It was Friday evening. It was the perfect time to try some of the new nightlife London has to offer.
Flesh & Buns definitely appears to be the place to go at the moment. It's been open just shy of a fortnight but I've already seen countless posts about it as the food blog followers amongst you probably have too.
You may already know it's brought to you by the team behind Bone Daddies Ramen Bar, that it's in Covent Garden and that it serves tasty grub. In buns.
The set up is a large space filled with one long table down the centre with booths around the outside and an open kitchen. This inevitably means that you will end up sitting next to strangers who either shout over the table to each other at the top of their voices or say nothing at all thus making you feel a rather self-conscious about your own subject matter. Or maybe that was just what happened to Mary and I...
Firstly, I can confirm that the cocktails are very good indeed. We only tried one each - mine being the Peach Blossom Sour - but both were very tasty.
We ordered more food than we needed to. Our waitress tried to persuade us against getting a main course each as one is enough to share but we decided not to listen to such sensible advice.
As we surveyed the menu, we enjoyed the edamame beans which were served warm (verging on hot) and the Chips & Dips - rice crackers, avocado shiso and tomato jalapeno. The crackers really get embedded firmly in your teeth. I was still picking them out at the end of the meal. Otherwise, very nice!
If you come here and you enjoy seafood then you must try the soft shell crab served with jalapeno mayonnaise.
It's all fried and naughty but tasted so damn good. You can demolish the whole lot, even the claws, so no crab need be wasted.
This obviously wasn't enough fried food so we also ordered the prawn tempura and the squid
Both good though not close to the standard of that crab. I was so tempted to order a second portion but decided that would be verging on gluttony.
Here are those main courses.
The sirloin steak with wafu dressing and the crispy duck leg with sour plum soy.
I loved the steamed Hirata buns which were soft, thick and slightly sweet. Filled with the duck, cucumber and sauce it was a delicious alternative to one of my favourite dishes, the hoisin duck pancake.
The food here is very nice and apart from the steak dish turning up twenty minutes before the duck, the service wasn't too bad either. If you have slightly dodgy hearing like I do, the acoustics of the room are not ideal for a deep and meaningful unless you don't mind shouting it across the bench. Still, some might argue it adds to the atmosphere.
Flesh & Buns
We hopped in a black cab and made our way over to Mayfair to visit Mr Fogg's.
Formerly a pub, this ground floor bar supposedly belongs to the hero of Around The World In Eighty Days. A doorman wearing a top hat and white gloves greeted us upon arrival, taking our names and ringing the doorbell. The door opened and we were welcomed by a second uniformed man who led us to our table for two, perfectly situated up a couple of steps and overlooking the room.
Around the bar are relics apparently collected by Mr Fogg on his travels; an alligator, an elephants food, two penny farthing bicycles, a wild boar head.
We read the residence rules...
If only rule V had been implemented at Flesh & Buns.
Settled and filled with anticipation, it was time to get down to business; testing out the cocktails I'd heard many good things about.
Each cocktail was accompanied by a short story about how the recipe had come about
This place was awesome. Not only did we have a fantastic little 'people watching' table but the waiters - who are trained to act in character - were helpful and really friendly. Plus the cocktails were fabulous.
I can particularly recommend the Queen Charlotte - Cognac, Creme de Noisette, Creme de Menthe Verte and a little spritz of Orange Curacao. Splendid!
Our last destination this Friday night was Disco in Kingly Court; a new nightclub from the people who brought us Bunga Bunga, Maggies and.....Mr Fogg's!
As an aside, I really want this car. Time to start saving.
Because we'd just come from Mr Fogg's, we weren't charged the £20 entrance fee - result! Just make sure you let the venues know in advance you will be attending both when you book your table/guest list.
I loved it immediately. On arrival, Pan Am air stewardesses hand out boarding passes!
They also check in any luggage you have using an automated conveyor belt and showed us through the 'aeroplane' doors. It opens at 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays and we were the very first in on this particular night!
Inside, it's pretty much exactly what you would hope a club called 'Disco' would be. Colourful lasers beamed across the room, retro TV's showing music videos and the music was and remained throughout the night disco classic after disco classic.
Professional dancers did their thing on the dance floor until the crowds started to arrive.
I loved the vibe here! A glass of champagne to celebrate!
Refreshingly, rather than the drinks being served by the usual gorgeous ladies in skimpy outfits, here they had young men in black vests and tiny little Alan Partridge-esque shorts getting the job done!
We liked the drink menus that lit up when you opened! Easily pleased, maybe, but this was cool.
By the time we left around 2pm, the place was busy. The word must be getting out. The crowd was more young professional rather than Made In Chelsea types (most of them were still drinking in Mr Fogg's!). The atmosphere was fun and the night wouldn't have been complete without hitting the dance floor!
Luckily I have no photographic evidence of this actually taking place☺
There is no doubt that I will be returning to both Mr Fogg's and Disco. Welcoming, fun venues are so much more appealing to me now than the more pretentious West End haunts that I used to frequent.
We changed our disco shoes for ballet flats and checked out.