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Thursday 8 August 2013

Flesh and Buns

Wednesday 7th August - One of the most blogged about places this year has been Bone Daddies, the current front runner in the London ramen race.  I'm a non-conformist (as you can tell from the last 56 posts on 183 places that Barchick/The Nudge have told me to go to) so I have purposefully not made it there yet. Instead, yesterday I went to the soft launch of their second venture, Flesh and Buns, on Earlham Street in Covent Garden with my fellow teacher on holiday, Andy.

Animation on the way down to the basement restaurant
We were greeted with the rather bizarre "Have you eaten here before?" by our slightly nervous waiter.  "No, doesn't it open tomorrow?", I replied.  I also wasn't sure what to say to the question "Do you know what flesh & buns are?".  We were seated right in the middle of a ridiculously long table that runs the whole length of the underground restaurant.  There are also smaller tables, and cosy booths for large groups.  Our friendly helper talked us through the menu and suggested ordering several dishes from different sections to share. It's one of those menus where you really want to try everything, but we eventually made our minds up. The first to arrive was Tuna Tatiki (just cooked around the edges, and enhanced with chilli, coriander and grapefruit) - the taste matched the beautiful presentation.

Then along came Chicken Yakitori, Fried Squid and Prawn Tempura - all delicious, particularly the prawns. The Softshell Crab is supposedly excellent, but I had to leave something for a second visit.  Then our Hot Stone Rice with mushrooms, kimchi and egg yolk arrived, which had to be stirred in front of our eyes and was still bubbling away 5 minutes later. This portion was pretty big and we didn't quite get through it as our shared main arrived shortly after and we got distracted.   There are several options to choose between for your Flesh and Buns from Salmon Teriyaki to Braised Pork Belly, but we decided on Flat Iron Steak.  You get 4 steamed buns to share which you fill yourself with a mixture of meat, cucumber, lettuce and in our case, BBQ sauce and pickled shimeji (tiny mushrooms).  The DIY aspect is good fun, and the end result was extremely tasty.

DIY steamed buns (and flesh)
We were sadly too stuffed for dessert (e.g. Kinako Donuts with black sugar custard - another thing to return for) so we finished up our pints of Asahi.   Our waiter kindly brought us a taster of the Bone Daddies special gin, which had a subtle taste and was very drinkable.  There are several interesting cocktails available plus a whole host of Sake and Japanese whiskey options, as well as the usual beer and wine offerings.  The last thing to do was sample the toilets, which were oddly labelled F and B.  Our thoughts were either Females and Boys which doesn't make much sense, or more likely Flesh and Buns, which makes even less sense and becomes more disturbing the more you think about it!   It was a very enjoyable lunch, and I would happily go back to work my way through more of the menu.  Book now before everyone else finds it!

Square Meal

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