There’s a whole heap of places on my London to-eat list that I haven’t made it to yet because I just cannot be arsed to queue. Gradually, no-reservation eateries are starting to become less rare, but I do get it with smaller places. Flat Iron on Denmark Street is limited on space which means demand is high, and explains why it’s taken me so long to actually eat there.
We didn’t really queue, to be honest. But that’s because we’d eaten breakfast at 6am, so by the time Flat Iron opened at 12pm, we were there for the doors opening and ravenous to boot. I was sceptical of the simple menu after visiting Le Relais De L’Entrecote in Paris which has a similar concept but, after almost two hours of queueing, is high up there with the most disappointing meals of my life.
But instantly Flat Iron felt different to that. It doesn’t cram people in; instead, we sat within wood-panelled interiors that channeled lumberjack cabin rather than tourist trap. Delicate wildflowers sat in glass tumblers contrasting the metal farming equipment hung on the walls, but both giving a distinct outdoorsy vibe. It is stripped down, as is the menu.
At Flat Iron, the only option is steak. They do have a heftier cut and a special item on the menu most days, but really, you come here for a good quality, flat iron steak, always served with a leafy green salad and should absolutely come medium-rare (unless you’re a heathen, but I guess that’s why steak knives come with serrated edges). It’s what we came for and it’s what we got.
I went for bearnaise and my boyfriend had peppercorn, which meant I could gleefully mix and match sauces with the thin slices of steak AND the dripping cooked chips we were sharing. Each sauce was creamy and soft, and the ground sea salt on the steak melted along with the super-tender meat. We added creamed spinach into the mix whose tinge of nutmeg gave finesse to what could’ve been a heavy meal but was actually perfectly proportioned.
I love to peruse a menu and pick a selection of things to share, but sometimes you just want something simple and to have it done really well. There’s plenty of restaurants that try to be the jack of all trades, but when it comes to Flat Iron, they are simply the master of one: quality steak, cooked perfectly.
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