Review: Flat Iron, Hammersmith

Review: Flat Iron, Hammersmith

By Angela Zaher

If you’re not into steak, best to skip this review and go on to the next.  Flat Iron, the British restaurant chain founded by Charlie Carroll in 2012, has opened up in Hammersmith and has one focus only: steak.  Should a herbivore unwittingly wander in (though I don’t know how one would do so unwittingly- you couldn’t miss the neon sign at the entrance declaring “Steak is What You Want”), they would have to content themselves with the complimentary mug of freshly popped popcorn you are welcomed with or the charming and also complimentary finishing touch to your meal which is a soft serve ice cream in a cone you are handed on your way out.  With maybe a side green salad in between.  Crunchy and vibrant as it is, I wouldn’t suggest you come here for just the green salad. But for steak, yes, do come here.

Flat Iron is the cut of meat from the shoulder of a cow. It’s a region which has more muscles and is leaner than other cuts.  In the UK it tends to get overlooked, but not in the US. And not at Flat Iron. They champion meat from this region primarily because it’s cheaper but also has a rich and robust flavour and crucially, tender too. The ethos behind this chain is to make “remarkable steak available to everyone”. A flat iron steak costs £14, at that price, they are fulfilling their mission.

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Stunning riverside views and delicious seafood

We visited on a Tuesday night and the place was buzzing with families with young children, groups of young people and at least a handful of solo diners. Keeping the costs down means upping the volume. Tables are turned around quickly. But you never feel rushed, in fact, you feel in awe of just how efficient and friendly service is despite the stream of customers. Our waiter, Ben was an example in how to be a waiter- introduced himself, asked how we were and listened to our answers, told us he’d been on holiday, gave us just the right amount of blurb on the menu and left it at that. Throughout, he was around but never hovering. This is a value restaurant but with added value service.

The menu is courageously pared back and simple, and at times, that is exactly what you want. Fuss free dining. There are no starters or desserts to mull over here. It’s straight into the main event. We of course went for a Flat Iron and one of their daily special cuts- ours was a wagyu picanha at £22. Our sides were chips, £4, green salad, £3.5 and roast aubergine with tomato and basil £4.5. I don’t usually list prices in my reviews, preferring to give an overall picture of how much you might expect to spend. But at Flat Iron, the prices are one of the main draws. It’s affordable and that’s no longer a word so easily associated with dining out.

If you’re going to offer such a limited menu, it has to be perfectly executed. I can’t think of how our steaks or sides could have been bettered. Plus, you leave feeling sated and uplifted, I’d say that’s perfect.

Instagram: @angela_zaher