A top quality steak sits pretty highly at the top of my food appreciation list – but to get that quality, it can be pretty pricey. Basically, if you’re not raking in the cash, chances are a sizzling sirloin is usually a very rare treat, often saved for when your date’s paying or a good old parental visitation. But thanks to Flat Iron, those of us on a budget can get our steak fix without having to eat beans on toast for the next fortnight.
I’ve been to Flat Iron before, and it’s fast become one of my favourite places to head out for a relatively cheap dinner in Central. There are two branches both in the Soho area; one on Beak Street and the other hanging out by the guitar shops around Denmark Street. Pro tip: the latter often tends to have a shorter wait time, especially if you arrive before 6.30 when it starts to fill up. This time round, we were escorted into the back section of the restaurant – somewhere I’ve never actually been before – and particularly enjoyed the decor there. The bare brickwork of the walls combined with a skylight and plants gives it that European ‘al fresco’ feel without having to deal with, y’know, actually being outside with the weather (and pigeons).
Flat Iron’s menu is incredibly simple – the only main course is, as you’d expect, a steak. For £10, you can get the house steak with salad and then add sides – I went for the Dripping Chips, which are some of the most unbeatable chips I’ve ever had in the city. Crisp on the outside, soft on the inside – and the fact that the chef cooking the chips has their name up on the blackboard is a lovely personal touch. Marco done good. If you’re looking for something slightly healthier, there’s aubergine or freshly picked market greens of the day.
The steak itself is pretty much perfection on a plate (well, a chopping board, because plates aren’t cool these days). Recommended served medium rare, it’s incredibly tender, juicy, slightly seasoned and, most importantly, packed with mouthwatering meaty flavour. The great taste means you don’t actually need a sauce with it, but I’ll admit I’m a complete sucker for a tasty Bearnaise – or alternatively, grab a Peppercorn sauce for a more feisty, punchy edge to your steak.
I’d also never experienced dessert at Flat Iron but as a treat, I decided to give the Salted Caramel Sundae a whirl. BEST IDEA EVER. The sundae comes with two tiny pots – one with a vanilla syrup and the other a chocolate sauce. The combination of soft, fresh dairy ice cream with the sauces works perfectly to quell the sweetest of teeth – and as you reach the bottom, a beautiful salted caramel surprise awaits.
In total, I spent £28 (including a tip) on my steak, fries, Salted Caramel Sundae and a couple of glasses of wine. Usually, the only place you’d get a steak meal including drinks for under £30 is good old Spoons, so considering the epic quality of the food, it’s a reasonable price. Plus, if you’re REALLY stretched, the steak and salad and some tap water would only set you back a tenner (plus tip). Total bargain. If you’re visiting London, not veggie and looking for a mid-priced eatery, Flat Iron is perfect for feeling extravagant without the cost. If you live in London and haven’t been to Flat Iron yet…well, where on earth have you been?!