I’m married to a man who is unmoved by the vegan movement. He’s the old-fashioned type for whom a meal is not a meal without meat: give him steak and he’s very happy indeed. It means we’re intimately familiar with the Capital’s various steak joints, but curiously we have never eaten at Flat Iron. Upon hearing the news that the restaurant is opening in north London, we feel this should be rectified.
The 110-cover site on Caledonian Road is the sixth for Charlie Carroll, the self-taught butcher who launched his first pop-up back in 2012. But though the capacity may be large, the restaurant feels welcoming and intimate on a busy Saturday evening; with tables arranged in such a way that they do not feel crowded in. The aesthetic is dark wood, exposed brick walls and industrial light fittings, set against neon slogan lights and plenty of leafy greenery.
We order a DIY Bloody Mary box, which comes packed with bottles of house-made chestnut smoked vodka, beef tea, freshly grated horseradish root, and classic Bloody Mary spices to be mixed into tomato juice. It’s a fun way to start the meal, and the perfect accompaniment to the beef dripping popcorn that arrives to whet our appetites.
To eat, we both opt for the eponymous Flat Iron steaks – a feather blade cut that Charlie has championed – with fries cooked in Wagyu fat (a new addition to the menu) and creamed spinach. Everything is exquisite; the steak in particular is tender, richly flavoured and wonderfully juicy. The quality is quite unbelievable, given its £11 price tag.
We can see ice cream being made to order on the frozen marble slabs at the centre of the restaurant, and decide it would be churlish not to order some. Like the Bloody Mary, it’s a DIY affair, coming with a tray of Madagascan vanilla Chantilly cream, Amarena cherry syrup, and shavings of Congolese Cru Virunga chocolate. We drizzle and sprinkle to our hearts content.
It is a winning formula and we will almost certainly be back. Welcome to the neighbourhood, Flat Iron.
47–51 Caledonian Road, N1 (flatironsteak.co.uk)