Tuesday 26 February 2013

Flat Iron: 99% gluten free menu, 100% carniverous delight

Soho's Flat Iron serves one thing: Flat iron steak.

This is great if you like steak. If you don't, go elsewhere, because it only serves steak (see above). And what is magnificent for us gluten free folks? The limited menu means that there isn't any gluten in this place (apart from one dish but let's pretend it doesn't exist for the sake of that sentence).

The menu (hanging on the wall, of course)
I've been speaking about the trend for restaurants that only serve one or two things (See: Burger and Lobster) and how helpful they can be for gluten free diets. The limited range of menu items means that normal cross contamination issues such as shared friers and flour in the kitchen disappear.

I had a good chat with the chef at Flat Iron. They have unintentionally created an almost entirely gluten free restaurant. Only one dish on the menu - the aubergine side - has gluten in it. And that is from a pre-bought bechamel sauce which is poured on the top, which isn't made in their kitchen and goes straight from packet onto the aubergines and nowhere else. Hence, this is a kitchen where you don't have to worry about cross contamination. In fact the chef told me that when they first opened (just a couple of months ago) they had a bag of flour in the kitchen along with other pantry staples. They just assumed they would need it at some point. They soon realised that they weren't using it for anything so it went in the bin.

Now that the boring bit is out of the way, let's talk about the food.

Steak - awesome. Soft like a filet, cooked just the way you like it, perfect every time (I've been four times now, you know, just to check for consistency and stuff for you guys. The hardships I go through for you readers... ) It's served on a wooden board with an inlaid piece of warm iron that keeps the steak at a good temperature the whole time you take to eat it. It's served with a dainty little salad on the side.

Fries - homemade, fried in beef dripping. Naughty, but oh so nice.

Sauces - all gluten free and homemade, I am a horseradish fan so the freshly grated horseradish cream was the winner for me. The bĂ©arnaise and peppercorn I have yet to try, but I eavesdropped on the people next to me and they seemed very happy with theirs. Fred's sauce - also yet to try this but one of you can do the honours, right?

Sides - creamed spinach, yum. Market greens, moorish with just the right teasing of butter and salt. The Sophie's salad sounds great too - blue cheese, candied pecans and lemon dressing.

Perfect medium rare for me
The venue itself is stripped-back minimalist-loft cool. Is that a thing? Let's go with it, it's a fairly accurate description. Wine is in carafes and is poured into beakers. Free beef dripping popcorn is served when you arrive with a metal jug of tap water. The miniature steak-axe (did I make that up too? Okay, fine I guess it is a cleaver. So boring. I'm sticking with steak-axe) is ace, though you don't really need it, as the steak is pre-cut.

It's another Soho no-reservations place so get ready for a little queuing or to eat like an early bird or a night owl. It's worth it though. If you can't be bothered with queuing but really want to try it I would suggest Sunday lunchtime - there's no queue as all the Londoners are near their houses having a roast and the tourists don't know about it.

Oh, and I forgot to mention one thing. How much will this amazing steak set you back? £10. Yup, that's right, £10. Now you see why I keep going back?

Happy steak munching everyone.

Gluten Free Knowledge: ★★★★
Gluten Free Range: ★★★★
Taste: ★★★★
Atmosphere: ★★★★

Verdict: a perfect steak in a gf restaurant? For £10? The only place to be getting a steak right now. 


  1. I know where I'm going for Sunday lunch :)

  2. When I was there this week the waiter told me that the sauces, minus the 'Fred sauce' contained wheat/gluten.

    Disappointed to find out the peppercorn and horseradish were in fact gluten free!

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