party atmosphere with the clientele predominantly in their 20s and 30s. Loud music...
    More from Memoirs Of A Metro Girl »

  1. Published : Thursday, 21 May 2015

    inher30s :: Flesh and Buns | inher30s

    The name ‘Flesh and Buns’ seems to suggest a burger joint with a Japanese twist. These do feature on the menu, but what surprised me is that the menu is predominantly a series of sharing plates peppered with the pillowy-soft buns and meat that lend it it’s name. Booking ahead is necessary as the place is packed and even the small act of being able to make a booking is a bonus in this silly ‘no reservations’ part of london. The first order of business is to settle in and order up some cocktails!...
    More from inher30s »

  1. This is going to have to be a double wammy review. Why? Because I love this place SO much that I’ve already been twice before having the chance to review my first visit. Since you now already know my 5-star verdict on Bone Daddies’ latest venture, I’m sure you’re interested in finding out what makes Flesh and Buns quite so special.

    Let’s start with the name, because whenever I’ve recommended Flesh and Buns to anybody their first response is “flesh and what?”. I’ve searched online to find the most adapt explanation for the Asian-style bun and the two most popular names used are either Taiwanese Gua Bao or...
    More from Emma Rose Tully »

  1. Published : Wednesday, 10 June 2015

    Review of Blacklock, Soho :: Flesh & Buns, Covent Garden

    For some reason I had never made it to Flesh & Buns until very recently. And now, I wish I had discovered it sooner. It is in the heart of Covent Garden serving great food in a fun atmosphere. The menu is made up of raw and small dishes and then the main show which are the hirata style, Flesh & Buns. You receive soft, fluffy buns to wrap around a variety of different fillings on offer.

    I was taking a very good friend out for a birthday treat and thought it would be a great venue. I wasn’t wrong. I really enjoyed our meal here. I definitely recommend the cocktails. There is a great list to choose from, I went...
    More from Review of Blacklock, Soho »

  1. One of the best things about blogging is meeting new people and I'm lucky enough to have met so bloggers from different walks of life all with interesting stories to tell, different backgrounds, cultures and upbringings. That being said I was really excited to meet up with Andrea from Andrea's Passions and Kam from A Married Couple and Their Travels at Japanese restaurant Flesh & Buns...

    There are so many blogs that I read on a regular basis, and I feel like I know what's going on in that person's life and I have regular contact with them on social media yet I've never heard the sound of their voice. I've...
    More from SilverSpoon London »

  1. A few Fridays ago, I had the pleasure of meeting up with Angie from Silverspoon London and Andrea from Andrea's Passions (who I brunched at Granger & Co with a few months ago) for what can only be described as a feast at Japanese restaurant, Flesh & Buns.

    Flesh & Buns has long been on Indy's and my list of restaurants to try, so when Andrea suggested it for our dinner date, I wasn't going to say no (sorry Ind!). Based on an Izakaya, a Japanese drinking establishment serving food to accompany drinks, it offers a similar experience albeit in a Western surrounding...
    More from A Married Couple & Their Travels: A Celebratory Dinner at Benares, Berkeley Square »

  1. Since starting blogging I have met some really lovely people, two of which are Kam and Angie. After emailing to-and-fro about a venue worthy of our first group date, we settled on Flesh & Buns, a Japanese Izakaya bar & restaurant, which focuses on serving simple dishes that can be enjoyed whilst drinking. Although, as its name suggests, what it’s most renowned for is its DIY steamed buns, which you fill yourself with the ‘flesh’ (meat or fish) of your choice...
    More from Andrea's Passions »

Joe McCafferty

Essential Details for Flesh & Buns

  • Address: 41 Earlham Street, London WC2H 9LX
  • Telephone: 020 3463 0198
  • Website:
  • Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 12N-3pm 5-11pm (Mon-Tue -10.30pm) Sat 12N-11pm Sun 12N-9.30pm

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