Flat Iron Steak, Soho, London (Beak Street) – nearest tube Oxford Circus
A tiny, dark place (at night obviously) with a simple and straightforward choice of food. Steak (medium rare). With chips. And some sides. That’s it. And it works a dream. Especially because this restaurant happens to be gluten-free by accident and the only dish with gluten in is the side of aubergine, because the bechamel is bought in and comes straight from packets, so the kitchen is safer than most for cross-contamination. The bonus is the bar downstairs which is a triumph of friendly staff and relatively cheap cocktails – for Londontown anyway. I went for the Sloe & Strawberry bellini, just gorgeous.
Be prepared for long waits in the evening (an hour and a half for us) and squished seating at shared tables. They operate on the same basis as Honest Burgers: no reservations, take your number, call you when your table is ready (though Honest Burgers has iPads and you can check your number in the queue online – bit more snazzy). I’ve got a soft spot for these rustic, simple dining experiences and I’m glad Flat Iron is keeping it real.