One of the best things about blogging is meeting new people and I’m lucky enough to have met so bloggers from different walks of life all with interesting stories to tell, different backgrounds, cultures and upbringings. That being said I was really excited to meet up with Andrea from Andrea’s Passions and Kam from A Married Couple and Their Travels at Japanese restaurant Flesh & Buns…
There are so many blogs that I read on a regular basis, and I feel like I know what’s going on in that person’s life and I have regular contact with them on social media yet I’ve never heard the sound of their voice. I’ve been told a few times…’Oh, you don’t sound how I thought you would’…Anyway after putting voices to faces, we quickly established that we had lots in common…a love of food, travel and bubbly drinks!
According the Flesh & Buns website, Japanese people drink as much or more then Westerners and the Covent Garden restaurant is based on a Izakaya, a Japanese drinking establishment that serves food. Us cocktail loving girls were clearly in the right place…
In order to try a bit of everything we decided to go for the tasting menu with a few add-ons that we fancied…the waiter warned us that it would be a lot of food but we were ready to accept the challenge.
Everything is made to share at Flesh & Buns and though it was the first time we’d met we weren’t shy about getting stuck in. Starting with the chips and dip in the form of rice crackers with accompanying avocado shiso and tomato jalapeno. I really liked the crackers which weren’t greasy and paired perfectly with the hot spicy salsa and on the other end of the spectrum the cool and slightly tangy avocado.
Salmon avocado rolls with asparagus and daikon cress were delicious but we agreed we’d like a bit more of the salmon filling…but then I always want more salmon…
Spicy tuna rolls were one of our choices from off the tasting menu – these are my favourite things ever and I really enjoyed Flesh & Buns’ version.
The final dish from the raw section of the was tuna tataki with jalapeno ponzu and garlic chips. I’ve been slightly spoilt by the tuna tataki at Roka, where it’s one of my favourite dishes but the Flesh & Buns version was also beautifully prepared with plenty of that citrusy ponzu that I love!
Rather more messy were the Korean fried wings with spicy sour sauce – these weren’t really for me as I’m not a fan of sweet sauces. However, the dish did lead us to discover that Mr S and Kam’s husband Indy share a mutual love of ‘that’ chicken restaurant… Nando’s. Mr S did force me into Nando’s once as we actually live very close to one and I wasn’t too impressed by the thin slice of chicken breast in dry pitta that I received… but he loves it!
Flesh & Buns was packed and the atmosphere was buzzy, fun and casual. There’s the option of shared dining tables and stools but I was glad Andrea had negotiated a private table for us with good light for all our blogging needs. The only problem was it was rather a gorgeous day outside and Flesh & Buns is basement restaurant where they really need to turn up the air con…it was roasting hot in there!
Next up the restaurant’s signature dish: the flesh and buns! There lots of different protein options to fill your buns which are all served with lettuce, cucumber, sauce and pickle.
The tasting menu comes with crispy piglet belly served with mustard miso (though we think they mistakenly gave us two) to stuff in your bun. I don’t eat pork belly – it’s a dislike of fat thing not a Jew thing – so I left this dish for the other girls to enjoy.
Crispy duck leg carved at the table was the other protein option that came with the tasting menu, it was ok but I’ve definitely had better in London, one of my favourites being HKK.
Owing to my pork aversion we added salmon teriyaki as one of our dishes. The salmon was succulent and not too sweet and I loved the accompanying pickled cucumber.
I love miso grilled aubergine but I find many restaurants versions aren’t to my taste, we all agreed that at Flesh & Buns it was far too sweet. The best I’ve had in London being at Dinings in Marylebone.
I loved the interactive element of this dish and the fire pit that was brought to the table and we toasted the marshmallows ourselves and then made them into a sandwich with the chocolate and biscuits…it was messy, gooey and of course, awesome!!
Not feeling quite ready to say goodbye, we headed to Roka on Charlotte Street which is both Andrea and I’s favourite restaurant. In fact, Andrea is such a regular here she has a personalised jar of Shochu to enjoy whenever she comes.
It was a fab night of hearing new voices, making new friends and drinking too much…I look forward to doing it all again soon!
Flesh & Buns
41 Earlham Street