The Flat Iron steak restaurant on Henrietta Street is apparently a fairly new addition to the Covent Garden area and is very handily placed close to the Opera House and Leicester Square for the tube and entertainment. Having read about how popular this restaurant has become, we (myself and two friends) decided to have an early dinner and try to avoid the crowds. At 5pm we walked right in and it was slightly under half full. The restaurant has a live butchers room off the bar area if you feel like you want to take a look at your future meal, but it’s well out of the way once you are seated in the main area.
The menu is very simple – a steak with salad (£10) and a few sides (£2.50 to £3.50) and sauces (£1 each). The special of the day was a burger. We all opted for the steak, and the waiter recommended medium rare. I am a terrible person and can only tolerate medium at absolute minimum (tasted very good), but the other two had medium rare and reported it to be exactly right. The generous portion of chips were crispy and delicious. The side salad was rocket with perhaps a bit too much house dressing – quite oily. We also sprung for an extra side of creamed spinach which was more than enough for three people to share and was delicious.
There was a good drinks menu, focused on craft beers and cocktails with wine options as well. Between us we had a bellini and a collins, both of which were decently sized and good, while my friend – who considers herself to be something of a ginger beer expert (if such a thing exists) – said that the ‘artisanal’ ginger beer was excellent.
The wait staff is young and the definition of laid back – to the point of being slightly slow and disinterested – hipsters, but perfectly pleasant. However, the diners seemed to run the full range of youngsters to older couples having a pre-theatre dinner. The noise volume was low and it was very easy to hold conversation.
The restaurant has some nice touches. A cup of popcorn is provided to graze on while you wait for drinks. The steak is served on a small butchers block and instead of a knife they provide a small cleaver, with an accompanying note begging you not to steal it. At the end of the meal you are given a token which can be exchanged as you leave for a salted caramel and chocolate ice cream cone. Tasty, and as it was oppressively hot that day, a welcome treat.
As we left just after 6pm, the line up was snaking down the road. Best to get there early, but worth a visit if you are looking for a simple, tasty meal in the Covent Garden area.