Flesh & Buns Covent Garden

Silver Award

SquareMeal Review of Flesh & Buns Covent Garden

Silver Award

Squaremeal London Hot 100 2016Since 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.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49
Cool, Fun, Lively
Food Occasions
Bottomless brunch
Dates, Group dining [8+]

Flesh & Buns Covent Garden is featured in


41 Earlham Street, London, London, WC2H 9LX

0203 019 3492


Opening Times

Mon-Fri 12N-3pm 5-11pm Sat 12N-11pm Sun 12N-9.30pm


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13 Reviews 

Simon A

13 April 2022   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 5
Service 4.5
Atmosphere 4.5
Value 4.5
Great food

Awesome meal, only slight negative was a few things out of stock. Brexit related. Service was good. Would return for sure.

Suzy A

10 July 2018  
Food is delicious and reasonable value. The smores for dessert are so tasty and come with their own fire - pretty special!

Emily R

30 May 2017  
Awesome food, great portion size, well priced.

Annabel M

09 May 2017  
One of my most delicious and memorable meals of the year!

Nina K

27 March 2017  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5
Delightful littel buns of happiness!
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!

Nina K

08 September 2016  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5
Delicious buns!
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.

Tanya D

30 September 2015  
Food & Drink 1
Service 2
Atmosphere 2
Value 2
Very poor quality food unless gloopy food is your favourite
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.

Ellen F

07 October 2014  
Food & Drink 3
Service 3.5
Atmosphere 3
Value 3.5
Not the Flesh & Buns you'd expect (yet)
The first problem with Flesh & Buns is the name: any standard red-blooded Londoner is expecting burgers. OK, they might be whizzy trendy burgers but basically still red meat and bread products. But Flesh & Buns is as far away from a burger joint as is possible to be. It is so far from the States it is in Japan. So the "flesh" is salmon teriyaki and the "buns" are actually doughy little dim sum type pockets. And that, for me, is the second problem. I don't really like dim sum. That should make it a relief that the "flesh & buns" concept is actually a fairly small part of the menu which includes multiple small dishes/appetizers with everything from sushi to fried squid, but it doesn't because I am actually disappointed that they haven't really had the courage of their convictions and stuck to the concept and the menu as a consequence feels rather bitty and uncommitted. As a group of 5 we had quite a range of the dishes on offer and I found them hit or miss: the Korean chicken wings absolutely blew my head off they were so spicy but the prawn tempura were light and lovely. As to the fleshy buns, well the meat itself was on the whole delicious (sticky piggy belly was the best) and actually the dim sum buns were unexpectedly pleasant, amazingly melting in the mouth, although they had a tendency to stick to your teeth like glue. I just can't see what these buns bring to the party; I'd rather have had the meat alone. As a restaurant it also feels rather uncommitted to the concept: Bon Jovi blasts through the stairwell as you walk in. Is this a nod to karaoke or betraying a desire to be an American bar? In fact, take away the wasabi pots on the tables and replace with ketchup bottles and you could easily be in a modern New York steakhouse. Perhaps the owner has hedged his bets and is ready for when this overhyped concept fails and has to give way to Flesh & Buns Mk II: an actual burger bar.

Riddhi B

24 June 2014  
Food & Drink 4
Service 4
Atmosphere 5
Value 3
This is exactly what London needs more of – easy, laid back with affordable, fun food with a creative menu. It's an enormous venue which usually sets off my alarm bells but in this case it added up to great atmosphere. Thankfully some tables can be booked for bigger groups or those of us who are more organised, but it has enough seating to welcome walk-ins. Crucially on the food front, it delivered. In a group of 5 we ordered a lot across the menu and were not disappointed. Some items are certainly better than others and personal preference kicks in as well (I liked the chicken wings but some of my friends didn't). Be on chilli-alert if you don't like that and let them know while you order. I will definitely be returning and if you can, book a booth.

Neil L

11 February 2014  
Food & Drink 4.5
Service 3.5
Atmosphere 5
Value 3.5
We had a late table, 9.30, which the previous table were late to leave. But the fun bar atmosphere made that entertaining still. The flesh element was fantastic, meat excellently cooked, succulent and delicious. We didn't really get the bun element. Overall, a great evening.
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