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41 Earlham Street
Since opening, Flesh & Buns has been one of those Marmite restaurants that readers either love or loathe. A follow-up to Soho hit Bone Daddies, this is Ross Shonhan's take on an izakaya joint: loud, boisterous and lots of fun. The menu features Japanese 'drinking food', so get stuck into the liquor list straightaway. Highlights include 14 types of saké, numerous Japanese whiskies and craft beers, plus Asian-themed cocktails such as the Kyuuri-Yuzu (dark rum and yuzu saké, blended with lime, cucumber and mint). Soak up the booze by ordering some ‘flesh’ – try crispy piglet belly with mustard miso, barbecue steak or salmon teriyaki, which you pile into "light and fluffy" steamed hirata buns. Capably executed sushi rolls, sashimi and tataki also feature, and we're addicted to the spicy/sour Korean wings. Fans also rate "the best duck in town” and the delicious DIY s'mores (passion fruit marshmallows with almond chocolate). “Friendly and efficient" service gets the nod too.
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SquareMeal 2 Stars
41 Earlham Street
Covent Garden Tube Station 119m
Leicester Square Tube Station 418m
Donmar Warehouse Theatre 45m
Cambridge Theatre 96m
Mon-Fri 12N-3pm 5-11pm Sat 12N-11pm Sun 12N-9.30pm
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 5
I have actually attempted to make the wonderfully soft and fluffy buns that are found at Flesh and Buns so can understand how difficult they are to get perfect!
The restaurant is buzzy and feels very trendy, but without the aloof staff. The concept is similar to Wagamamas in that you share a long, social table, but this adds to the atmosphere.
You order the type of meat you would like and it comes with two buns. Sadly, for my greedy self, two are not enough, but surely you need enough buns to use up all your delicious meat?
The pork belly is slow cooked and sticky and unctuous! The salmon is juicy and flavoursome. Constructing your bun is fun and the slightly sharp pickles break through the richness perfectly to make the most wonderful little, moist, tasty, sharp, rich and sweet buns.
I would eat them every day if I could!
We have been to this restaurant a few times and every time the food is delicious! The buns are so light and fluffy and the meats that go in the buns are cooked really well and are very tasty. The service is friendly and efficient and the atmosphere is fun and lighthearted.
I would definitely recommend this restaurant.
Food + drink: 1
Hmmm, maybe its because I broke my rule of eating in a restaurant on a Sunday night when you don't get the freshest ingredients - some of it hanging over from Friday - and you don't get the best chef as this is the day the really good chefs have off that resulted in this dismal, overpriced meal. We went for the "tasting menu" thinking it would be fun to have 8 different dishes that it seemed like really good value but that was not to be.
The chips and dips were delicious although the chips would crumble to bits in your hands but still tasted good. The sushi rolls were cold and tasteless like something from M&S, the fried squid was dry and tasteless, pork belly was just mostly pure fat and we left half of it, the plum sauce for the duck was awful and the s'mores were just, well, pointless. They looked very cool as it was delivered with a little flame for you to warm your marshmallow up with but whatever excitement you can get from a tasteless marshmallow and a dry, tasteless biscuit could never be saved by a cute fire feature. The chicken wing was not bad, nor was the duck and the nice fleshy bun but when you get a bill over £100 for a meal that was memorable for all the wrong reasons, you just left thinking about the delicious Asian food you could eat for half the price around the corner in China Town.
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