25 April 2014

Flesh and Bunsone star

41 Earlham Street, London WC2H 9LX

£48.00 Japanese Covent Garden

Overall Diner Rating


Based on 5 ratings. Rate it!

  • Wine: £16.50
  • Champagne: £55.00
  • Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 12N-3pm 5-10.30pm (Wed-Fri -11.30pm) Sat-Sun 12N-11.30pm (Sun -9.30pm)

Square Meal Review of Flesh and Buns ?

Inspired by his Soho hit Bone Daddies, Aussie chef Ross Shonhan has opened this rocking izakaya-style joint in Covent Garden. Look for the kooky logo on the black door, then head downstairs to the cavernous basement where a throbbing mix of rock music and Japanese graphics awaits. Kick off with a frozen yuzu margarita, before grazing your way through the trendsetting menu. Sushi is spot on and crispy fried squid with Japanese pepper packs a punch, but star billing goes to the titular pairing of steamed hirata buns and DIY ‘flesh’ fillings – from robata-grilled sea bass with coriander miso and tomato salsa to sweet-fleshed, succulent braised pork belly fired up with mustard miso and pickled apple, all accompanied by a raft of top-notch sakés. After that, have even more hands-on fun with the mischievous S’mores dessert – a chocolate cookie and toasted marshmallow sandwich.

Click here to read our diners’ reviews, or write your own
  1. Flesh and Buns

    41 Earlham Street, London WC2H 9LX
    Overall rating:
    Neil L.



    • Food & Drink: 9
    • Service: 7
    • Atmosphere: 10
    • Value: 7

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  2. Flesh and Buns

    41 Earlham Street, London WC2H 9LX
    Overall rating:
    Simon K.

    We left after 2 minutes


    • Food & Drink: 2
    • Service: 2
    • Atmosphere: 2
    • Value: 2

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  3. Flesh and Buns

    41 Earlham Street, London WC2H 9LX
    Overall rating:
    Allison M.

    Go there


    • Food & Drink: 10
    • Service: 8
    • Atmosphere: 7
    • Value: 8

    Was this review helpful to you?

  4. Flesh and Buns

    41 Earlham Street, London WC2H 9LX
    Overall rating:
    Sandy R.

    • Food & Drink: 10
    • Service: 9
    • Atmosphere: 7
    • Value: 7

    Was this review helpful to you?

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  1. Published : Monday, 3rd 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 by an array of different people. Lots of homesick Japanese girls relishing the type of food rarely seen outside the land of the rising sun, some random rockers with long hair and enough earrings to cause havoc at a Heathrow metal detector, confused looking tourists, groups of gossiping girls and the ubiquitous beardy hipster. In summary, there is something here for everyone...
    More from Sybaricious »

  2. Published : Monday, 10th 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 a table-top flame to toast. The resulting sugar-goo-gunk (the technical term) is then sandwiched between biscuits and green tea flavoured white chocolate. The hot mallow smelts itself onto chocolate and wafer with ease, ready to be devoured...
    More from Wrap Your Lips Around This »

  3. Published : Friday, 31st 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 »

  4. 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 »

  5. Published : Sunday, 12th 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 »

  6. 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 »

  7. 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 and buns’ original, the décor is funky and appealing with a buzzy vibe...
    More from A Girl Has to Eat - Restaurant Reviews & Food Guide »

  8. 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 the lamb chops (with kimchi spice and pickled carrots, £19.50). Beyond the buns, there’s a range of small bites and sharing dishes along with sushi and sashimi, cocktails and more...
    More from Tiki Chris »

  9. Published : Thursday, 5th 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 »

  10. 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 a table and ordered some small but tasty cocktails. I also ordered chips n’ dips while I was waiting for the others to arrive. I loved the poppadom-like style of the chips and the avocado dip was pretty tasty too...
    More from Livelifelovecake »

  11. Published : Saturday, 9th November 2013

    emily :: flesh & buns, covent garden.

    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 grace and i to go wild on salmon, soya beans and steamed buns at flesh & buns!...
    More from emily »

  12. Published : Wednesday, 30th October 2013

    The Sharing Platter :: Flesh & Buns

    Filament light bulbs, queues and communal seating seems to be the theme de rigueur running through the restaurant scene at the moment. Strangely enough though, one never actually ends up conversing with the person who has been placed next to them. We merely use each other as guinea pigs so that we can build a rating of each dish in our minds. Most people just glance over and lamely point out: 'That's supposed to be really good here'. Until another plate comes out and they realise that the dish they were thinking of wasn't actually the first one they pointed out. Confusion erupts across the table. Back to square one. Some brave souls actually manage to break-down the social barrier and ask the people next to them what they have had and whether or not it was worth trying. A useless exercise if you ask me...
    More from The Sharing Platter »

  13. Published : Thursday, 17th 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 same people as the ramen joint Bone Daddies. Bone Daddies is probably my favourite place for ramen so I was looking forward to their interpretation of gua bao...
    More from Drifting Epicure »

  14. The man behind Flesh & Buns and Bone Daddies, Ross Shonhan once described making tonkotsu ramen as being like melting a pig into a bowl. At Flesh & Buns they don’t melt anything, they just put it in a steamed bun. Damn good it is too!...
    More from London Piggy »

  15. Published : Saturday, 5th October 2013

    The Little Brown Book :: Flesh & Buns

    Welcome to the much talked of Flesh & Buns. It's all in the name and certainly doesn't disappoint. Soft, fluffy hirata buns and juicy steak oozing with hoi sin sauce is not something I was going to pass up in a hurry! It was a horrifically wet and rainy day so of course we decided to sneak inside at the more unconventional lunch time of 3oclock to escape England at its most conventional...
    More from The Little Brown Book »

  16. Published : Thursday, 12th 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 »

  17. 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 »

  18. Published : Thursday, 5th 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 »

  19. Published : Tuesday, 3rd 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 »

  20. 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 »

  21. 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 »

  22. Published : Monday, 12th 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 only came, but it parachuted in, landed in the middle of the dance floor, started cutting shapes like no one’s business and then proceeded to buy everyone a round (so yea, it was pretty good)...
    More from wetrykai »

  23. 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 and cold plates and "flesh and buns". Everything is for sharing. We kicked things off with some "chips and dips" - tasty homemade rice crackers, shiso avocado (essentially guacamole, I struggled to detect any shiso) and tomato jalapeno (for which read salsa). I loved this take on Japanese/Mexican fusion...
    More from Dinnerathon. »

  24. Published : Friday, 9th 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 »

  25. 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 »

Essential Details for Flesh and Buns

  • Address: 41 Earlham Street, London WC2H 9LX
  • Telephone: 020 7632 9500
  • Website:
  • Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 12N-3pm 5-10.30pm (Wed-Fri -11.30pm) Sat-Sun 12N-11.30pm (Sun -9.30pm)

Location of Flesh and Buns

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  • Main Restaurant

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