Flatplanet, Great Marlborough Street - a review
Tucked away behind Liberty's you'll find Flatplanet, open to the street, drawing punters in with coffee aromas from its machine, placed at the centre of their frontage. You might have mistaken Flatplanet for a mere coffee shop and walked past it, but it's the topped spelt flatbreads that it should be known for.
At first, it was the coffee I yearned for, whilst working opposite in the Sony building, and not wanting to go to a Starbucks, the independent-looking Flatplanet appeared to fit the bill. The Flat White wasn't the best, but perfectly drinkable. I must have made a mental note of the topped flatbreads, as I've since been back twice for them.
The interior features reclaimed furniture, ranging from school science lab stools to Formica tables featuring the printed texture younger readers may recognise better as the background to the Notification Centre on the iOS 6 and OS X Mountain Lion. The walls bear cuttings from Japanese newspapers and a sort of community noticeboard downstairs with event posters on.
The concept of the topped flatbread is appealing, as a heavy, doughy pizza can be a bit much for lunch. The special on one occasion was a flatbread topped with falafel, tomato sauce, labneh and rocket. There were lots of fresh flavours going on, and any oiliness from the falafel was cut through beautifully by the slightly sour taste of the labneh. The other flatbread I'd recommend is El Diablo, a sun-dried tomato and chilli harissa base with chorizo, parmesan shavings, and rocket, drizzled with garlic yoghurt. The owner, John Vincent, was part of the team that founded the successful chain of street food restaurants, Leon, which perhaps explains the great quality of the ingredients. I suspect the chorizo may be from Brindisa, if they use the same suppliers as Leon.
Other flatbreads such as the Moroccan Chicken and Cosmic Cowboy were luke-warm, as the toppings were cold. The staff maintained that they are not supposed to be hot, but served as a snackie sandwich, which perhaps is true, but they would be a lot nicer piping hot.
They also do some really good fresh juices.
All in all, Flatplanet offers a decent street-food experience at an affordable price (starting from £4.95 for take-out). Choose wisely, and you'll enjoy it.
P.S: I'll be working 6pm - midnight at the Eustn Tap tonight for Lagunitas Brewing Co. IPA on tap, all the way from the USA. I hope to see you there! Event starts at 4:20pm ;-)