Flesh & Buns is one of the offshoot restaurants of Bone Daddies, which initially started as a Ramen Bar and has now flourished into a bona fide London staple with several restaurants across (mostly central, to be fair) London. They focus on Japanese cuisine, but less sushi and more indulgent and somewhat innovative Japanese dishes – “Japanese Soul Food” they call it. Flesh & Buns hits the nail squarely on the head with its name; it’s a restaurant that focuses on flesh – meat & fish, and buns – soft and fluffy delicious steamed buns. And I wont bury the lead, its great!
I’d been to Bone Daddies years ago, and I enjoyed it, I think lol. Cant quite remember as it was that long ago, but randomly I decided to check it out as it’s the sort of restaurant I’d enjoy writing about. But in doing research, I came across Flesh & Buns, which I’d heard about. I looked through the menu, and I made an executive decision that Shiima and I would be going to Flesh & Buns ASAP. Getting a table wasn’t difficult, we reserved about a week in advance. Flesh & Buns is in Covent Garden, and just minutes away from the station. You walk down the steps to the lower ground, through the door and you’re immediately met by the host (not going for maître d here). It was about 6:30 PM and the restaurant was already a hive of activity. We were led past a long communal table in the centre of the room and the open kitchen to our table and quickly handed the menu by our chirpy waiter. The restaurant has a hip basement vibe to it, and the good music and the dim lighting helps with that.
The menu isn’t the broadest, but it’s just perfect, with a good array of raw fish dishes for the sushi lovers, intriguing cooked small dishes, and the aforementioned flesh & buns. Shiima ordered Edamame, Chicken Yakitori, Korean Fried wings (more a joint order lol) for starters and ½ Young Chicken and Veggie Hot Stone Rice for her mains. I ordered the Yellowtail Sashimi, Fried Squid for starters, and I initially ordered the Grilled Cod, the beef rib (special on the day), and some buns, but they were out of the Cod so I switched that for the Salmon Teriyaki.
Edamame is always good, so I’ll leave that and move on to the Chicken wings and Yakitori. The Wings were really good, considered ordering another portion, but remembered we’d ordered a tad too much as it was. The yakitori was okay, nothing special and about par for what we expected. The ½ young chicken was marinated with spicy citrus miso, and it was delicious, which didn’t have that much to do with the marinade but how the chicken was cooked – it was tender and juicy. She ate the chicken in the buns (I know I ordered the buns, but I didn’t plan to eat em. I’m all for the flesh. I’m a loser, I know 😝) and it was great. The buns are just incredibly soft and they seemingly melt in your mouth, they are the best steamed buns I’ve ever had; yes, I did had a bite or two 😊. The chicken was a substantial portion; Shiima couldn’t finish it, not even with my help.
My yellowtail sashimi was just right, especially with the chilli coriander granita that I’d never had before – really good combination. The Fried Squid was really good too – as I pointed out in an earlier post, Shiima’s glorious foray into fish has started with squid and she really enjoyed this; so far it’s one of the best she’s tried. The Salmon Teryaki, which I regretted immediately after ordering because I hate ordering cooked salmon at restaurants as I believe I cook it better and what I do cook well at home I don’t order when I’m eating out, but it was good; charred on the outside but still soft and juicy on the inside. I had one fork, and commenced to eat all of it in the next minute. The beef rib though, now that was special, especially marinated with the spicy miso, and I love my miso spicy. The beef rib itself was ever so tender and incredibly moreish.
We usually don’t have desserts at Japanese restaurants, but Flesh & Buns is different, and so we did. We ordered the Kinako Donuts, which were filled with black sugar custard, and we enjoyed it. More me less Shiima, to be fair, but she was incredibly stuffed at this point. We’ll try it again and this time we wont eat as much prior, which wont be easy as there are many more enticing dishes on the menu. Needless to say, we’ll be back very soon as we really enjoy it. Also, Flesh & Buns is fairly priced for what it is and where it is. I’d recommend for large groups (friends and or colleagues), relaxed dates, and especially foodies.
Dress Code: Casual
Cuisine: Indulgent Japanese Cuisine: Casual Dining
Shiima’s Star Dish: The Buns!
Amen’s Star Dish: Beef Rib with Spicy Miso
Price: £30 each
Rating: 4.9 out of 5