Denmark Street Restaurant
There are a number of Flat Iron restaurants across London and they all have the same high quality of steak and small but interesting menu but each site is a bit different, as they seem to enjoy taking the original building and uncovering its natural beauty. I tried to book for the Covent Garden restaurant as this one looks pretty huge and is totally instagramable but it was fully booked so I opted for the small one on Denmark Street, which they tag as Tottenham Court Road as it is just a stone throw away.
On arrival the outside of the restaurant is very plain and nothing to shout about but inside it is cosy and bijou. It didn't feel cramped though, which was good and I wonder if they have a few fewer tables at the moment to allow for more social distancing. The rear of the restaurant has a skylight which makes it feel like a conservatory and I think I'd like to sit back there next time. I must admit I hadn't realised we'd be sitting on stools and I didn't really like that, my bum could feel it by the end of the meal!
We booked our table in advance and I'm glad we did as it was nicely busy whilst we were at the restaurant with hardly a table empty. We were there at 6.15pm on a Wednesday night and were' finished our one-course meal by about 7.30pm. At the moment you get 90 minutes for a table of 2-4 people and 2 hours for a table of 5 or more, though you can only pre-book tables of 6 right now.
The Flat Iron menu is very compact but I quite liked that, as it meant they were able to do steaks well and without excessive cost. The cornerstone of the menu s the original flat iron steak which is £12.00, it doesn't tell you the size of this steak like most restaurants do but we were told they aim for them to be around 200g each (give or take about 10%). The beef has been hand-selected by the founder and they butcher everything in-house themselves to ensure quality standards. Our steak was generally delicious, there were good flavours and it melted in your mouth but it is a fairly small portion, I'd have happily had one twice the size and I now see feedback on Tripadvisor that some guests order an extra steak to share between two. I'd probably do that next time, but it would bump the cost to £18 each before sides, so it starts to get more expensive.
You can order various sides to go with the flat iron steak and we all went for the homemade beef dripping chips, which were good (but not amazing if I'm honest - they needed to be a bit hotter and a bit less greasy) and if I'd have looked at their Instagram page first I'd have tried the crispy bone marrow garlic mash as it looks phenomenal. I had a pot of bearnaise sauce to go with the steak, which cost just £1 but it is fairly small. There was just enough for my steak and it tasted divine. They also offer other sauces - peppercorn, wild mushroom and homemade truffle mayo for £1 each. The rest of my family went for ketchup but in truth, you didn't need a sauce with the steaks.
There was a couple of specials on the day we visited - a steak sandwich with sweet red peppers, crispy dripping and horseradish (£10) and a different steak cut that was £15 and apparently had a deeper flavour. The only other main we saw on the menu was a Truffled Wagyu Shortrib Cheeseburger, which is £12. The sides are around £3.50 - £4.50 and we all opted for water which they bring in a carafe to the table but there is a nice selection of beers, wine and cocktails if you are with all adults.
We had a friendly greeting on arrival and were shown to our table quite quickly. The waiter then came to see us and inquired if we'd been to a Flat Iron restaurant before. When we told him we hadn't he explained the menu and bought us water for the table. We found the service to be efficient and friendly.
Once our meals had arrived and we were all eating Miss E tried her steak and it was chewy. As we were sat near to a till station the member of staff could see we were discussing it and she asked if we were OK. I explained all our steaks were very good but that my daughter found her tough and chewy. She apologised straight away and said she'd get us another. She checked how Miss E liked it cooked and within about 5 minutes there was a fresh steak in front of her, which tasted perfect.
I only realised once we had left the restaurant but I was impressed to see they did not charge us for Miss E's steak, I assume due to the issue we experienced.
The Little Extras
When you first sit down you get a little tin cup of popcorn put on the table for you all to enjoy whilst looking at the menu. This is a nice little touch and my daughter particularly enjoyed it.
You get handed a little flat iron cleaver knife charm once you've finished your meal and you trade these in for a gorgeous little ice cream to take on your travels with you. It is a homemade soft-serve in a waffle cone and is salt caramel flavour - truly delicious and such a nice way to finish your trip to Flat Iron.
In all we loved our trip to Flat Iron, everything was to our satisfaction and I now know to try the mash next time rather than the fries and also to order an extra steak to share so I get a good-sized portion. There are eight Flat Iron restaurants across London and I'd be interested to try out other ones as well. Covent Garden is our next planned stop and I notice the Shoreditch branch also spit roasts special cuts of beef so that would be great to try out.
The bill was £62.44 including the optional 12.5% service charge that they add on. This was for 3 steaks, 4 fries, 1 sauce and 1 cider. If they had charged for Miss E's steak the bill would have been £76.50, making it just under £20 each for our meal. For steak in London, I think this is OK.
The service was excellent, how the chewy steak was dealt with was exceptional, the ice cream treat at the end is such a nice treat and we found the place to be clean and pleasant. As I mentioned I didn't personally like the stools but some other tables had bench seating which might be better. I'll happily go to FlatIron again and would recommend it. I asked my husband his thoughts and he said the same as me generally, although he did also comment that whilst the food was nice, it wasn't exceptional. There wasn't anything wow about it to pull him back again.
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