Pop up restaurants are all the rage in London at present. I’m a big fan. Flat Iron is the latest addition to the pop up movement and has opened above Shoreditch local The Owl & Pussy Cat in Redchurch Street.
Flat Iron is more than just a pop up. Creator Charlie Carroll sees it more as a food project and has spent a lot of time sourcing the best possible cut of steak for this venture - rare British beefs including Red Ruby and White Park. Flat iron steak, commonly called top blade steak is a lesser used steak cut from the shoulder of a cow. It’s regarded by butchers as being highly marbled, tender and great to marinate.
We arrived early on a weekday to avoid the queues and were seated immediately at a long communal table. Although the venue is small, it has a lively atmosphere which gets louder as the evening progresses. Retro style globes hang from the ceiling and the decor is simple with exposed brick walls. The staff are knowledgeable but lack the snobbery often associated with top steak restaurants in London.
To say Flat Iron has a simple food menu is an understatement. Its single signature dish is obviously the flat iron steak. For an indecisive person like me this makes life easy! The drinks list is more comprehensive and has been created with the help of Nathan Sorby from the London Cocktail Club. I ordered the strawberry Tom Collins with thyme bramble which was served in what looked like a jam jar. Cute touch. The best innovative cocktail award goes to the make your own Bloody Mary Kit which was presented in a wooden crate with all the essential ingredients including Chase English Vodka, horseradish, rosemary salt, tomato juice and beefstock.
I ordered the flat iron steak with horseradish and bearnaise sauces (both £1) and the triple cooked chips in beef dripping. Sorry vegetarians! The steak cooked medium rare (usually recommended for flat iron steak) was delivered to the table on a wooden chopping board designed to share and cut into small pieces. The flavour was deep and rich with a slightly salty charred edge. The steak was just as tender as a fillet and barely needed the meat cleaver provided.
As a massive sweet tooth, I had to make room for the only dessert on the menu – chocolate and salted caramel mousse. For the price of just £2.50 this was a bargain. The waitress casually sprinkled sea salt on top of the dessert upon serving.
For only £10, this is as good value as London restaurants get. Unfortunately for us all this is only a 6 week residency until the 29th August. Hopefully I can get in a few more steak fixes by then.
PS – No reservations so get there early!
Flat Iron is now open permanently on 17 Beak Street Soho. We aren’t complaining….