17 Beak St, Soho, London. W1F 9RW
Flat Iron has a lot of hype around it at the moment and why not, steak for £10 in Soho, that’s worth talking about. With hype comes (at least for a while) popularity and combined with a no booking policy (when did this become cool and why?) did almost put me off but I arrived at Flat Iron about 6.15 to a queue of about 10 people all in line to find out how long they have to wait. Now I might be as British as they come but I don’t like queueing, especially outside in the cold so I was very pleasantly surprised to find out Flat Iron will take your booking details and phone number, give you a rough time slot and then call you when your table is ready, great stuff! As I arrived quite early I was told about 7.30 which was fine with me. Caution, by 6.30 people were being told 8.30 and onwards and this 2 hour wait was still going on when we left the restaurant after eating about 8ish.
So after heading to a local pub (I have heard since that the bar downstairs at Flat Iron is really good so that is probably the venue of choice to wait for your table) for a drink the call came about 6.50 (much earlier than expected but when I said we’d be there in 10-15 minutes there was no problem) and we headed off for some steak…
The restaurant itself is very small and intimate with space for only 28 diners on 4 tables of 6 and 1 table of 4 (or that’s what I saw and counted anyway). You will find yourself sharing a table with other diners and the tables are quite small so be ready to get to know a complete stranger a little better! The menu at Flat Iron is a small affair with steak and a choice of sides. The drinks are not cheap but nothing out of the ordinary for Soho (or London in general) and they did have a special on the menu of slow cooked Irish steak on the night we visited.
I was keen to try the Flat Iron Steak (£10) so Jess ordered the Irish Slow Cooked Steak (£15). We also ordered Chips (£2.50) and Market Greens (£2.50) for sides and Béarnaise sauce and Fred’s sauce (£1 each), the latter of which is a slightly spicy tomato sauce. One thing to mention is the cutlery which includes a personal mini cleaver for cutting your steak, very cool! So was the food any good? The Flat Iron steak was good but nothing special, especially irritating and disappointing was the amount of salt they add after cooking (you will easily be able to see the chunks of salt in the photos). Now I’m someone who adds salt to plenty of food but even so there was far too much and did spoil a little what otherwise would have been a nice steak. The portion sizes I thought were pretty reasonable, especially when you consider the price. The Irish slow cooked steak was probably a little more tender and had more flavour however there was also too much salt after cooking again. The sides were both good, as was the Béarnaise sauce however the Fred’s sauce didn’t go down well with either of us and did not accompany either steak very well and had a slightly bitter taste however it was well worth trying for only a pound.
Overall I was slightly underwhelmed by Flat Iron. The place itself is rather quaint with a nice atmosphere however for somewhere with such hype and specialising in one dish I thought the steak was good but nothing more. I’ve probably been a little spoiled recently, especially by the Terrace Grill and Bar but I still expected more considering the hype (which is probably a slightly unfair way of judging a restaurant). I think the most disappointing part was that there was just too much salt on the steak, a simple mistake that shouldn’t be happening. This review feels a little too negative but Flat Iron isn’t bad, in fact for the money its pretty good but with hype comes expectation, which it doesn’t quite live up to.
Overall Score: 7 Great value steak but just too much salt. So disappointing as I really wanted to give Flat Iron a high score.