Upscale izakaya on Berners Street
Category : Restaurant
| Cuisine : Japanese
Address : 32 Berners Street, Fitzrovia, London, W1T 3LR, UNITED KINGDOM - Directions
Web : www.fleshandbuns.com
Opening Times : Mon-Tues: 12pm-3pm, 5pm-10pm; Wed-Fri: 12pm-3pm, 5pm-11pm; Sat: 12pm-11pm; Sun: 12pm-9.30pm
Closest Tube : Oxford Circus
When Bone Daddies first launched it was one of London's first ramen restaurants. Now Ross Shonhan - erstwhile chef at Nobu, Zuma and The Dorchester - has his own Japanese food empire with nine sites in the capital. Of these, Flesh & Buns in Covent Garden was the most grown-up, offering a longer dining experience than either Shackfuyu or Bone Daddies. Its new sister restaurant on Berners Street differs from the original in that it explores Nikkei cuisine, whilst also staying true to the Izakaya Japanese pub experience.
Nestled in what is quickly becoming one of the go-to neighbourhoods to eat in London, Flesh & Buns Fitzrovia features an open-plan design with an inviting, spacious bar on the left as you walk in. It pays homage to industrial chic as much as it does Japan, with exposed filament lighting, large tables, cosy booths and lots of intimate tables for two interspersed. Ours had a 'Press for Pisco' button - we duly ordered a cocktail and were happily surprised when the drinks trolley arrived at the table. As we sipped our cocktails, we were mesmerised by how quickly the chefs were hustling in the kitchen.
It wasn't long before our food arrived. There were a number of firm favourites from the Covent Garden site alongside new dishes such as a 'Chilli-Miso Smoked Brisket' created using Ross' new wood smoker, which is unique to the restaurant. We were particularly charmed by lightly battered plaice tempura with snap peas and a yuzu rocoto honey sauce; tiger prawn toban with garlic, leek, shiso and aji Amarillo ponso butter; lobster ceviche with pickled kumquat, fried kataifi and cherry tomato; as well as a scallop tiradito with julienned apple and celery cress. Perhaps most remarkable was a sizzling hotl plate of beef short ribs in a rocoto barbecue sauce with watercress kimchi. We wrapped up the meal with a chocolate fondant soy caramel with black sesame ice cream.
All in, Flesh & Buns is a welcome addition to the ripening culinary scene in W1T.