Price: Moderate (£15-£20/person)
Rating: 4 (out of 5)
Flat Iron’s second branch opened to the public earlier this month. This new branch is located around the corner from their first place, on Beak Street in Soho. Having taken up residence at the former La Giaconda Café (famous for being a hangout for sixties music legends such as David Bowie, Marc Bolan and The Kinks), it looks completely at home next to all of the music shops in the area.
The simple, un-fussy menu really works for me. However, my gripes include the inability to make reservations (I don’t know how many times I’ve complained about this really farking annoying trend!) and the incability to cook the meat to my preferred “blue” (I’ll have to trust them when they say “medium rare” is the best way to have it). Nonetheless, Flat Iron is good value for money being not overly stingy with their portions and above all, provide a very tasty meal.Menu specials were wagyu (Japanese cow breeds – this time from Yorkshire), either in burger or steak form (LMC – leg of mutton cut, strange considering they normally serve their namesake of flat iron cuts). Both specials come in at a very reasonable £15 each (includes a salad), which initially looked like a bargain for this usually more costly meat.
I’ve always been really into my beef (especially steaks), to the point I even considered becoming a cowboy or gaucho in the Americas in my youth. I’ve only ever had sirloin, fillet or tri-tip cuts of wagyu (“this one-time at band camp” it was even a Kobe with grade 6 marbling – fantastically expensive, but simply the best beef I have ever tasted), so the LMC was a new one for me.
Perhaps it was my naivety, but the prospect of getting wagyu at a cut down price was too tempting (you get what you pay for; not all wagyu is created equal). However, after ordering and tasting the steak, my disappointment was apparent. I couldn’t see any marbling, with most of the fat predominantly on the side of the meat. Nor could I find any discernible difference in flavour between this and the standard steak. Unfortunately, I can’t comment on the burger. I can only imagine that the higher fat content of the wagyu makes for a much better burger than the steak does as a steak.
The flat iron was succulent and juicy despite being very lean, delicious. As such I wouldn’t bother with the wagyu again, I’ll just stick to the standard menu item.
To Flat Iron, I’d say “don’t fob us off with your special steak, just stick to serving your namesake”.