Blame a recent trip to Dubai (of which more soon) but I’m rather hooked on the idea of a long, boozy brunch. Keen to explore what London has to offer in this category I booked myself in to Flesh and Buns, cleared my afternoon and prepared to enter a food coma. Flesh and Buns is part of the Bonedaddies family – located in a trendy basement in Seven Dials the decor is like a slightly younger Hawksmoor – exposed brick, leather chairs and muted lighting (every blogger’s worst photographic nightmare…) The premise is simple, there is a basic menu for £39 which gets you a cocktail on arrival, unlimited red/white/prosecco with your brunch, unlimited small dishes, a ‘signature’ flesh and buns, and a dessert to share. An extra £7 gets you access to pricier small dishes and flesh, while another £10 gets you unlimited champagne. There’s a two hour limit on the table to stop things getting out of hand, trust me when I say that’s plenty of time. While it might seem pricey – when you compare it to the cost of dinner here, it’s a steal. To start we had a kimchi bloody mary – the tangy, fremented Korean cabbage adding a really nice kick to the brunch staple. The prosecco we then switched too is surprisingly good – light and not too dry. Opting to upgrade to the full menu we tried most of the small dishes. Korean fried wings were sticky, sharp and wonderfully crisp. Chicken yakitori was succulent and sweet. The fried squid came in popcorn sized bites and had a lovely crust. The real star was the softshell crab – the jalapeno mayo was just potent enough to match the crunchy crustacean and was promptly used for coating everything else on the table. The sushi is excellent quality for an ‘all you can eat’ option – the tuna being especially good. For the ‘flesh’ course we tried the piglet belly and flat iron steak. The pork was a real masterpiece – crispy skin, fondant-soft meat and wonderfully seasoned. The big pillowy buns reminded me of Momofuku and were almost as good. The steak was nicely medium-rare and had a great barbecue sauce. At this point – barely able to move and feeling the effects of around a bottle of prosecco each we tackled the dessert. “S’mores and chocolate fondant” may not sound much, but when the flaming charcoal brazier arrives at the table so you can toast your own marshmallows – it’s pretty special. Gooey, hot marshmallow, crunchy biscuits and sharp black chocolate is always going to be a winner. The fondant was beautifully made and came with a lovely ice cream – much needed after the lava-hot marshmallow. Flesh and buns is by no means authentic – it’s London at it’s best: multi-cultural, cosmopolitan, brash, loud and a little bit decadent. If you’ve got a better way of spending a Sunday afternoon, I’d like to hear it!
Have you tried Roka in Canary Wharf for weekend boozy brunches? I didn’t love the food at Flesh & Buns when I went, but like you, I do love a brunch so maybe i’ll have to give it a second go!