Flesh & Buns is a indulgent Japanese restaurant focused on meat & seafood (flesh) and steamed fluffy bao buns. We absolutely love baos, but we love flesh & buns even more. We are regulars at Flesh & Buns Covent Garden, and it’s one of our favourite London restaurants, so we were so excited to try out the new Flesh & Buns Fitzrovia that’s opening tomorrow 21st September. But we couldn’t wait that long so we rushed over to for their soft launch 😊.
Flesh & Buns Fitzrovia, like Covent Garden, is in the style of a traditional Japanese Izakaya, but it also incorporates contemporary artful elements in its décor. With that, it’s both uniquely elegant and relaxed. Unlike Covent Garden, there is a very prominent bar along one side of the restaurant and another dining “bar” overlooking the open kitchen on the other side.
The service is superb! We were sat at the dining bar right in front of the pastry chef but also with a view of the entire kitchen, so we were able to see how efficient the entire process was, from the order, to cooking, to plating, to service. We were served by several waiters and all of them were friendly and very attentive. There is a a pisco sour button on the table to call a trolley to prepare “pisco sours” I imagine, but we don’t drink alcohol so we never indulged, although the button was calling me! 😂 Even just to ask for water with a slice of lemon… you know, the cool stuff 😝.
What we ordered
Flesh & Buns Fitzrovia has a lot of very intriguing new dishes. Ceviches, Tiraditos, meats from the “Smoker”, and more small dishes. But then we came ready… we even brought a friend! Ha!
From small dishes we ordered tempura plaice, tiger prawn Toban, fried squid, chicken yakitori, and Korean fried chicken wings. Chalk River Trout from Ceviche. For flesh, we ordered Crispy Piglet Belly, and, from Smoker, Chilli Miso Brisket and whole Shichimi & Sansho Pepper Jerked Duck, with two buns each.
We’ve declared our everlasting affection for the Korean fried chicken wings and fried squid in our Flesh & Buns Covent Garden review, and these were just as delicious. Very consistent cooking.
The Tiger Prawn Toban was the best of the new small dishes we had. It arrived still sizzling and the prawn was well cooked and juicy, but the rest of the dish was was stood out… spicy and utterly rich. Amazing dish.
Chicken Yakitori was also amazing! So amazing that Shiima only gave me a tiny piece, but that’s all good because she didn’t touch the prawn Toban. So we’re even, I suppose. The Chicken Yakitori was grilled to perfection and tender.
We didn’t like the tempura plaice because it was too sweet, I still ate it all though lol.
The Chalk River Trout was very beautiful and intricate to look at, and just as enjoyable to eat. I particularly loved the crispy trout skin. The balance of flavours was just right and the trout was really fresh.
Flesh and Buns
I love the crispy piglet belly; I order it all the time at Flesh & Buns Covent Garden and it’s just as delicious at Flesh & Buns Fitzrovia. The skin is perfectly crisp and the pork belly is so delicious and moreish. I personally think it’s the best “flesh” for the soft soft soft buns! (Do add chilli oil to your bun for that added kick 😉).
The Chilli Miso Brisket is beautifully presented. You can see a lot of care was taken in the preparation of the dish. Simply, if you like barbecued beef brisket, you’ll love this. That leaves Shiima out, but then I devoured it with our friend.
The pepper jerked duck was really good. I didn’t expect it to be that good. And it was all about the spice. It reminded me and our friend, who’s also Nigerian, of the barbecued chicken street food we enjoyed in Lagos. Some parts of the duck were really fatty though, but other than that it was a perfect grilled bird. I’d loved to try the dish with chicken instead of duck, as I think it’ll just blow me mind… and maybe Shiima’s too because she wasn’t as enamoured with it as I was.
Note: at Flesh & Buns Fitzrovia you have to pay for the salad which comes free with the flesh & Buns at Covent Garden. It’s just £2, but we still thought it a tad odd.
Oh, yes! Lots of intriguing desserts on the menu, but we went for the kinako doughnuts and Nutella croissant tai yaki.
The kinako doughnuts are right in my wheelhouse because it’s fresh, warm, and stuffed with custard! Plus, it wasn’t overly sweet. Excellent.
The Nutella croissants, on the other hand, are right in Shiima’s wheelhouse because it’s stuffed with Nutella, but it pulls me right back in with the milo soft serve ice cream, which was just right. The croissants were warm and perfectly flaky as well. Delicious even without the Nutella filling.
We absolutely loved our experience at Flesh & Buns Fitzrovia and we’ll be going back soon, and soon after that, and then again, and again… incredible indulgent Japanese food, relaxed yet elegant atmosphere, and excellent service. We recommend for dates, special occasions, fun meal with friends, colleagues, and family (not entirely sure about young kids), and large groups. The bar also looks like a cool place to have a drink. Flesh & Buns Fitzrovia is fairly inexpensive as well.
Dress Code: Casual/Smart Casual
Shiima’s Star Dish: Chicken Yakitori
Amen’s Star Dish: Tiger Prawn Toban
Price: £20-£30 (without alcohol)
Rating: 5 out of 5