Flesh and Buns Kensington is restaurant number three for the rock'n'roll Japanese izakaya group. Located in lovely Phillimore Gardens, a short walk from High Street Kensington, this is also their biggest site, boasting a large main dining room as well as private dining.
In Japan, izakayas are informal bar restaurants where customers can come to settle in for some drinks and enjoy snacks and bar food simultaneously. Flesh and Buns takes inspiration from that concept and culture with a menu of big-hitting fan-favourite dishes, alongside a hefty drinks list that includes wine, fizz, beer and cider, cocktails, spirits and plenty of Japanese whisky and sake.
The menu is split into small plates, raw and sushi dishes, then big meat dishes and buns, rice and noodle bowls and some creative desserts. Dishes are eclectic and wide-ranging - not as focused as you'd expect a traditional izakaya to be, but Flesh and Buns is all about shared enjoyment of food and drink, rather than being an authentic image of a Japanese izakaya. Small plates range from Korean fried chicken to beef fat chips or crispy squid. Large plates include mains like grain-fed ribeye steak, barbecue sauce, red onion and shiitake pickle, as well as hirata buns with fillings like crispy piglet belly, mustard miso and apple pickle, miso grilled aubergine with sesame, carrot and cucumber pickle, and crispy duck leg with plum sauce and beetroot pickle.
If you're looking for a private dining experience to book for a group, Flesh and Buns has two separate private dining rooms available that can both accomodate up to 16 people each.
This being an izakaya, drinking is an equally important part of the equation. There are lots of cocktails on offer - including the Lucky Cat vodka, peach, cranberry and prosecco Lucky Cat, and a Harajuku Fizz of gin, raspberry and prosecco - as well as Asahi on draught, lots of bottled beers, fizz, wine, sake, whisky and more.