‘it’s a bit like a jamboree in your mouth’

This place is up there with my favourites.

Head up Bunhill Row past Bunhill Fields and you’ll find Flamboree on Old St on the site of the original Bovril factory.

Exterior

Seating 75, the interior is vibrant industrial fun.

Interior

Flamboree focuses on tarte flambée, a speciality of the region of Alsace in eastern France and south west Germany – where it is called flammekueche (translates as ‘flame pastry’).  It originates from the process of baking bread when a thin slice of pastry would be used to test the heat of the ovens.

Bringing us this deliciously different menu is Neil Witney, accompanied by his vast previous experience at Blakes, La Bodega Negra, Notting Hill’s E&O, Eight Over Eight etc.

Made with a special flour, tarte flambées (‘flams’) look a little like wafer-thin light base pizzas but they are so much better and so much better for you, too!  The base is free of yeast and Flamboree offers up a cornucopia of unusual topping combinations inspired by Neil’s exotic travels around the world.  Gluten-free and spelt flour bases are also available.  The bases are rolled and then baked in a mere 80 seconds in a custom-made gas-fired oven.  Most dishes can be customised spicy / vegetarian / vegan.

Service was excellent and we were greeted as soon as we went in, could sit where we wanted to, and we were brought water without asking (always a good mark in my book).

There is plenty to choose from on the drinks menu – all reasonably priced, most wines available by the glass and a great choice of juices and smoothies.

For drinks we chose the Pomegranate lemonade (deliciously similar to an organic bubble tea), a can of Reunion beer from Alsace and and a Sweet apple ice tea.

Sweet apple ice tea £2.50

Both the tea and lemonade were homemade – that’s a feeling you get all-round at Flamboree.

Pomegranate lemonade £2.50

To start, we selected the Raclette which was not as strong as we have tasted before in France, but was still thoroughly enjoyable with excellent flavour and balance.

Raclette £5.95

We also shared a regular Great Veganer flam where a lemony hummus replaces the traditional crème fresh.  The masses of fresh roasted vegetables were very filling and I’m not sure how the seasoning is done, but they were full of flavour.

Great Veganer flam £6.25 (glasses left in the photo so you can see how large even the regular size is)

Nibbles and salads and Raclette options include:

Smoked & salted almonds £3.25

Marinated olives £3.25

Coriander & lemon hummus £4.50

LE GARLIC flam £4.50 with crème fraîche, fresh garlic, emmental cheese, herbs

RACLETTE CLASSIQUE £5.95 with raclette cheese over baby potatoes, cornichons & house pickles +£6.95 for dingley dell smoky bacon lardons OR grilled vegetables & slow roasted tomatoes

BEWARE THE TALIWANG salad £8.95 with roast & pulled chicken, taliwang sauce, tomatoes, mixed leaves, red onion, coriander & kaffir lime leaf

SALMON DANCE salad £11.95 with hot smoked salmon, avocado, red onion, mixed leaves, slow roast tomatoes & salsa verde dressing

THE ROYAL LEVANTINE salad £8.95 with roasted peppers & aubergine, mixed leaves, feta, pomegranate pearls & molasses, olives, rocket & za’atar

For main, we chose to share the large Royal Levantine flam.  Let me just say that the large flams are huge and since we had already shared something to start, we didn’t even manage to get through this flam.  Shed no tears, however, because we took it home and it was devoured by hungry relatives.

Royal Levantine flam £6.75 (close up to show how fresh and plentiful are the toppings)

The Royal Levantine was spicier than expected (which we loved) but can be moderated.  The level of spiciness is largely down to the Middle Eastern za’atar mix, which can be tweaked to suit your palate so just have a word with your waiter.

Prices stated below are for large flams but regular flams are available until 5pm.

Flams include:

MA’S CLASSIQUE flam £8.95 with dingley dell smoky bacon lardons, crème fraîche, red onions, emmental cheese, herb aioli

BEWARE THE TALIWANG flam £10.75 with roast & pulled chicken, spicy taliwang sauce, coriander, kaffir lime leaf, tomato & Indonesian sweet soy sauce

CHARCUT-OREE flam £11.50 with dingley dell smoky bacon lardons, pepper salami, saucisson, kassler ham, dijon mayo, cornichons, herbs & crispy shallots

THE GREEK GODDESS flam £10.50 with slow roast tomatoes, sweet peppers & courgette, crème fraîche, red onion, aged feta, olives, fig jam, aubergine, mixed leaves

THE ROYAL LEVANTINE flam £10.75 with roasted peppers & aubergine, crème fraîche, feta, tahini, pomegranate pearls & molasses, za’atar, rocket

SALMON DANCE flam £13.95 with hot smoked salmon, crème fraîche, red onion, slow roasted tomato, salsa verde, baby kale

THE GREAT VEGANER flam £10.50 with coriander & lemon hummus, slow roast tomato, red onion, grilled aubergine & sweet peppers, shaved courgette, tomato tapenade & mixed leaves

There is a kid’s flam menu deal for £6.50 including drink and ice cream.

For dessert we simply had to pick the Flam-Smoree – just look at the photo, dive in and make it up at the gym the next day.

Flam-Smoree £5.75

You need a knife and fork and partner or two to share this huge smore-fest but it is worth it.  If I had to chose one thing to eat for the rest of my life, then it would be this flam – that’s how good it is!

My partner chose the very fruity and scrumptious Kugelhopf ‘hat cake’ which tasted like an early Christmas and also broke all forms of my self-control.

Kugelhopf £6.50

Desserts include:

FLAM-SMOREE £5.75 with sweet crème, dark chocolate sauce, white chocolate chips, crushed biscuit, marshmallow with a scoop of ice cream

GRANDMA-MA’S NEW MAN £6.50 with fruits steeped in rum, spices & muscovado sugar, served over tahitian vanilla ice cream

KUGELHOPF £6.50 with traditional, rich dough cake with mixed fruit & spices, served with a scoop of ice cream

ICE CREAMS & SORBET £5.00 with 3 scoops of our selection for the day

We loved Flamboree.  It’s not posh, but it is quality and is most refreshingly different.  I would definitely go back – especially for group dates, because it is easy to share a mixture of dishes on the bench seating and the vibe is fun.

There are options for breakfast, lunch and dinner and they also do pick-ups and deliveries so what’s not to love!

Flamboree, 154 Old St, EC1V 9BW

Tel: 020 3355 5006

flamboree.co.uk

Open Monday to Wednesday 7AM – 10PM, Thursday and Friday 7:30AM – 11PM, Saturday 12PM – 11PM

Breakfast is daily from 7:30am – 11am
Lunchtime is daily from 11am – 3pm

Regular flams only available from 11am – 5pm, then large flams only from 5pm, to fill you up.