If there are two defining trends of Soho restaurants in the last couple of years, they are razor sharp focus and a warehouse/canteen aesthetic. One restaurant that combines both of these elements is Flat Iron.
Their menu is almost exclusively limited to the eponymous steak – drawn from the shoulder of the cow and often called a ‘Butlers Steak’ – it’s a little tougher than rump or sirloin, but with a lot more flavour. Early on a Tuesday evening they were relatively busy but we were still seated quickly at a communal table. Apart from the meat, they also offer a few sides – we shared some lovely asparagus and very generic chips. They have a short wine list – all designed to go with the steak and available in carafes, but they don’t use wine glasses which feels a little odd. They do get extra points though, for presenting the menu with a bowl of popcorn and a jug of water – if there’s one thing I loved about American eateries it was the ubiquity of table water.
When a restaurant does something so simple it lives or dies on the quality. The steak was carefully cooked and nicely presented on a metal slab. For £10 it represents good value even if the side salad is a little lacklustre.
The burger was an unexpected delight – good beef, well minced and deep-fried. I came in a St. John’s bun with cooked onions and lashings of béarnaise sauce. Delicious!
They only offer one dessert – a salted caramel mousse which is served at the table straight from a cream whipper, a trick I’ll definitely be borrowing at some point! It’s not just about the presentation – the mousse is rich and catches the right balance between salty and sweet.
It doesn’t look like ‘single concept’ restaurants are going to die out anytime soon – they’re broadly good at what they do, but when the star of the show was an item that’s not normally available (the burger) they should seriously consider expanding their focus just a little.