The lockdown saga continues! It has been well over five weeks since I last stepped foot in central London. Life has taken a strange turn for all of us since then, but I’m sure we can all agree on one thing: we miss food. Eating at home, despite how great it can be, just doesn’t hit the same. This week my lockdown-cravings led me to reminiscing over my last steak in the outside world, which was at Flat Iron, Covent Garden, not too long before the pandemic took hold.
Food - 7.5/10
Ambiance - 8/10
Service - 7/10
Value for Money - 8/10
A great steak-house with both affordable and fancy options in the heart of London – all budgets catered for.
Price range: ££
Telephone: 020 3019 4212
Address: 18 Henrietta St, Covent Garden, London WC2E 8QH
Nearest Station: Covent Garden
The chain is arguably most popular through its namesake ‘The Flat Iron Steak’, which offers visitors an affordable and introductory steak experience for £11. It is a simple – no nonsense – approach to steak, and works quite well. The chain operates a strict no reservations policy, which often leads to queues forming at it’s main branch in Covent Garden, due to Flat Iron’s popularity. Repeat visits from Londoners, and first-time visits from eagle-eyed tourists seeking a steak experience in the capital are common. And they’re all making one of the best choices, when you consider what else the capital has to offer – such as Angus Steakhouse.
As appears to be tradition for first-times at Flat Iron, I sat down, and ordered the £11 steak. I threw in a portion of chips and peppercorn sauce for good measure. Getting a seat wasn’t actually a problem, as I was able to walk in and get a table within a couple of minutes. The trick is to get in before the 5pm work exodus, if you can, on a weekday.
After I got my order in, I received, to my surprise – not a steak – but a cup of popcorn, which was a welcome snack while waiting for the main course. It was the first but not last surprise that evening from Flat Iron. The steak seemingly did not take long to arrive, as I still had popcorn leftover when it came (and it doesn’t usually take me long to sweep snacks like that up).
Now as long as you are not expecting the world from an £11 steak in central London, you really can’t go wrong here. And that’s what it was: not the biggest of steaks in the world, nor the best of cuts – but a great ‘bang-for-buck’ steak nonetheless which was cooked to order and surprisingly filling despite its size. I did find the accompanying House Leaf Salad a little plain, it would have worked a lot better with salad dressing, as it was a bit too ‘leafy’. Next time, I would probably opt for the Bearnaise sauce instead of the Peppercorn as well. I did enjoy my fries a lot – they were cooked to a golden crispy consistency, with a nice crunch to them. The portion size was pretty good too.
While the chain is known for their £11 steak, they do appear to be expanding their menu. On my visit I saw a menu hanging off of a blackboard featuring special cuts straight from the butchery. They seemed to be priced by weight, and featured more premium cuts. I’ll have to revisit it and try out one of these options as I enjoyed my introduction to Flat Iron quite a lot.
After my meal, I took my receipt to the dessert counter, where Flat Iron were giving out complimentary salted caramel ice cream with chocolate shavings, which was another pleasant surprise and a great way to top off a nice steak. This was in the middle of winter but it didn’t stop me! It seems that the ice cream is only offered at the Covent Garden store though, so bear that in mind.
If you take the whole experience into account, including the free popcorn and free ice cream, it actually works out to be even better value for money.
Apologies for the poor quality of photos in this review – the lighting in the restaurant suited the aesthetic and vibe of Flat Iron Covent Garden, but wasn’t too great for picture taking. I’ll have to revisit Flat Iron sometime to snap better photos – and try more of their menu of course!
Speak to you next time!