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This buzzing bonfire of a restaurant is the first solo venture from BBQ-obsessed Neil Rankin, who co-founded Smokehouse and worked at Pitt Cue Co (now Little Pitt) back in the day. Temper is dedicated to the art and craft of cooking meat: below the small, ground-floor taco bar lies an expansive room featuring a theatrical open kitchen with a wood-fired grill and clay oven – bag one of the counter stools for a ringside seat. The name refers to Rankin’s commitment to tempering his meats, whether it’s Essex beef, Yorkshire pork or Welsh lamb. Take your pick from a high-octane cuisine-hopping menu that runs from must-order blowtorched mackerel tacos freshened with sweet white miso and mashed avocado to little bowls of Thai-style larb combining roasted rice with ‘burnt ends’ for a spicy clash of textures. We recommend ordering the full quota of sauces and finishing off with a gooey-centred cookie, baked in a cast-iron pan. Well-considered cocktails, Aussie wines and mezcal flights dominate the drinks list, while enthusiastic, committed staff seal the deal at this thoroughly modern BBQ bunker.
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14 June 2018
Temper Soho is a great spot for dining with friends or for starting your night out if you're looking for a buzzy restaurant with a good atmosphere. Food highlights include the cheeseburger taco, the crab tostada and the smoked beef flatbread. Definitely get all of the sauces. And leave room for the baked cookie dessert which is a real sweet treat.
22 December 2017
I recently went here on a date night, having wanted to go for ages! The restaurant did not disappoint. The only slight flaw was the waitress got one of our orders wrong. But other than that, it was fabulous.
We were greeted by a very lovely hosted, brought down to the best view in the house (the counter). i had a fab Irn Bru cocktail (I'm Scottish - I love it).
The food was fab and the desserts even better.
Believe the hype - it is definitely all true.
12 September 2017
Just crowned "3rd best restaurant in London right now" (Time Out), Temper had in fact been on my wish list for some time. Ever since a throwaway Grace Dent post on Instagram mentioning the delicious wine and cheeseburger tacos my food radar was buzzing, then a glowing Jay Rayner Observer review absolutely sealed the deal. Unfortunately I didn't get round to booking until last month, and in the interim the restaurant featured on BBC's Celebrity Masterchef - which our waiter told us has increased their daily bookings at least 300%.
You could tell. We arrived at 7pm (early for Soho, I thought) and the place was already very busy and noisy. Turns out it is just very noisy all the time. After feeling somewhat pressured by our lovely waiter to get our order in, we watched them turn over those tables, and turn them again - and I think I had my longest ever wait for main courses to arrive.
It's a semi industrial space below street level with an open kitchen. You can sit at the bar in pairs, and they have booths for groups up to eight. We were given a four seater table near the entrance which was great space-wise, but we could barely hear each other speak by 8pm (peak customer hour). I didn't mind a bit of shouting, but if we're all doing it, maybe a few cushions are in order?
We had the cheeseburger tacos and a taco special (pig cheeks): both were sublime, particularly washed down with two perfect Negronis. After that long wait our selection of main dishes arrived: the well-reviewed smoked meat on flatbread (lamb rump), lamb masala (curry), burnt end larb (astoundingly good), and a few sides. I think the char-grilled meats are better at Blacklock. Everything was good, nothing was great. Except the tacos.
Add two rounds of beers (4 total) and our bill came to just over £100. Next time, I'm ordering every taco on the menu, cocktails and dessert. Mezcal please!
31 May 2017
I was early but while waiting for my companion was welcomed by the staff and offered three wines to try before deciding which I went for. Mini burgers are a must, as are the burnt ends!
27 February 2017
Temper was recommended to us by a number of people who all said that A) finding the door is a challenge – it is, and B) not to sit at the uncomfortable stools at the bar – so we didn’t.
We ordered the Aged cheeseburger (very tasty), smacked cucumber (which was described by the waitress as “cucumber just squashed/mashed”, but there was certainly more to it than that, beef fat potatoes with ogleshield – good, but could have done with some seasoning. You can then order a selection of grilled meats by the 100g, and we had the goat – delicious and the lamb (my favourite) and green sauce on the side. All in all a very enjoyable meal.
Service was slick and our Portuguese waiter was keen to tell us all about the produce and assist with wine selection.
Top tip – when they offer to take your coat to the cloakroom, let them, otherwise it will smell like “Guy Fawkes” on 5th November!
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