So we are on board the mothership of all BBQs as the king of gastro smoking Neil Rankin’s Temper dials the principles of slow smoking and charcoal grilled meats up to 11. No more street van or pop up shack, this is big time West End arrival of the BBQ. Yes there are tables in this slick basement dining room but all the meat fetish theatre is around the gargantuan grill. Take your seats for the show. Smokin’.
Despite the grand surroundings Temper is a relatively simple proposition. Meat, flatbreads, tacos. The art of course is in the qualities of the meats and the time devoted to prep, singeing and smoking. The central idea? Choose from a variety of meats in 100g servings, eat with fresh, charred smokey flatbread. Keep going till you drop.
We start with tacos and Modelo Sour cocktails, Modelo, coriander seeds and egg white. Frisky. Soy cured beef taco was pretty much your basic tartare while the crab and pickled onion pork skin was a funky fusion of white crab meat and ground down crispy porky crackling. Really though, these area warm-up to the main event. A main event unfolding in front of us as upto 20 staff man the stations around the griddles curating various joints of prime meat. Like a meat truck that’s caught fire.
Tonight we choose Lincoln Red beef (9.50), Gloucester Old Spot pork (7), Daphne Tilly Lamb (7.50) and Cabrito Dorset goat (9.50) with a fairly irrelevant nod to side dishes in the form of Smacked cucumber (3.50). This is possibly the last place on earth to bring a vegetarian. Or someone with a heart condition. Or someone in search of vitamins. I am none of these.
As the goat has been slow cooked for about a decade, I expected it to be the star of the show but that prize goes jointly to the beef and the lamb. Perfectly medium-rare, fatty (you must do!) cuts of deeply flavoured meat, in the case of the lamb, from a variety of cuts. Infused to the core with smoke. Wrapped in glistening flatbreads. The pork, belly I imagine, retained its core flavour – you don’t feel like you are eating the bonfire, and that of course is the art. Although you will go home with L’air de feu in your hair.
We couldn’t finish so doggy bagged the remains, and as you will know from my reviews, dessert is something I rarely indulge in. Impossible not to like – great meat, wonderfully cooked (with a bit of showy drama) and a less than painful price tag, despite the central London grandiosity, the impossibly glam waitresses and the butch beardy tattooed throng at the BBQ.
25 Broadwick Street, W1F 0DF
020 3879 3834