For the discerning gent looking for a restaurant specialising in meat, there are many options in London. For the discerning gent looking for a restaurant specialised in a selection of meats that are smoked, roasted on open fires and rendered into delicious meaty mouthfuls – there only a few. Of those few, there is the latest addition to the London restaurant circuit, Temper. It’s here where whole animal carcasses come to be butchered onsite and every part is used somewhere within the tight and focused menu.
The Look, The Feel
Temper is the brainchild of chef Neil Rankin and he’s been doing things with animals, smoke and fire for a while now – previously at Smokehouse and Bad Egg. Temper, in the heart of Soho is a stab at tackling the growing demand for social dining, shareable plates, mix and matching. The slick styling of the décor is clearly visible as patrons descent to the main dining room with its centralised open fire pit the focal point and dead-giveaway about what to expect here – barbecued and smoked meats. With head chef Mark Jeevaratnam’s team and waiters buzzing around the open kitchen the fixed bar stool seating offer prime viewing of these craftsmen and women’s handy work at carving up slabs of British meat. Tables and booths available for larger groups too.
Starters at Temper revolve around tacos as a way to get the taste buds going – highlights here include the crab and pickled onion pork skin (£9), the blowtorch mackerel (£7.50) and the aged cheeseburger (£8). Arriving at the table to much anticipation, these bite-sized tacos are a great way to immediately dial up the sharing and social aspect of Temper’s dining experience – so get involved. The sommelier at Temper, Donald Sinclair-Edwards, offers wise words to cater for all tastes so don’t be afraid to pick his brains for a wine to suit specific flavours from an extensive wine list. A few of these tacos and a good wine will set the discerning gent on his way to the mains.
The Main Event
If the plentiful tacos haven’t beaten you (and this is an easy road to follow) then the discerning gent should be primed and ready to tackle all those roasted meats that sizzle and drip with flavour positioned in the centre of Temper. Beef, lamb, pork and goat are the superstars in this blockbuster – with each vying for the accolade of ‘best performer’ – the only way to make a verdict is to order all four. Each meat is purchased by the 100g and your waiter should assist with a recommendation on how much of each animal you should order depending on the size of your group.
Working through the meats reveals individual benefits over the other – as a foursome there isn’t a spectrum of meaty goodness not reached, but it’s the power of the collective that matters and that’s the underlying theme of a restaurant like Temper. The beef (£9.50) is cooked so the outside is perfectly charred and the middle is that perfect mix of rare pink shades of meat – all served as mini slabs of goodness. The lamb (£7.50) is as decadent as it should be, saturated with flavour from the juices and fat from the chunk of meaty it’s carved from. The pork (£7) is cooked consistently throughout as beautiful chunks of roasted white meat packed with flavour. The cabrito goat (£9.50), a rarity on the restaurant circuit, is perhaps the star of the show with its flavoursome punch and hint of salty savouriness – highly recommended as part of any order here from the Elysium Magazine team.
Meats are served on freshly baked flatbreads that soak up the juices and fats of each meat nestled on top – consider these a sponge of decadent flavour that you’ll use to mop up strands of meat, morsels of toppings and splashes of sauce – of which there are many to work through. Make the decision easy and order all sauces (£1 each) and all sprinkles (50p each). There are sides to think about amongst all this too – just makes sure you definitely order the beef fat potatoes with raclette cheese (£5).
The beauty of a sharable, mix and match dining experience is that you can everything and work your way through the lot – no menu envy of fellow diners here. It also means that combinations can be numerous and plentiful. This all means that when it comes to deserts, you might be too full from a meaty banquet. If you do have space, the baked cookie with vanilla ice cream is the only way to finish the experience.
On entering a restaurant like Temper, the stereotypes of its locality in London’s Soho could influence initial thoughts to a venue with that suffers from style over substance. With Temper, this isn’t the case as the meat is the star of the show – hence its place centre stage. The knowledge and service from waiters is perfectly balanced, but going back to the meat – it’s simply the star of the show. With a funky yet down-to-earth attitude it’s no wonder Temper’s casual opulence means it’s busy through all nights of the week and the reason why it will continue to do so in the future. Book in advance to avoid disappoint on availability and prepare the senses for a meaty journey the discerning gent and guests will all enjoy.
Contact: Temper Restaurant, 25 Broadwick Street, London W1F 0DF – Tel: 020 3879 3834