Our girl Hannah Tan-Gilies ventured into bustling Oxford Circus to sample the Japanese Izakaya-inspired menu of Flesh & Buns.
Flesh & Buns is a duo of restaurants with locations in both Oxford Circus and Covent Garden. Inspired by hedonism, yet still with a touch of Japanese restraint, Flesh & Buns certainly lures you in from the outside and is the ideal spot for date night or a mid-week catchup with the girls.
The space is divided by Minka-style sliding doors, offering maximum privacy, whilst transporting diners to one of Tokyo’s neon-lit side streets where Japanese Izakaya restaurants are aplenty. Flesh & Buns offers plenty of Izakaya-treats to feast on, with a menu that is distinctively Japanese-inspired yet also blended with a contemporary twist.
We sampled a dazzling array of small plates, paired with some delicious cocktails and sake, that pushed the boundaries of traditional Izakaya. The corn tempura, made with sea salt, Kabosu citrus and chives, is a good place to start, followed by the grilled pardon peppers. The Tuna Yaki (short for Yakitori) was simple yet bursting with flavour and came topped with Bonito flakes. The Korean Fried Wings are hearty (and very messy) but certainly packed the flavour punch as well.
Moving onto big plates, we tried the delicious Smoked Pork Ribs, which offered just the right amount of sweetness and glazed with a chilly honey sauce. We also sampled the Salmon Teriyaki which was perfectly cooked and garnished with traditional cucumber pickles.
By the time we reached desserts, there was almost no room for anything more. However, Kinako donuts, made with black sugar custard, certainly can’t be missed. Flesh & Buns refreshing selection of ice creams and sorbets also provide just the right sweet finish to what was already a truly excellent and appropriate hedonistic meal.