It may be the current fashion to eschew meat, but Carole Hamilton is still a big fan of Neil Rankin’s Soho barbecue joint
Turning into Broadwick Street feels a little like coming home. I spent 12 happy years in Soho working at the National Magazine Company, home to the likes of Cosmopolitan and Harpers & Queen, and although the publishing giant is still there at No. 72, the rest of the street is pretty unrecognisable. These days it’s a mish-mash of posh fast food, boutiques and, at No. 25, Neil Rankin’s Temper.
Temper is tucked away in a basement with just a small bar and a couple of staff to welcome you at street level. Descend downstairs and you quickly realise that this restaurant is all about meat. The kitchen takes centre stage and there’s lots of beef, lamb and goat on show – not the place to take your veggie friends!
The kitchen is surrounded by counter seats which are not, in this instance, the poor relation; rather, the premier seats if you want to watch the action. And no, you won’t smell of cooking if you sit this close – Temper has an awesome extraction system. The music on a Saturday night is loud, and the place is full to bursting.
The food and drink
Start with the tacos – crab and pickled onion with pork skin fleshed out with avocado, and aged cheeseburger with shards of golden, aromatic beef fat. Watch the flatbreads being stretched and tossed on the griddle in front of you, then enjoy them piled high with smoked chopped goat.
If you’ve yet to sample goat, make it your mission this month – it’s #Goatober, a month long celebration of the goat meat industry that raises awareness of the billy goat as a meat source, and money for Action Against Hunger. Goat is delicious – it won’t be a hardship.
The smoked beef-grilled prime cuts of English longhorn from Suffolk is tender and flavoursome, teamed with little bowls of spiced autumn greens, Szechuan avocado that’s both cooling and warming, and grilled corn with lamb fat butter. We also sample a whole grilled mackerel, which comes with a pile of tortillas – yet another excuse to ditch the cutlery and eat with your fingers.
Neil is famous for using the whole animal, and leaves nothing but the well boiled bones. Everything gets used, which is surely to be admired. Temper in the City has a more Asian-inspired menu, and I can’t wait to try it.
If you enjoy meat, this is definitely one for you. The atmosphere is fun and watching the chefs as you munch is pure theatre.
25 Broadwick Street, London W1F 0DF, 020 3879 3834, temperrestaurant.com