The brainchild of ex-Wahaca advisor, Charlie Carroll, Flat Iron serves up unpretentious, quality affordable steak. Even free steak sometimes! You definitely can’t argue with that!
So, as big fans of Flat Iron, we decided it was time to pin Charlie down and find out how it’s been taking Flat Iron from its humble pop up beginnings, above the Owl and Pussycat pub in Shoreditch to its bricks and mortar Soho home…
It’s a big job in itself running just a pop up, but the work involved in a permanent restaurant is surely too much for one man? Who else is behind the scenes?
There is a whole cast of wonderful characters, Fred Smith was heavily involved on the food side of things and Ben Chapman is our amazing designer but there are tens of others. A project like this is a real team effort. Special mention also to our passionate farmers and craft butchers.
And how has it been transitioning from pop up to permanent?
Tough at first, but nice to be able to make everything specific to flat iron, be that kitchen design or team development.
It can’t be too long now til you’re celebrating your first birthday as a bricks and mortar steak house? Can we expect anything extra special to celebrate?
Walked into that one didn’t we! As if we’d expect anything less!
Earlier this year you invited people to watch a cow being butchered at the restaurant; Do you think it’s important to know where our meat comes from and how it arrives at our plate? As opposed to anonymous vacuum packed supermarket steaks.
Definitely, last week I took the team down to Cornwall to visit the amazing Warren family, one of our favourite suppliers. I don’t want to serve any meat I’m not 100% confident in the quality of.
We love the passion and involvement that comes across in what you do with Flat Iron. When you offered up free Chuck steak, it wasn’t just a special offer, it was an education for a lot of people. A lot of us had no knowledge of that cut before and that’s great that you offer up those details. Making people interested in what they’re really eating is a great thing, what sparked your own interest in beef and butchery?
I think it’s fairly primal, (was that a sneaky butchering reference there?) but I studied Zoology at uni, so that ties in quite nicely with understanding musculature/ butchery.
Do you have any pointers for people cooking steak at home?
Use great meat. Use great meat. Use great meat. Let it warm up to room temperature before cooking, leave your pan on full heat for 5-10 minutes with no oil in it before putting the steak in. Open the windows.
Opening the windows and taking the batteries out of the smoke alarms as we speak…. haha. And do you have a favourite butcher in London?
James at East London Steak Company does some of best meat people outside the trade can buy. Or Nathan at The Butchery. Also Provenance in Notting Hill if you’re feeling flush.
Could you see Flat Iron expanding into a chain or would you want to keep it small and independent?
I don’t like the connotations of chain, but if we are able to keep the quality exactly where we want it, I wouldn’t rule out trying to share the steak love with people outside of Soho.
Have you ever visited someone to find one of your pinched mini cleavers in their kitchen drawer? We heard a few went walk about!
Something you’d like to tell me?
Flat Iron are now taking booking for Christmas, serving up Wagyu Angus Cross/Angus Fullblood barley fed chuck eye steak and all their usual trimmings…
Boozy Maraschino/Kirsch Jelly with whipped Amaretto cream for the table
Blood Orange Old Fashioneds/ Strawberry Bellinis
They’re serving feasts for larger parties (12+), Monday to Thursday, 2pm – 5pm starting from November 13th.
Drop them a line to make a booking at firstname.lastname@example.org