Hattie Lloyd 14/09/18
A quick reminder on things that happen every five years:
1) Portuguese presidential elections;
2) Amsterdam’s biggest, most ostentatious nautical event, ‘SAIL’; and
3) A new Flesh & Buns opening.
As it turns out, only the last of those things is taking place this year, so that’s what we’ll be focussing on today (although if you have a tall ship crew just twiddling their thumbs, you may be interested to know that registration for SAIL 2020 is now open). But as it turns out, that’s not the only reason why Flesh & Buns Oxford Circus is special.
Because not only is it the long-awaited follow-up to the original Covent Garden izakaya-style bao bar, a grungy, rock’n’roll drinking den from the Bone Daddies team, it’s also very much brought its own goods to the table; in the form of new dishes, a new wood-smoker, and Press for Pisco buttons.
Making its home on the secluded Berners Street in Fitzrovia, it retains all the low-lit, urban feel of its predecessor, with sake barrels hoisted onto shelves, cosy booths sheltered by Japanese wooden screens, and industrial bulbs suspended in huge netted lampshades. Only this spot is much bigger, with a proper, dedicated bar area taking up the left side of the restaurant, and more tables – which, in a move away from the communal feeling of Covent Garden, are intimately dotted around in pairs.
Happily, to match this larger space they’ve broadened the menu offering too, with a strong focus on Nikkei cuisine (where Peruvian meets Japanese). So while rustling up new small plates of ceviche, tiraditos and tempura corn, they’re also using their brand new bespoke wood smoker to char larger, hot plates like chilli-miso smoked brisket and shichimi and sansho pepper jerk duck bao. You can watch them prep literally everything in the completely open kitchen, a huge operation bustling behind the curved dining counter.
And while the sleek bar to the left is worth perching at for an apéritif, the real pièce de résistance is those pisco sour buttons on every table. Much like the fêted Bob Bob Ricard Champagne buttons, they allow you to summon a drinks trolley stacked with everything you need for a customised Pisco Sour directly to your table, in what’ll prove a wonderfully reciprocal arrangement…
Because they’ll push your buttons, too.
NOTE: Flesh & Buns Oxford Circus is open for lunch and dinner daily, with all day service from noon on weekends, including bottomless brunch. You can find out more, and book, HERE.
Flesh & Buns Oxford Circus | 32 Berners Street, W1T 3LR
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32 Berners Street, Fitzrovia, Central London, W1T 3LR
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