When someone first told me about Flat Iron I thought they’d got their facts wrong – a decent hunk of juicy steak, in London, for a tenner – surely not?! But they were right, and I was wrong. Alexandra and I popped along to check out this magical place a few weeks ago and were not at all disappointed.
However, I should have known better than to think that we would be the only ones with this bright idea. Of course, since both of Flat Iron’s restaurants are located in Soho it’s only to be expected that they don’t take reservations. Despite it being a Wednesday, there was an hour and a half wait from when we turned up at 7pm.
Service: But, unlike Mildred’s and thankfully similar to Homeslice 1 and 2, Flat Iron allow you to leave your name & number and go and entertain yourself in one of the many nearby drinking establishments. So that is what we did. Alexandra introduced me to Kingly Court (have I been living under a rock for the past 6 years?!) and we easily whiled away the time enjoying the gorgeous summer’s evening.
Back to Flat Iron, the service was excellent from start to finish. On the tech-side, they send you a text rather than call you when your table is ready, so there’s no chance of you missing your spot by accident. They also immediately text you a link to a souped up app that allows you to see your position in the queue, and opt to leave if you get tired of waiting. Although slightly disheartened when I first checked it and we were ‘Position: 33’, the numbers steadily decreased and I liked being able to countdown to when I was going to be fed.
The man in charge of the tech, i.e. ‘iPad man’ was also great, both friendly and apologetic about the wait. When it was feeding time at last, our waiter took the time to explain to us the different cuts of meat available and their varying flavours.
Ambience: Considering how cheap it is to eat at Flat Iron, I was really impressed with the interior; it just goes to show that a little goes a long way! Dim, warm lighting & candles is all you need to set a tone. Upstairs benefits from natural light:
Whilst downstairs has a much more romantic & sexy vibe.
There is an exposed grey brick wall featuring stunning spot lights which give the place a cave-like feel.
During the day I would prefer to eat upstairs but for the evening I think downstairs is way cooler. We were seated at the bar with a cracking view (i.e. of wine, wine, more wine).
Food: As soon as you sit down you are served (delicious!) strawberry-infused tap water and a tin of beef-dripping popcorn to munch on.
Flat Iron’s menu and cutlery is already laid out before you.
I love that you are given a personalized meat cleaver rather than a conventional steak knife to slice up your steak. It’s unique to the brand and adds a fun dimension to the meal (albeit a little trickier to control, but then your meat is already pre-cut!). As for the steak, you have the option of the classic £10.00 Flat Iron steak or you can go all fancy and order the special of the day.
Food: We opted for the classic, for which you get 200-250 grams of top shoulder of beef.
The steak is served rustic style on a wooden chopping board that makes you feel even more back-to-basics when hacking away at it with your meat cleaver; I loved it!
The £10.00 steak comes with a small side salad of lamb’s lettuce with a very tasty wholegrain mustard dressing, but of course you still need to order some sides! We got two orders of dripping cooked chips (£2.50 each); 1 order of broccoli (£2.50), and 2 peppercorn sauces (£1.00 each).
The broccoli was cooked al dente but a little bland; I’m pretty sure it was just plain steamed, so a good dose of salt was added to the florets. The sauce was nice but nothing spectacular, a little too much cream had been added robbing it of any real pepper-y flavour, and I would have loved some big, hot peppercorns to have been swimming around in the little pot. The chips were, again, average; a little on the crisp side for me and most definitely fries versus chips.
The main event, however, was very well done. The steak had an unusual but tasty flavour, it was juicy and respectably tender, and was cooked just as requested, perfectly rare, and well-seasoned.
Although I would gladly have had dessert there is only one option on the menu; salted caramel mousse, served out of a can. This doesn’t really do it for me, so instead we sat back and appreciated the great meal that we had just had.
Price: Since neither of us were drinking the total bill came in at an almost laughable £33.39 with 12.5% service included. Although the sides could do with some tweaking, I am not one to sniff at decent steak, chips, a side & sauce for £16.70. If you love steak but not the price tag, then Flat Iron is the one for you!