It’s another place specialising in only one thing, and another place that doesn’t take reservations. We decided to go on Friday, when hopefully everyone would be elsewhere getting ready to watch the Opening Ceremony, and we went straight from work to be doubly sure we would avoid queuing for ages. We were, in fact, the very first two people in there and we didn’t have to queue at all! An excellent start. I don’t know if we were just lucky, or if it is always so easy so early in the night. Quite a few people had trickled in by half an hour later, but it wasn’t packed to the rafters, and, while we decided to leave after we’d eaten and finished our drinks, we could easily have stayed for another one or two drinks without feeling like we we were taking up valuable space.
So what is Flat Iron’s handle? Well, it’s aim is to make steak affordable for the masses, and they have done this by serving one type of steak – the Flat Iron – which rarely gets used and is thus cheaper. After the first night of opening, the next day I waited with baited breath for the reviews – but almost more importantly – the prices. I wanted to know what they considered ‘affordable’ considering steaks in the good places (Hawksmoor for example) can go for around £30, sometimes more depending on the cut. Good reviews were flooding in but no one was mentioning the price. Why? I was suspicious. Someone reviewed it on their blog, again without mentioning the price, so I asked. I could scarcely believe her when she said that steak and a salad was £10. That was unbelievably good value. And it doesn’t stop there. Sides come in at a mere £2.50, and cocktails are also very reasonably priced at between £5.50 and £7 (most places start at £7.00).
The restaurant space is also delightful. It has a bit of a rustic, slightly Wild West feel to it. As we went in fresh horseradish was being pounded in a pestle and mortar. There’s a lot of dark wood. The place feels relaxed and comfortable. But it is clear that great attention to detail has been given – from the mini-cleavers that take the place of steak knives, to the little jars of ketchup and mustard, to the way your bill is presented at the end of the meal – on small but heavy letter presses. This sort of thing might not be strictly necessary but for me added to the enjoyment of the experience.
|Flat Iron asks, please don't steal the cleavers!|
|Meat for two with bloody mary sauce and bearnaise|
Flat Iron is only around for another four weeks as it stands. I really like what they’re trying to do and the amount of effort that has gone into the place. They're not just making steak affordable, they're making eating out in general affordable. Everyone go and ensure it makes the transition from pop-up to permanent.
|Press presenting your bill|