Flat Iron.

Last week I went to Flat Iron for lunch because it was my birthday and everyone should eat a steak on their birthday.

I have heard loads of people banging on about this place, so I thought we would have to queue for sure as you can’t book. Me and my friend arrived at about 12:45pm and we were seated straight away, which I was pleasantly surprised by.

Once seated we were delivered a mug of beef dripping popcorn – I won’t lie it kind of tasted like normal popcorn but I did have a bit of a cold so my palette might not have been on top form.

flat iron popcorn

The menu is simple, we both ordered the Flat Iron Steak and a couple of sides to share.

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The best bit is that you get a little baby meat cleaver. You don’t really need the cleaver because the steak is already sliced up but it’s good for being an Instagram dick and pretending to be a serial killer.

The food arrived quickly, which is good if you are a business man like me.

flat iron

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The meat was amazing. Really really soft and just better than I ever imagined it would be. Here is a picture of the steak next to a grown bald man so you can see how big it is. When it first came out I thought it looked a bit small, but it was actually just the right amount.

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I know I’m just jumping on the Flat Iron hype, but it really is pretty good and for £10 you can’t go wrong. Go and see for yourself.

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honest burger.

i went to the new honest burger in soho on friday to try out their special christmas burger because it sounded wonderful.

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i have been looking forward to going to honest burger for quite a long time because everyone says it is better than byron and as good as meat liquor. i am still undecided. i think i made some bad decisions though so i am going to blame myself for feeling a bit sad about my experience.

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my first bad decision was that i got my burger cooked medium rather than medium rare. i think this was the reason why i found the beef quite dense and not as juicy as i’d hoped. my second mistake was ordering the christmas burger (which cost £11.50) and ignoring the fact that it would come covered in cranberry (not a massive fan).

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the camembert and bacon was lovely but slightly overpowered by the sweetness of the cranberry. my friends ordered the honest burger and i was so jealous i clenched my fists under the table and tried not to cry. the third thing i wasn’t sure about were the rosemary chips, they were just too salty for me. i enjoyed my can of coke.

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the restaurant is quite small so be prepared to queue (we waited for about 15 mins, but it was a friday lunchtime). i think i will go back and make sure i get a medium rare honest burger which will hopefully make me feel a bit happier.

amen

burger and lobster.

on friday night i went to a restaurant i’ve wanted to go to for ages. it’s called burger and lobster and it’s on dean st in soho (there is also one in mayfair). i really liked the setting, there are red leather booths and there were lots of people wearing lobster bibs. we arrived at ab0ut 6.30pm and got a table straight away.

once seated the friendly waitress gave us a drinks menu and told us we had a choice of 3 things to order.

burger (with cheese and bacon)
lobster
lobster roll

all 3 options were £20 and came with fries and a salad. me and my friend decided to get a burger and a lobster to share. it was a good decision. the lobster was meaty and delicious and came with a dream boat of herb and garlic butter. it was bloody massive too. the burger was pretty huge, too big to put in your mouth. my friend ate hers with a knife and fork like a princess. it was a good burger, but i have had better.

here is my friend and the burger so you can see how big it is next to a human

when we left at approx 8pm there was a queue forming and the bar was busy with people getting drunk whilst they waited to be seated.

in summary it’s good for the novelty of wearing a bib. i wouldn’t recommend going there if you don’t like lobster because you’ll end up paying £20 for a burger and i believe there are better and cheaper burgers to be had in london (like byron and meatliquor). if you want to eat a whole lobster then definitely go there.

i’ve also heard from loads of people (3 people) that the lobster roll is amazing, so i might go back for that one day.

bratwurst.

i had my first ever schnitzel today. i’m not sure if this is true because a schnitzel is just a bit of flat meat in some breadcrumbs. i still don’t know if it was chicken or pork. please don’t ask me the difference between a schnitzel and an escalope as i won’t be able to tell you the answer.

bratwurst is on berwick st in soho and specialises in german sausages. it’s not very german inside, it’s more like an american diner for children.

i decided to get the schnitzel, mash potato and hunter sauce which cost £6.95. i’ll start with the best part – the mash. it was creamy and smooth and better than nando’s mash but probably not as good as mother mash, but i haven’t been there for ages so i can’t really remember.

the unknown meat was probably as big as the hand span of a big man. quite big.  however it was quite tough to cut and a bit tasteless.

the third component of my lunch was the hunter sauce (gravy with mushrooms and onions). on paper it sounded great… in my mouth it upset me. it was ok, it just had a really weird flavour that i couldn’t quite put my finger on.

when we got back to the office some of the boys were jealous of our paper bratwurst bags so they decided to go there too. the boys all ordered different combinations of sausage and here is what they had to say:

“beef bratwurst. it was awesome. good mustard.” RD

“i was left feeling ashamed and lazy. the meal i chose (double curry bratwurst with brotchen roll) consisted of little more than chopped up sausage, a mix of ketchup & curry powder, and a bread roll. i could have concocted this at home last night and brought the leftovers into work today for much less money and with a slightly higher quality of sausage. next time i go out for lunch, i will be selecting a much more elaborate meal – something that is not easily brought to work in the form of leftovers” AH

“i chose the double currywurst, and though i cannot comment on the quality of the mustard (i didn’t have any) it was a tasty and surprisingly light lunch. as an erstwhile aficionado of bratwust i lament my decision to omit the creamy mash from my selection. for £4.95 i have no complaints, and a pleasant after-taste of curry sauce.” MR

“felt like i was finally getting some good ol’ fashioned german lebensmittel in a country filled with pies, curry and asian food… i was excited at first, but a little let down when i realised i was eating out of a styrofoam box that was delivered to me before i could even type my pin into the card machine.” RW

“i had the double currywurst, the quality of curry sauce was trounced by the quality of the mustard. recommend you go with only mustard and ignore the appeal of curry sauce on the menu. bread was good.” SA

so in summary the mustard and bread rolls were the shining stars of the place that prides itself on its gourmet german sausages. i will probably go back to bratwurst because i like the taste of disappointment.

auf wiedersehen!

venison steak sandwich.

it’s pay day today and i’ve done two really grown up things. the first was that i paid my internet bill. the second was that i had a venison steak sandwich from the wild game co. i was a bit nervous about this because i don’t think i’ve ever consciously eaten venison. me and my sister recently discovered that throughout our lives our mum has tricked us into eating different kinds of meat, because she knew that if we really knew what it was, we wouldn’t touch it. i will never forget the day my sister realised that the chicken she had just eaten was in fact a little bunny rabbit.

my friend was too eager to wait for me and headed to the wild game co stall at 12pm, where he got the venison burger. he said it was good, but not amazing, so i decided to get something different. i am really glad that i did because i really liked my sandwich. i don’t do scores normally but i would give this a solid 7.5 out of 10. the only thing i would change was the bread, it was a tiny bit dry.

the filling was excellent though. the steak was rare, smothered in caramelised onions, cheese, cooked cherry tomatoes and salad in some sort of sweet wholegrain mustard dressing.

verdict – i would definitely get this again. sorry bambi

spuntino.

if you’re hungry when you read this you should probably look away now…

a new thing i like to do on fridays is go for secret lunches with my wolf pack. my wolf pack consists of 3 work colleagues but i can’t tell you who they are. last friday we were a man down, but that didn’t stop us from braving the rain and walking approximately 30 seconds around the corner to spuntino.

if you’re in soho frequently, spuntino is the kind of place you would walk past everyday and never notice (which is kind of what adds to its appeal).

it really is quite cool inside, i felt a bit like i was an extra in gossip girl or mad men or friends. there are seats around the bar or a few quieter tables at the back, we sat at the back which i was quite happy about. we agreed this would be a good place to take a date because you don’t have to make eye contact and they can’t watch you eat as you’re side by side rather than face to face. unless they swivel round a bit, and in that case you probably shouldn’t be on a date with them anyway because that’s just creepy.

i had read a few blogs and heard about the amazing ‘off the menu’ burger, which thankfully has now been added. i think i would have been too scared to wink and ask for it, like i imagine they would do in the movies (or friends).

i had eaten some mini weetabix for breakfast and this was quite an early lunch so i wasn’t particularly hungry and for this reason i didn’t order sides (just a massive cheeseburger). also it was the friday before pay day, i ain’t made of money guys. the waiter recommended that we ordered about 8 or 9 plates between us, but as mine was full size i ignored him. my pack ordered shoestring fries, chilli mussel linguine, jerusalem artichoke & truffle vinaigrette salad, ground beef and bone marrow slider and the truffled egg toast (which they both agreed was incredible but i’m still not sure what it actually was. i was too preoccupied dressing my burger and thinking about the anniversary of kate and will).

as you can see the burger came with red onion and chunks of gherkin which i carefully placed inside along with a dollop of ketchup and a splash of tabasco. my mouth is literally watering just thinking about it.

i think the first bite made me make a funny noise. i don’t remember much else. all i know is that the meat was so soft it literally melted in my mouth. if i had seen this picture of how rare it was cooked i would have said “no thank you good sir” but it was honestly was cooked perfectly. maybe i’m finally growing up.

my burger was £9, but i think if you’re going there hungry you should order a few sides. i’ve heard the eggplant chips are delish.

verdict – bold statement, but better than a byron. go on pay day. actually just go when you can…  next on my list is meat liqour

banh mi 11.

last week i decided to go to banh mi 11, the vietnamese baguette stall at berwick st market. i’d walked passed the stall a few times and didn’t feel like cutting my mouth on a dry sandwich from pret today so thought i’d take that same old stroll down sex alley to see what was going down, and i’m really quite glad i did.
i didn’t take very long to decide to go for the crackling pork banh mi whilst my friend, who is a vegtable-arian, opted for the tofu (see main pic).

i didn’t really know what to expect and whilst the guys on the stall prepared my sandwich i started to doubt myself. had i made the right choice of filling? why was i in the rain without an umbrella? why DO dogs have wet noses? i had no reason to worry. the banh mi guys had it covered.

the baguette cost me £5 and it was £5 well spent because not only was it authentic and delicious, it kept my hands warm as i trotted back to the office.

the filling of the sandwich was made up of soft slow roasted pork belly that had been marinated in lemon jus and five spice, crunchy crackling, cucumber, carrot, radish pickle, coriander and smothered in hot sauce. the combination of flavours made my mouth do a little dance. at first glance i was worried that it might be a little dry, and that the we might have a roof of mouth cutting situation like the pret baguette incident of november 2011. i had nothing to worry about, it was pretty perfect.

verdict – berwick st market is quickly becoming my favourite lunch destination, if you are in soho then i demand you pay these guys a visit (if you want to, please)