The name ‘Flesh and Buns’ seems to suggest a burger joint with a Japanese twist. These do feature on the menu, but what surprised me is that the menu is predominantly a series of sharing plates peppered with the pillowy-soft buns and meat that lend it it’s name. Booking ahead is necessary as the place is packed and even the small act of being able to make a booking is a bonus in this silly ‘no reservations’ part of london. The first order of business is to settle in and order up some cocktails!
The ladies pronounce these a resounding success but left out of the drinking game, I’m keen to make a start on the food. We opt to share the Korean Fried Wings, Sweet potatoes and a Soft shell crab roll. The Korean fried wings were a hit, positively finger-licking moreish. The sweet potatoes could have used a bit more time in the cooker and I’ve had better soft shell crabs in many many other places. So far, not really wowed.
For mains, we opted to share 2 sets of ‘Flesh and Buns’ between us – Duck and Pork. It peeved me slightly that the buns had to be ordered separately to the meat, what would you say if a burger joint started insisting you ordered your bread separately and charging you for the privilege. Would it be so hard to throw them in there as a package deal and just bring some more out if you need? It’s the simple things I say.
It probably doesn’t help that they tasted a bit average. Mediocre food highlights the alternative flaws of a restaurant. The pork was crispy if a tad overdone but neither the duck nor the pork had any uniquely discernable flavour. In a blind taste test, you probably wouldn’t be able to differentiate between them.
The service is very helpful and friendly, so a finger cannot be pointed in that direction but still. It’s just not a wow.
Flesh and Buns can be found at 41 Earlham St, London WC2H 9LX. Unlike other establishments, they do take reservations, which is always handy in Central London.