Restaurant of the week: Flesh and Buns

After a taste of the East? May we suggest Flesh and Buns – the brand new restaurant in Seven Dials, Covent Garden, from the team behind Bone Daddies?

Inspired by Japanese izakayas (roughly translated as a pub or place designed for informal eating and drinking) Flesh and Buns is the first restaurant in London to specialise in hirata buns (DIY filled steamed buns).

Hirata buns are Taiwanese in origin, with their traditional name translating as ‘tiger eating pork’ owing to the appearance of the folded bun and the common filling of pork. While the main offering at the new venture will be hirata buns, the restaurant also showcases a variety of ‘flesh’ (fillings) including Slow roasted shoulder of lamb with Korean flavours, Whole baby chicken with yuzu koshu and Robata grilled seabass with coriander miso.

Huge communal table in Flesh & Buns, with booths on the side

The menu at Flesh and Buns is divided into four sections: ‘raw’ and ‘small plates’ followed by ‘flesh and buns’ and ‘desserts’. ‘Raw’ revolves around a choice of sashimi and oysters served with Japanese flavours while ‘small plates’ includes a selection of maki rolls and Japanese bar snacks such as Chicken yakitori, Prawn tempura with lemon ponzu and Fried squid karage with shansho salt. Innovative desserts include Kinako doughnuts with black sugar custard, Smores and Crispy banana with yuzu mojito sorbet.

Designed by Fredereck Sage, the striking interiors of the 140-cover restaurant embraces the building’s original features with brick walls painted red and white, and wooden, recycled furniture. An eclectic collection of graphic and photographic artwork is displayed on the walls and a projector showing scenes from Japanese foodie films greets diners before they enter the restaurant downstairs. The laid-back vibe at Flesh and Buns is enhanced with a rock soundtrack that fans of Bone Daddies will recognise.

The second London opening from chef proprietor Ross Shonhan, Flesh and Buns is a continuation of his love for Japanese food. Following on from the success of Bone Daddies and his previous role as head chef at Zuma, Shonhan aims to spark fresh passion amongst Londoners for Japanese cuisine in a friendly and unstuffy environment.  He says: “I want to inject a bit of fun and humour into London’s Japanese restaurants and love seeing people kick back, relax and enjoy some great food and drink that’s not too serious.”

Flesh and Buns is at 41 Earlham Street, WC2H 9LX