Flat Iron began life as a pop-up in Shoreditch, but as demand for its signature steak grew, the owners decided to settle down in a cosy three-storey joint on Beak Street. Here you can still get steak for only a tenner – definitely a bargain in Soho!
‘No reservations’ is vogue in Soho, so be prepared to wait for your table. But with so many nearby bars to choose from, my friends and I were perfectly happy to go for a pre-dinner tipple. Head just around the corner for Soho’s best Dark ’n’ Stormy at Two Floors. Or grab a glass of fine wine at Urban Tea Rooms a little further down Kingly Street, where they’ll also give you some bread and oil to bridge the gap while you wait.
Flat Iron Soho brings a little of its Shoreditch roots to the West End. The warm glow of dimmed lighting provides an easy-going vibe that’s perfect for a relaxed dinner with friends, while exposed brick walls, cast iron fixtures and wooden benches reflect the typical feel of an East End eatery.
Quite fittingly, it’s as if the restaurant has been set up in an old meat market – meat cleavers are mounted on the walls and even butcher’s aprons hang in the window.
Flat Iron’s menu is my kind of menu. No fuss. No endless list of choices. Just steak done properly, plus your choice of sauce and side – each item mastered. There’s dripping-cooked chips, aubergine roasted with tomato and Parmesan, creamed spinach, market greens and Sophie’s salad – of course, I had to try my namesake dish. As for the sauces, you can pick between silky béarnaise, fiery horseradish cream, classic peppercorn or the house special ‘Fred’s Sauce’, made with tomato, chilli and capers.
In my opinion, steak cooked any more than medium rare is a crime – so I felt awash with shame as one of my friends asked for her’s to be cremated. Well done is a far cry from done well.
After a short wait while I childishly messed around with the the delightful little cleaver – another of Flat Iron’s quirks – our food was ready.
My steak arrived perfectly blushing, slightly blackened with grill marks, and leaking its glorious juices onto the wooden serving board. I drizzled over the sauce and savoured the first bite. It may be an inexpensive cut of meat, but done right – lightly seasoned with sea salt and quickly seared – it’s extremely tender and flavoursome.
Sophie’s salad was a triumph. A cosmopolitan mix of lamb’s lettuce and red chard flecked with chunks of blue cheese and crushed candied pecans, and tossed in a bright lemon dressing.
Flat Iron doesn’t really do desserts. But they offer a token sweet to round off the meal, and it’s a winner. Salted caramel chocolate mousse, quite literally blasted out of a whipped cream can into a ceramic mug. No frills needed, just a little spoon and definitely no sharing!
17 Beak St,
Open 12:00pm-23:00pm (Mon-Sun)