Order a piccolo. Job done
41 reviews of Flat White Espresso Bar in English
We left very quickly, would not recommend this at all.
Service-wise, we were ignored and only got acknowledged after one of the barista's mates showed up and had to wait behind us. Despite other reviewers not wanting a "fake smile" from cafe staff, I'd prefer any semblance of a smile and a greeting - this is standard customer service which is sadly lacking at Flat White.
The takeaway flat-white was also the smallest I have ever had - I grew up in NZ and have visited Australia and have never been given a flat-white that small.
Best coffee I've had in London, however I think I'll be sticking to Sacred Cafe around the corner - the coffee is nearly as good, the service is great and the place is a lot nicer to sit in (plus there is a loo!).
Enjoyed the place very much the other day.
Back in 2006 which is when I first visited here, the place was quite different. Busy, packed with Kiwis, wearing hoodies asking eachother ‘how long since they arrived’
It was a different scene when I visited the other Sunday. Still a bunch of Kiwis around, but the atmosphere is more sophisticated, a bit darker, cooler and the operation a bit more switched on.
Aesthetically, its somewhere between retro chic and twee – think faux wood panelling on their coffee machines [La Marzoccos I think], cool vintage filament bulbs adding atmosphere. UPDATE no more La Marzocco, now with Seattle’s Synesso machines.
The flatwhites were excellent. Arrived at the table with the emulsified sheen you get when you know you’ve blended the milk well – and with well executed latte art.
Slightly let down by average service, but given it was a full-on day for the staff, I hereby forgive them [i know, I’m so kind]. Also, its a busy place, its not somewhere you can laze on one coffee for ages, or feel totally relaxed, instead you’ll have to soak up the buzz of caffeinated London!
If you need to go to the loo, you won’t be in luck. This place is looless.
The food menu looks great – and well priced – I’m looking forward to returning to sample it.
It’s one of the many good coffee shops in London. However, when I’m in the area, I prefer Foxcroft & Ginger just down Berwick Street (http://www.qype.co.uk/place/1198040-Foxcroft-and-Ginger-L...). It’s lighter. That’s important, when you enjoy reading a good book.
But still, Flat White is definitely worth a visit!
Bloody amazing coffees. I love the ‘flat white’ the most. So creamy and strong.
They always have some tempting delicious cakes around too, which I usually indulge in…
Lovely guys that work here too.
very cosy with good coffee full of flavour served with a friendly smile.
Well worth a visit as seen on the top ten coffee bars map in London to visit. We should have this map in every city in the uk.
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Full review at http://thehappinessprojectlondon.wordpress.com
And ever since I started getting into coffee, and testing out coffee shops, Flat White has been mentioned again and again as the caffeine holy grail. It was the Byron to my burger, an Antipodean caffeine dream, the crown jewels of Soho coffee establishments. So I had high hopes. But then bloody @theheliocentric on twitter responded to my excitement about going with these words: “it’ll be far too milky…” and my excitement was dented. Oh no, another overhyped place, a Byron disappointment?
Not quite. Flat White is just opposite Yautacha, next door to the Cafe du Marche, and a really cool venue. They were playing brilliant blues when I was there and in walked the most fabulous collection of cool trendy people - and a large number of interesting beards too. Lots of people on their own which is a great sign. Very friendly Ozzie/Kiwi (sorry I still can’t tell the difference sometimes) staff.
And then my flat white (£2.50) – which had a lovely kick (Brazilian, Sumatran and El Salvador beans) and great coffee art (it’s important m’kay) but arghhhhhhhhhhhhh it was too bloody milky! God I’m beginning to sound like a real whinger but I just know how I like my coffee now which is why it is such a great thing to get into and work out what you like. However, as the people from Kaffeine pointed out to me, it’s really about the customer telling them how they like it done – so next time I’d ask for a double shot and slightly less milky. And I wouldn’t be surprised if I get lots of comments that a flat white is supposed to be milky (apparently coffee is also supposed to be lukewarm, that’s me told) but it’s just a very personal thing.
Do pop in – it’s a great venue (probably coolest coffee shop so far and it smells amaaazing inside) and I’ll definitely be back again, they’re really nice, you can check out the beards and the carrot cake looked fab too.
Comment 1 comment on this review
mintmanthomo, 24 July 2012:
When again I couldn’t get a place at Princi (do people ever get a place there I wonder) I was fortunate enough to at least get a table at Flat White which in the end might have been a better choice anyway. Flat White is a tiny coffee shop in the heart of Soho full of Australian staff (as far as I can judge the accent) and with super-delicious coffee. I don’t know if I would like to hang out there forever as it is rather cramped and busy, but it is THE place for coffee, cake and people watching.
The espresso and macchiato could not have been more perfect. Strong, dark, hot and with a real kick. A flat white is, if I am not mistaken, the Australian Cafe Latte. I personally hate coffee with too much milk, so please read a bit more about how a flat white is supposed to taste here (written by an Australian).
I love carrot cake and the one at Flat White was heavenly, moist and sweet with a beautiful sugar coating on top. The brownie was rich and chocolaty, what a treat. Interesting their way of saving on washing up dishes by putting everything on one tiny plate – but let me tell you, that’s part of their charm.
The real problem with Flat White is that you might just not get a table. And this of course would be a disaster.
Hands down the best coffee shop in London. It's a tiny little place, as are most great places in Soho.
The flat white here is to die for...
They do some great snacks and light meals, and the guys that work here are all wicked.
This place was chosen for a catch-up ad I'm glad I tried it. Good coffee and a broad range of menu items first grabbed me. We sat in a table at the back and chatted while our drinks were brought out.
(proper leaf-like swirl pattern on the top - check!)
I also decided to go for toasted ciabatta with poached eggs and fresh slabs of ham off the bone that we all decided reminded us of Christmas in Oz.
Fantastic value for £4 - £5 as I was full all day! It's a pretty noisy little joint as every table was full at least 90% of the time and the staff seem to like nothing better than bashing various pieces of the coffee machine / plates / cutlery about to make maximum 'coffee shop ambient' noise too, so be warned.
But, for a convenient spot with yummy food and drinks, this does the job.
For photos see Greedy Diva @ http://greedydiva.blogspot.com/2010/03/flat-white-soho.html
Flat White was the first decent coffee shop we visited when we first moved to London. I can still remember the tears, the kissing of the ground, the hugging of the coffee machine when its joyous brew first revealed itself.
One of the primary reasons for choosing our current abode was its proximity to London's premier coffee source of the time. The only other option that we knew of then was Marylebone's "The Providores", which also makes a great cup of coffee, but the place gets so packed with locals seeking solace after a morning's shopping spree at The White Company that its not uncommon to leave with bruises.
Other alternatives have sprung up near Flat White since then. It's younger bro, Milk Bar, Fernandez and Wells, Lantana, Kaffeine, Foxcroft & Ginger, Kaffe Automat and LJ Coffee House are among them. TPG is most decidedly a Fernandez man. However, when I'm feeling a little home sick for the southern hemisphere, Flat White is a little escape where I know I'll hear an Aussie accent and taste a coffee that smells like home.
I was at Flat White during the week, when it occurred to me that I'd never published a dedicated blog post about it. Those well worn, local haunts are, at times, so much like a comfy slipper that they make the easiest omissions. And it's also the case that Flat White is not news to any serious coffee drinker. But what it means to me might not be what it means to you, and with the sudden proliferation of new options you may have simply forgotten about it - so here it is anyway.
A flat white is an antipodean style coffee (let's not get into that debate about whether it was born in Australia or New Zealand - just as for the pavlova debate, as a Melbourne gal you must know what side of the fence I'm firmly planted on). It should be strong, not overly milky, and with little of the froth that goes into your capp or latte. Don't even think about ordering grande.
Flat White opened in 2005 and roasts Square Mile beans. The flatties emanating from the shiny La Marzocco machine are rich and smooth, with that caramel like hit and just the right amount of milk. FW's coffees are generally perfect every time - although TPG would counter that they're sometimes not hot enough, and my trusty friend, The Rather Unusual Chinaman, found his recent FW flat white too milky in his review this week. Gasp!
I love the Turkish toast with simple spreads or avocado. TPG goes for the toasted banana bread or the bagel with grilled haloumi, bacon and BBQ sauce which is a corker. The pastries are also fluffy and delicious, and there's a range of salad options at lunch time.
Although the music and clubby darkness may give the impression of somewhere that's too cool for school, the New Zealander baristas are friendly and chatty, and it's just a little more frenetic than the slightly more chilled out Milk Bar. I only wish they had the weekend papers in store.
Forget about throwing another shrimp on the barbie - if you really want to channel your inner antipodean, head to Flat White and "smash back a flattie, mate".
Agree with others quite expensive but heh you're in central london so what else do you expect.
Strong good coffee (not hot milk with coffee)
Ambiance and buzz
Sit down and watch the world as you listen to some loud but great tracks
Don't go for:
Speedy on the fly coffee
Quiet spot to think
Very nice Antipodean coffee shop, one of the top places for proper quality coffee in Cental London, the others being Fernandez & Wells (Soho), Monmouth Coffee (Covent Garden), the new Milk Bar (Soho, same owners as Flat White) and then a tie, between Tinderbox (Angel) and maybe, just maybe Sacred (Carnaby Street).
Best try the flat white (a properly made latte), there's a reason that the coffee shop is named this. Who knew that the Antipodeans would be the driving force in London coffee culture?
- Good strong coffee
- best breakfast sandwich I've ever tasted (bacon, egg & sweet tomato chutney).
- nice staff
- friendly atmosphere
- good music
- Very busy in the morning, so a long wait for your coffee (try getting there early or maybe in the evening to get a seat even).
- Pricey, over double the price of most chain coffee shops (but I suppose that is to be expected).
- I've noticed of late that the strength of the coffee depends on who's operating the machines. Have had a very weak flat white, which put me off the place for a few weeks. Not too bad since I just detoured to Milk Bar.
- Addictive, I used to have a flat white every day for a few months. It was hard weaning myself off. I've still not entirely kicked the habit...
Pretty good, but didn't move the world for me. Coffee is really quite good, but a bit on the small size. A lot of effort goes into the decorative aspect and making a pretty fern in the milk. Which is nice, but not really my bag. But it does ooze a fair amount of charm, especially on a cold winter afternoon, so 4 stars.
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