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Flesh & Buns

Restaurants, Japanese Seven Dials
4 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(70user reviews)
Flesh & Buns

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

A Covent Garden basement serving Asian-inspired food with an emphasis on fill-your-own Taiwanese steamed buns.

Flesh & Buns is a lovely, cosy izakaya-style basement spot restaurant that’s all about shoving delicious, snacky fillings into fluffy steamed buns.

Let’s start with dessert, because the speciality kiniko doughnuts were an absolute showstopper. They were filled with a strangely nutty black sugar custard, brushed lightly with sugar; crispy on the outside, soft and bready on the inside. Another sweet treat everyone was ordering was the DIY s’mores, which came to the table with its own personal campfire (for toasting marshmallows). Once you’d got over the gimmick, the dish was a bit sickly (if only the passion fruit marshmallow had been a bit smaller), but hey, it’s still fun.

More hits: the miso-grilled aubergine was a brilliant vegetarian option; sweet, sticky and perfectly packed into a bun. Spicy chicken yakitori sticks and raw salmon tostadas (fresh fish smothered in mayo on a crunchy tortilla chip, yum) were also great. Order the sirloin steak with caution. One half was beautifully smokey and grilled to perfection, the other a tad fatty. It’s worth filling up on buns so you don’t go overboard with the smaller, pricier raw fish dishes. But don’t skimp on the doughnuts. They were worth the trip alone.

By: Kelly Pigram



Address: 41 Earlham Street
Transport: Tube: Covent Garden
Price: Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £120.
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Users say (70)

4 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

3.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:20
  • 4 star:25
  • 3 star:13
  • 2 star:4
  • 1 star:8
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Everything we ate was delicious. The food came quickly but not too quickly. My personal favourites were the sea bass and the donuts.


Absolutely loved this place! From the minute I walked in, felt like I entered another a world! The decor is beautiful and a perfect evening setting, great place for a date or catch up with friends! The booths were gorgeous and the dim lighting added to the ambience! 

The staff were so helpful from explaining the menu to making recommendations for drinks etc. Make sure you try the japanese whiskey, along with the bao buns! I had the veg options portobello mushrooms for my bao bun fillings and the miso-grilled aubergine, both really tasty and fingerlicking! I would also recommend the lime schichimi butter griiled sweetcorn, so yum!

For dessert we had to get the make your own s'mores! Delicious passion fruit flavoured marshmallows that you roast over the little fire they bring you, once roasted you can enjoy your marshmallows with graham crackers and chocolate! Definitely will be returning here! :)


One of my favourite restaurants in London. The buns are so good, particularly the duck. Dips and chips are great, as are the fried squid and the sushi. I can't fault any dish I've ever tried here. I am yet to try the marshmallows for dessert but the presentation itself makes them look like a winner already. 


The pre/post theatre menu here is top notch and it's location makes it a must if you are ever seeing a show at the Donmar Warehouse. The sushi is fresh, flavoursome and perfectly rolled. The buns are gentle and bouncy and the fillings are generous and mindblowing (I recommend the belly pork). And the donuts! Don't get me started on the donuts. All washed down with half a pint or a glass of wine for the unbelievable price of £24!


Really delicious food and excellent service. Had a great night here spending 3 hours eating and drinking with 2 of my friends. I'd highly recommend the braised ox cheek and bun- so delicious (I still can't stop thinking about it and I ate here last week!). I thought the flesh and buns part of the menu was slightly expensive, but I would def return again - I want to try the desserts (they looked amazing).


I don't know how I have lived in London for the past three years and never heard about this gem. With the only branch serving an array of deliciousness, I only went there day before yesterday and cannot wait to go back already! The menu consists of small plates and large plates, everything ideal for sharing. The large plates come with Taiwanese style bao buns and not to mention the deliciously potent range of sake. We had grilled scallops, Korean chicken wings and all other sorts of goodness, but s'more from the dessert menu are a must do. Yes, you read it correct - s'mores. They give you big marshmallows on a stick and bring a mini fire-pit to your tables so you can toast your marshmallow just the way you like it and get into it before the mess starts to appear. 


Flesh and Buns calls itself the ultimate Japanese drinking food, and I'm inclined to agree. 

For me, you just can't beat the express menu that is available every day until 6pm and then again after 10pm. At a restaurant that serves delicious food but isn't always the cheapest, you can feast on two courses and a drink for £22 or add dessert for another £2. This will fill you, I promise. 

The Korean fried wings are some of my favourite. Hot and spicy, sticky sour these crisp wings will leave you covered in sauce and wanting more. I love to share, but I can quite happily polish of a plate of these bad boys to myself. 

For something a bit more refined and fresh, the mixed seafood ceviche is tangy with citrus and warm with chilli and a tasty tasty dish. 

Crispy piglet belly buns are very rich and when paired with the mustard miso slightly addictive. I would recommend if there are two of you getting one piglet belly and one crispy duck leg for a meaty bun feast. 

The desserts look amazing - especially the kinako donuts - but I've never been able to make it that far. Hopefully one day soon... 


A very exciting place for a quick gourmet Asian style dinner in Central London. 

Their own made buns are to die for, my favourite one is the classic pork, but everything from the menu is delicious, and you can order a variety of small dishes to try different flavours and textures. 

Desserts here are also a must, you have to try their S'mores - you get given a little fire to broil your marshmallows and it's so delicious! 


When I was in Japan, I loved the street food - there’s so much vibrancy, colour and everything was so fresh. This Izakaya pub-style dining is great for noisy catch ups and the food is simple and flavoursome.

What we had: 

  • Mixed seafood ceviche with citrus, chilli, cucumber
  • Chicken Yakitori with shichimi pepper
  • Aus grain-fed ribeye steak with bbq sauce and red onion & shiitake pickles
  • Crispy piglet belly with mustard miso and apple pickles
  • steamed hirata buns
  • Kinako donuts with black sugar custard

I really like how playful this place is - it reminds me of catching up with friends over a few pints at a bar and sharing great food amongst friends. There’s a boisterousness to the place and the bathroom decor very cheeky. The ceviche was very citrusy and refreshing; however some may find it needs some salt. The chicken yakitori was deliciously caramelised and took on the wonderful charcoal grilled aroma. The ribeye was succulent and done medium rare and the piglet belly was indeed crispy and the meat fell apart. Overall the meat was very good, but again I would’ve added a touch of salt. The pickles on the side are a wonderful combination and the steamed buns were fluffy and delicate without being soggy. My only criticism here is that they tried to put too many in a steamer which resulted them sticking together a lot. The Kinako donuts were lovely and light and the custard not too sickly sweet, so a perfect ending to a satisfying meal.

Tip: the express menu is a pretty good deal and a great way to try a range of the menu.

Good For: large groups, catch up with friends, casual dining, casual lunch/ dinner


Been wanting to come here for a while now and I must say I was not disappointed. Although there was an hour wait for a table we managed to grab seats at the bar (where you can eat) within about 10 minutes of saddling up to it. Had a lovely old fashioned and some sake. Both presented well, but in a not too poncey fashion. The chicken wings were absolutely to die for, and I had to resist the urge to order another round while we waited for other food to arrive. There was seemingly a mix up with our flesh option (ox cheek) not arriving so the bar staff took away our now cold buns and swapped for a fresh batch- no questions asked. 

Was definitely busy but the staff were cheerful and upbeat the entire time. Really would love to try the brunch here. 


I've been to Flesh and Buns a couple of times now and have only ever left very happy and slightly tipsy with a belly full of delicious food. The first time I visited was post Friday after-work drinks, where the staff easily dealt with a few (quite drunk) girls enjoying the theatre menu. £22 is an absolute steal and we enjoyed the mountain of sticky chicken wings so much that we had to visit again for the Sunday Boozy Brunch.Unlike other London establishments, the staff at Flesh and Buns are really accommodating in refilling your glass with the unlimited wine or prosecco and letting you repeatedly order the unlimited delicious starters starters such as sashimi,  aforementioned chicken wings, yakitori and cerviche. On top of that, you also receive pillow soft Taiwanese style buns with your choice of 'flesh,' dessert and cocktail all for the amazing price of £39. So so good!  

The only negative comment I would have to say about Flesh and Buns is their (extremely) stringent rule on a maximum of 6 ppl for their Boozy Brunch. Other than that, would definitely recommend!


Great addition to the bone daddy family. The smores for pudding are my favourite part of the menu but the savoury buns are delicious too. The venue has a great buzz and the toilets in particular deserve a special mention for their cool comic strip decor. We didn't have to queue to get in but the place was comfortably full and was a great place to meet friends for a catch up. 

I read about Flesh and Buns from Lily Pebbles's blog and was desperate to give it a go. Everything on the menu is delicious and the dishes are tapas style so great to share with friends, I must admit one of the only reasons I wanted to go was to try their green tea smores...holy cow, it was unusual but also as good as it sounds! Great friendly service and easy to find in Covent Garden.

Great restaurant for a fun buzzy meal. All food was delicious, from the broccoli starter to the meat/fish with the buns. The bau buns are great. Not too expensive. Very loud and staff are pretty slow and unhelpful - hence not 5 stars


Flesh and Buns had been recommended to me for a long time. Having had theatre tickets for later in the evening, we took advantage of the express menu (before 6pm and after 10pm). Despite not having reservations, we were lucky enough to get a table on a Friday since this basement restaurant was gradually filling up to capacity.

I liked the sharing high tables concept. The waiting staff all seemed hip, and also personable. We went for the Korean fried wings which worked really well with the spicy sour sauce. The crispy dug leg and crispy piglet belly looked and tasted lovely. The kinako donuts provided us with a very distinctive dessert.

Even though it’s fast dining, because of the taste, three courses plus a drink for £22 represents great value. I will surely return. 


Flesh and Buns has been on my list for a while now and boy, this Japanese grill powerhouse did not disappoint on my first visit.

On a busy, buzzing Saturday evening, the friendly and efficient staff managed to find us a table although we hadn't booked; a rare occurrence in Covent Garden. The atmosphere is great here, cool music, dim lighting and high sharing tables. 

We went for the crispy belly piglet and the crispy duck. The meat is incredibly tasty- salty, crunchy skin, and tender juicy flesh. These come with a pickle and sauce which pack a punch and compliment the meat perfectly. The buns are light, doughy and ideal vehicles for the meat from plate to mouth. However, these are are extra £2 for two, which I think is a bit cheeky. Nonetheless, the bun, the tanginess from the sauce and the meat are a taste sensation when combined. 

Price wise, there are options which might hurt your debit card; the steak and seafood options, but there are options which won't break the bank and are still super delicious. For two sharing mains and bottle of wine, it came to £30 each which honestly feels a steal when you taste the food. 

There are sushi options and a theatrical sharing fire dessert extravaganza which I am already looking forward to try on my next visit. Definitely a new favourite of mine for a pre-theatre dinner. 


My favourite restaurant in Covent Garden! The express menu is the best- 2 courses for £19 or three for £21, this menu is available before 6pm and after 10pm. They have the best Korean wings in town, the right level of spice and sweetness. For mains theirs buns are phenomenal I had the crispy pork belly, which was yummy. For dessert this place is famous for their delicious doughnuts and smores. All three course are divine. Book in advance as they are always booked up, but they do allow areas for walk in

Staff Writer

I went to Flesh & Buns not knowing what to expect and I walked out of their basement restaurant very pleased with my lunch! its a cool casual Japanese food concept set in a urban decor. I had the buns, a pair of chicken skewers, the California maki, the tempura roll maki. The maki were delicious and fresh (priced at about £8 for 6 pieces), the bun were fluffy, warm and delicious. My friends also ordered the crispy squids which were delicious (light batter and not greasy) and the sashimi (average). Overall a nice place to enjoy a quick Japanese lunch on the go and drinks and nibbles in the evening. it's a but pricy but the food is fresh and very good quality, you cannot go wrong with this Japanese canteen. Must be experienced! I will definitely return for the flesh & buns next time!


Crispy pork belly. That's all I have to say.

In a little more detail, Flesh & Buns has incredible food, although a little pricey - but their steamed buns, paired with some properly cooked and fantastically tender flesh, are always worth it. It's very hard to resist the temptation to end up here all the time. Absolute love - and don't forget to finish your meal with some smores. Fantastic. Honestly.

Staff WriterStaff Comp

I've been here a couples times now and have enjoyed the food both times. It can get a bit noisy due to being in a basement, but it's a great place for large groups and the service is great!

Absolutely loved my first visit to Flesh and Buns and will be going there again as soon as possible! 

We ate the roasted cauliflower and calamari to start, then a few different steamed bun dishes. We only had two mains between three girls and it was more than enough with two buns each. If you're super hungry I'd suggest ordering a double order of the buns per person as there is more than enough meat on each main to fill them!

After reading the reviews below I now want to return for bottomless brunch!


Flesh and buns my new favourite place to do brunch, fabtastic sushi, amazing soft shell crab and unlimited prosecco. What more could a boy ask for. Today I had the pleasure of accompanying my American posse to this fantastic venue, but part of the bone daddies group this place holds its own its unlimited small plates, sushi, calamari, chicken wings , broccoli and the soft shell crab had my taste buds going crazy. Amazing service, quality food makes this place a Sunday retreat. Ok I admit it despite my steak and steamed bun tasting a bit strange, those small plates of moorishness will see me taking a few friends back to enjoy what I would call Londons best Asian fusion brunch #bring it on. I will leave the dessert and Camden councils warning on the toilet doors for you to discover. Get booking as Sunday's will never be the same

Forget Eggs Benedict, forget pancakes and dare I say it but forget avo on toast. Flesh and Buns Sunday bottomless brunch is where it's at.

I have a few tips for approaching this Asian feast.

1) Bring more than two people. The more people you have the more food you can actually try without both of you getting full up. 

2) Choose the more expensive menu. It's not that much of a price difference and you get ALL THE FOOD. From both menus.

3) You can have a choice of unlimited prosecco or red/white wine. Prosecco wins because there is more food room. 

4) Don't order the same main. The first time I went we all had the steak. Big mistake. We were already full from the endless supply of starters (who knew sashimi could be so filling) so it also meant we all left half a steak nearly. Get different dishes and share some more!

5) Check out the toilets. Pretty awesome. 

Now for the food:The deal includes sharing starters, a main each, a sharing dessert, unlimited booze and a cocktail on arrival.

You can choose an unlimited supply of starters so we basically had everything. The mixed sashimi was a clear winner as was the yellowtail sashimi served with green chilli. Softshell crab was another contender and we ordered a few of these once we knew we were onto a good thing. Remember you can order from BOTH menus so don't be sidetracked by one side.

Both times I went I had a variety of steak for my main, but my guests had the duck leg which was cooked to perfection. They come with Asian buns but I couldn't fit them in after nearly eating the kitchen's worth of sushi. 

For dessert we chose the s'mores and chocolate fondant. Found room for those bad boys.

You leave drunk, full and very very happy. They do warn you not to order too much because of  food wastage but I don't think they were expecting my foodie family. We ate everything. 


I have no complaints where flesh&bun is concerned.. They delivered!!!

I passed through for dinner and I was spoilt for choice as they had a few good deals going on so defo look out for that! You could save a few £'s

I opted for the crispy duck which was just simply device.. Crispy on the outside and mouth wateringly soft all the way to the bone! Just thinking about it makes me desperate lol

Oh and for some random strange reason they have Japanese porn in the toilets ... *shrugs*


A nice place to share food and try different things with friends. For a lunch time trip, the place had busy hum and service was satisfactory. Buns are soft and the meats were cooked very well, but the menu isn't that exciting. Most things on the menu have been done elsewhere before, nonetheless still done just as well.

A good selection of dishes on their menu, from ceviche to the hirata buns (the steak is awesome!). My particular favourite dish that I order every time is the Korean fried chicken wings. Messy but amazing - I've seen people order seconds!

Tasty cocktail menu at around £9 a drink, as well as beers, wine and sake.

The black sugar custard doughnuts are a perfect way to end a meal - a small but indulgent portion.

Staff are extremely rude, the food was salty and overpriced.  The music was so loud and the drinks were awful.  You might want to skip this one it is just overpriced and extremely loud. 


Really good evening. Great ambiance, good service and good food, although I have to say that it's on the pricier end of the fast-dining spectrum which was the only downfall for me. We had the sashimi platter to start which was fine but nothing particularly special and quite expensive, but the roasted cauliflower was delicious as was the softshell crab which is a bit of a specialty. For our main flesh and buns experience we chose the lamb neck and the duck, both of which were very tasty with rich, flavoursome sauces and pillowy white buns to make your own bao.

Perhaps the highlights of the meal were the doughnuts for dessert, seriously, don't miss them. And the cocktails which were really quite delicious. As a couple, we sat on the long communal table which runs down the middle of the restaurant which seems to be the couples table - some people seem to have an issue with this (one couple saw their seat and walked Saturday night for them) but it adds to the fun, buzzy ambience and doesn't detract from any comfort or intimacy. Definitely recommend for any and every occasion.

Myself and 3 other friends came here for the Sunday brunch which is bottomless. WOW! I had never been before and I enjoyed every second. Great value for money, so much food and so tasty! 

moderatorStaff Writer

Too much flesh, not enough buns.

The whole point of Flesh & Buns is that you chose a meat dish, and then you have to buy the buns separately – a bit like ordering naan or rice to accompany a curry in an Indian restaurant. This is fine, but you'd have thought a single portion of buns would be enough to cover a single portion of flesh. It's not.

This minor complaint aside, the food at Flesh & Buns is pretty good. The buns are nice, but if you've ever eaten at Bao you'll find them to be inferior. The meat, on the other hand, is excellent.

The biggest problem with Flesh & Buns is the price: it's not cheap. And when there are so many other places doing similar food nearby for a fraction of the price – again, I'd point to Bao as an example here – it's difficult to stomach. That said, they do an excellent meal deal on a Monday night which I highly recommend.

As a pescatarian, a restaurant called Flesh and Buns made me fear I'd be going home hungry. But I'm pleased to report that everything was delicious (from the blackened Salmon to the many many cocktails I drank). Great place to take mates or dates. The bill at the end was a bit of a shock, but I probably took my eye off the ball during the many many cocktails! 


Another brilliant restaurant from Bone Daddies. You can make your own Bao from the ingredients you are served like Sirloin steak, greens, pickles and vegetables and they have the BD classics like hot stone rice. The Matcha sundae was a spot on dessert to finish off a very good meal.

My friends and I came here for a Sunday brunch. The food was great but I think it was overpriced given the service. We were informed of the 2-hour table turnaround, but were disappointed when they resituated us from our table to the bar in a hurried fashion and hours later there was still no-one that had taken our table. We had to try to make eye contact with staff to request more food and drink top ups, and some dishes even came after about 40 minutes which by then it was almost too late as we had to give up the table. We chose the £46 menu which offered us the choice between a kimchi bloody mary or bellini on arrival, chips and dip to start with, unlimited hot and cold side dishes, a choice of flesh dish served with steamed buns, and a choice of dessert. My favourites were the calamari, the fried chicken and the sirloin steak (flesh choice). It was an enjoyable experience - I would recommend booking a late brunch as I think it's so packed around midday / before 3pm the staff are really stretched thin.


A great hideaway in busy Covent Garden! Be brave and go with the recommendation of the waiters. Most likely they will recommend the steamed buns which are delicious and different. Get some other bits to share as a starter - everything I've had so far has been great. The location and atmosphere is fantastic too!

This is a cute place to eat, it was very buzzy with a great vibe. Myself and some friends went here recently and it was my first time. I had some lovely crispy chicken wings, and the lamb was great. I just wasn't a huge fan of the buns..  


The best dessert I have EVER tasted. Chocolate fondant was beyond perfection with macha ice cream complementing it perfectly. The absolute show stopper though is the do it yourself Smores. Your own little fire arrives on your table so you can perfectly toast your passion fruit marshmallow. The mains aren't bad either, pork belly was a winner and the buns are filling enough to not want a side. Atmosphere was great and staff lovely. Only issue was that the acoustics were not great and we struggkled slightly to hear eachother. Usually I wouldn't mind but it was only 6pm. Would recommend again and again though!


In the heart of Soho, in a loud rocky basement, you can get awesome Asian inspired food. Flesh and buns has the concept of Japanese buns that you fill with various fillings, from duck to salmon or pork. The food and drinks were fabulous, not too expensive (for central London) and the toilets were really funky!! The staff were also very efficient and accommodating. 

This basement restaurant is a must experience for those looking for something different when eating out. The industrial decoration and the cool stuff are just a plus to the great dishes. As a large party we ordered several kinds of flesh to fill our buns and all of them were exciting! Either for a celebration or a casual occasion this place can satisfy all needs.

I was so excited to visit Flesh and Buns and perhaps this got my expectations up a bit too high. The buns are beautiful, soft and warm and leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy like a hug for your belly. The flesh left a lot to be desired, I ordered the chicken and my partner in crime the steak. I had to send the chicken back as it came out with blood in the middle and the steak also went back as it was cold. The service was abysmal, the staff are difficult to get the attention of and quite frankly could not have cared less when we had to send the food back. The only saving grace were the frozen margaritas but even they're not enough to get me to return, sorry F&B you've left this gal's heart broken.


Love Bone Daddies so assumed I would love Flesh & Buns too.....sadly not.  The staff were not interested in serving us, the food was ok but we just felt rushed the whole time.  Pricey for what you get in terms of quality and quantity.  There are better places to eat in Covent Garden...which is something I never thought I would say!  Such a shame....

This place was very good, the food was fantastic and service was quick...try the Crispy Duck Leg


I really like this restaurant, despite the bathroom decor that other reviewers have mentioned (It's really not that bad!!)

The food is great, atmosphere is good and the service is second to none.

Tip: Try the crispy piglet belly - it's awesome!

People told me that this was a great place to go for lunch and I was excited.  My initial thoughts when walking down to the restaurant was that I was walking into a strip club and actually that is what my guests were thinking also.  The restaurant was probably a bit dark and decadent for lunch but the staff were all very nice and the service great.  I felt that for the cost of our meal the portions were small and I left the restaurant hungry.  It was nice, it was different, it was not bad at all but when I left I was wondering if I had missed something and what all the fuss was about.

You can always tell how good somewhere is by what the toilets are like. Judging by the loos at Flesh & Buns (which were very clean in case you were wondering), this place is a cheeky, comic book spectacle of a restaurant with lots to wow at. Definitely worth a visit (not just for the loos, but go check them out for the posters inside), the food is incredible - we shared five of the big dishes between four (the duck was the best) - and, although they suggest two buns per person, three is probably more realistic as you'll want to try everything on the menu.

moderatorStaff Writer

Just of Seven Dials, set in a basement, so not for those looking for something light and airy - good atmosphere which builds from early evening. Food was good but not great for the price - couple of beers and a few plates (including the pig belly which was really nice) ended up being £50 a head. The Taiwanese buns are the speciality - essentially you build your own bun - quite an unusual texture for a Western palette, but good to try something new

Staff Writer

Beautiful dishes, in a cool downstairs venue. A slice of (almost) NY in London. I loved DIY stuffing of "flesh" into the fluffy light hirata buns and addling heaps of pickles for a tasty kick. A great joint for thoes that like to share!


Staff Writer

Staff were very friendly and nice, although overall service seemed a little confused. The food was great. Some great dishes not had elsewhere which means it was not just another of the same.

The lunch is very reasonable. Had the piglet  Although wish i went for the duck.

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