Flesh & Buns – Branching out in the world’s dine-out capital

So according to Time Out London, we live in the world’s dine out capital. And I’m one of those people who will read about all the new, cool, fancy restaurants on Time Out, and then never visit them.
The good news was our old landlord was kind enough to release all our deposit on our flat when we moved (oh yeah, I live in Charlton now), so I felt super rich and decided to drag my boyfriend to a new place. He enjoys a free meal and I enjoy pretending I know what’s hip.
The place is called Flesh & Buns, and this pretty much covers the concept. It is a Japanese-style underground diner, with one long table in the middle, ranging from one end of the room to the other, and a few small booths on both sides. On one end of the table is the kitchen, and the other the bar.
Something like this:
fleshandbuns (10)
The short and sweet review of the place would be quite pricey, but delicious food. The longer one goes something like this.
The starters on the menu are all gorgeous, but for the price you pay, they are sadly very tiny. We ordered some sashimi for two, some venison and some salmon and avocado rolls. The taste was exquisite, with delicious Japanese flavours and impressive design, but the above mentioned first two dishes were so tiny that we both had about one and a half gulps of each. There is no doubt they were gorgeous though:
The venison:
fleshandbuns (4)
The sashimi plate (can you see what I mean when I say this, for £12, is not really worth it? Especially for two people?) (On the other hand, the fish was to die for.)
fleshandbuns (8)
And finally, the sushi, which was flawless:
fleshandbuns (6)
After the starters, we definitely felt hungry enough for the mains we had ordered. We both ordered a portion of ‘flesh’ – some salmon teriyaki and some crispy pork belly – which comes with two ‘buns’ each, some pickled vegetables on the side, a matching sauce and some salad leaves, and this was the most outstanding part of the dinner. The pork belly was soft and extremely crispy on top – which instantly won my admiration – and the salmon was nothing like the fish you buy in the supermarket. Both were cooked to perfection, and placed into the steamed buns, it was absolutely perfect. Also, as compared to the size of the starters, the main dishes were huge.
We also ordered a portion of rice, which came flavoured with a raw egg, some chilli, beef, sweetcorn, mushrooms and probably plenty of other stuff; and this because we felt extremely hungry. We probably would have been okay with just the flesh & buns, but it was worth it. The rice came served in a heated bowl, and pretty much cooked in there. Our waiter mixed up the dish when serving it, so the egg cooked in the bowl and the dish stayed warm even when we were scraping the bottom bits.
fleshandbuns (11) fleshandbuns (14) fleshandbuns (16)
At this point we were close to bursting, but Time Out said it would be a crime to miss out on the s’mores served here, so we sacrificed a few (…) more calories to try them.
And thank heavens we did. If you come by here, do not miss out.
fleshandbuns (17) fleshandbuns (18)
You get your own little fire to toast / melt your marshmallow, with some crisp biscuits to smear them on and some dark chocolate to melt on top, and as small as the portion may seem on this picture, it is actually the perfect size.
Overall, I am definitely happy we made the extra effort to try something new. The only side effect now is that I can’t stop thinking about the taste of the crisp pork belly and the soft steamed bun in my mouth – so I may have to be cheeky and be back here pretty soon.
It won’t break the bank (although it certainly doesn’t help it); but if you’re on the look out for something new and interesting to try, this is definitely a good place to start.
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About sgrvrnk

Vera Sugár, graduate with a journalism and creative writing degree, started writing at the age of 10. Passionate about literature, arts, history and languages, she speaks fluent English, French and Spanish. Her works are available at http://goodaswinter.wordpress.com.
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