Flesh and Buns
It seems that chef Ross Shonhan has two basic passions. Rock music and Japanese food. Fair play. That’s the sort of eclecticism that makes Britain’s food scene the best in the world.
When Shonhan (formerly of Nobu) conceived Bone Daddies, it was a Ramen joint (hence the name, I suppose) in Soho. Since then things have got a bit crazy. Eight restaurants at last count. More ramen for sure, but also Shakfuyu - a pop-up that never popped down - and Flesh and Buns.
The guys at Bone Daddies say that the cuisine at Flesh and Buns is “Japanese drinking food”.
Well, we popped in at lunchtime and didn’t drink, so I can’t confirm or dispute that. What I will say is that it’s pretty damn good eating food.
We plumped for the express menu (available in the afternoon and after 10PM), three courses and a drink for £24. Pretty strong value.
Starters of seafood ceviche and Korean fried wings. Delicious, tender and moreish Korean fried wings (These have inspired some experimentation in the kitchen - recipes to come).
Crispy piglet bao buns with mustard miso and pickled apple (flesh & buns) were exactly as bao buns should be. Warm, sticky, slightly messy, utterly satisfying, succulent pork crammed, steamed buns of deliciousness. Perfect comfort food.
These are served to consruct yourself, so you can really get the meat:trimming:sauce ratios exactly to your liking.
The desserts are completely gratuitous. We were already satiated. Deep fried Kinako donuts, full of caramel and The mighty Bone Daddies sundae took us well over the edge.
To be honest, I can’t think of anything to complain about. It seems petty to be annoyed that we were so full that we had to forgo our dinner plans in the evening.
There was an initial awkward back and forth with a waiter who seemed reluctant to serve us any beverage with an ABV of less than 5%, but he soon shuffled off, presumably to plot a more effective method of ambushing his next guests with pre-lunch libations.
In his defence, Flesh&Buns are claiming to be serving drinking food, and under normal circumstances I am in no way averse to getting blotto in the early afternoon, so I shan’t change my opinion of a solid eatery, based purely on a chap’s over-eagerness to get me pissed.
In truth, just the recollection of this bao joint-come-restaurant-come-beer cavern makes me peckish. I really need to get down to one of Bone Daddies’ Ramen joints and get a bowl of rich, steaming, ramen.
Flesh and Buns, Covent Garden
N.B. We opted and paid for our meal at Flesh & Buns ourselves, and all opinions are our own.