Review of Flat Iron
Great steak isn’t just for the well-heeled, Flat Iron’s £11 steak brings quality steak to the masses and offers the best value steak in London.
Steak for the masses
The Flat Iron concept is a combination of well sourced and butchered beef, exceptional service, great decor and an unbeatable price (with a couple of freebies added in). The concept has proved so popular that Flat Iron now has five restaurants across London.
Flat Iron’s core steak offering is a cut from the shoulder area of the cow called the ‘Flat Iron’. It’s not a traditional steak house cut, but it packs a punch and can be tender if prepared properly.
The service is attentive with small touches of brilliance, like free popcorn and a jug of water as soon as you sit down. The decor is comfortably understated with wooden benches and church chairs. But it also has touches of cool, with a giant block of ice (for cocktails), a neon sign encouraging beef consumption and a signature touch: the cool, cute and slightly impractical mini cleaver.
The standard menu consists of a medium-sized steak with a small side of salad for £11 (although with service charge as standard in London this will come to £13.20). Sometimes Flat Iron will have specials including the Flat Iron burger, cuts from breeds like the Dexter or even on occasion some British Wagyu steak.
The sides are where your bill will start to add up. The fries and salad range in price from about £4-5 each. With drinks on top you can expect to spend about £30 per person total.
Eating the best value steak in London
Flat Iron will recommend that the steak is served medium rare, which is best for this cut of steak. The steak is served beautifully, sliced across its width, on a wooden tray with a metal inset. The cute, if slightly impractical, mini cleaver is there to cleave off smaller chunks of steak..
The steak is strikingly tasty. It’s tastier than many of the expensive steaks you’ll find in upmarket steakhouses. The steak is also reasonably tender and it dissolves after one or two bites. If you happen to visit when Flat Iron has a special steak cut on offer then its worth checking out. I’ve had outstanding bone-in rib eyes at fantastic prices but also had the British Wagyu (below) which was pricey and not so great.
The £11 Flat Iron steak isn’t perfect though (nor should it be at this price point). The crust lacks that divine infusion of smoke, meat, fat and salt. Additionally, the steak isn’t rested for long enough after cooking meaning that there is some juice leakage.
A very happy ending
With five locations in London to choose from, there is an added bonus for selecting Flat Iron’s Covent Garden branch (Henrietta street). With a nod to Carlo Gatti, who introduced ice-cream to the masses in Covent garden back in 1850, Flat Iron offer a free salted caramel ice-cream covered in flaked chocolate. It’s a sweet treat after some delicious meat.
Flat Iron is one of our go-to steakhouses and the best value steak in London. The steak on offer is consistently good and the value cannot be beaten. However, the steak selection limited to just the Butler’s cut/Flat Iron steak and the steaks aren’t as large as you’ll find at other steakhouses.
You can’t reserve a table at Flat Iron so getting seated in the evening can be challenging. I recommend visiting early evening or for lunch to avoid disappointment.