steak soho flat iron

I had assumed, as only carnivores do, that everybody bar ‘them that don’t eat meat’ must love steak. Saliva-gland-stimulating, juicy, tender steak. Then I remembered my friend Laura, who tried her first ever steak in New York’s famous Balthazar restaurant no more than eight hours after we had staggered out of a sweaty nightclub on 17th Street with veins full of tequila and bags empty of phones/wallets/hotel keys. Which, in hindsight, may not have been the best time to bite down on your first slightly pink chunk of cow. Needless to say, she wasn’t impressed.

Fast forward 18 months and Flat Iron lands with a stylish wallop in London’s SoHo, ringing the bell for round two. The steak house is a down-to-earth, stripped back, British version of a traditional Entrecôte, and like many recent additions to the Soho scene has nailed the formula to create an eatery that people are literally queuing out the door for.

Aided by the same group who struggled to overcome a nauseating urge to curl up in a ball on Balthazar’s parquet floor, Laura was coerced into agreeing to attend.
We soon found ourselves surrounding a very friendly lady with a clipboard in Flat Iron’s snug entrance just off Beak Street. Unassuming but stylishly moody both inside and out, you’d easily walk past towards a more gaudy, attention-seeking SoHo bar if it wasn’t for the endless trail of onlookers pointing out the restaurant they’ve heard is “Really really good OMG!”. Word of Mouth and some well-placed marketing speaks louder than neon signs.

interior flat iron steak

As with most debutants to the London culinary scene, they enforce a no-reservation policy. Frustrating? Yes, but compared to the likes of MEATliquor, at least you can ask Friendly Clipboard Lady to take your name down as you dual-task waiting for a table with quaffing carafes of wine and popcorn in the basement bar.

Entering the main restaurant is a squeeze; it’s a small floor space so they’ve packed the tables in tightly, then they pack you onto the table tightly. There’s no room to be shy either, you’ll most likely be rubbing elbows with other meat-revellers on either side of you throughout your meal. This is ok though, because everyone is so excited to have a place at the table that they’re a very friendly bunch. No Nasty Nicks here.

We got lucky and were led to a ‘detached’ table; the 4 bedroom house lording it over the block of flats next door. Maybe they could see fear in Laura’s eyes and wanted to ease her into the experience. Ordering is quick and painless; steak (however you want it, Laura risked a punchy medium), a selection of four sauces (the usual, plus Fred’s sauce; a spicey tomato conconction) a small range of sides (chips and creamed spinach for me please) and more wine. A light hum of chatter fills the room, easing you back in your chair as you relax and wait for all of ten minutes before your food arrives. Service With A Smile makes sure you’ve got everything you need before tucking into the dish; tender sliced fillet steak, chilled fresh salad, crispy handcut chips and utterly filthy (in a good way, always in a good way) creamy spinach. The food was fantastic and gone in minutes. Not just on my plate but Laura’s too, her mini meat cleaver slamming down on the warm flat iron with a hefty “I LOVE STEAK!”; the cry of the converted.

£20 a head for the creation of a steak lover? Priceless.