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This buzzing basement bonfire of a restaurant is the first solo venture from barbecue-obsessed Neil Rankin, who co-founded Smokehouse and was in the kitchen at Pitt Cue Co Soho, when it originally opened in 2012. Temper is a veritable temple to the art of cooking meat: below the small, ground-floor taco bar lies an expansive room which radiates out from a central open kitchen, kitted out with a theatrical wood-fired grill and clay oven. Diners choose between ring-side counter stools, or more intimate tables and booths around the edge. Wherever you sit however, you’ll leave smelling strongly of smoke. ‘Temper’ refers to Rankin’s commitment to tempering his meats, whether it’s Essex beef, Yorkshire pork or Welsh lamb. Priced per 100g and served with a fluffy flat bread, it’s possible to eat incredibly cheaply here. The menu is suffused with the glee of a chef in full control, resulting in fun cuisine-hopping: a taco menu includes must-order mackerel, the delicate fillets blowtorched and freshened with sweet white miso and mashed avocado; a small bowl of Thai-style larb combines roasted rice with burnt ends for a spicy burst of clashing textures; a side dish of sliced, baked potatoes is moist with beef fat and caked in melted raclette. We recommend ordering all of the £1 sauces and finishing up with a gooey-centred cookie, baked in a cast iron pan. Well-considered cocktails, Scotch, Aussie wines and mescal are given most attention on the drinks list, with flights of the latter available. Enthused, committed staff complete this thoroughly modern, impressive barbecue bunker.
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