Rosalind Lowe visits Gordon Ramsay’s former protege’s latest grocery-themed restaurant in the heart of the City.
If you’re on a date, and are thinking more hearty food than hearts and flowers, then Jason Atherton’s new restaurant, Temple & Sons, is the perfect venue. Next door to his City Social (24 floors up in the iconic Tower 42) this street-level restaurant, from Gordon Ramsay’s former protege, is laid-back and quirky.
Both the menu and decor are inspired by an old-fashioned British grocery, and there are shelves of traditional favourites in the windows (from jars of Bovril to bottles of HP sauce – the manager confided that the head chef sometimes swipes supplies from his carefully curated display!) as well as Anglepoise lamps and cool light boxes spelling out Temple & Sons’ various inspirations in a classic black typeface: Pickled Goods, Tinned Sardines, Mustards and Piccalilli…
With hungry City boys in mind, the focus is on great cuts of meat – servers bring that day’s freshly delivered offering to your table on a wooden platter so you can see which raw cut takes your fancy – and then you get to choose the perfect Sabatini meat knife to carve it with, from the restaurant’s wooden display case.
Fish lovers are also well catered for. The day’s catch is on display too – and was clearly popular with the female half of the many couples enjoying dinner when we were there – fish are served simply grilled with lemon and olive oil.
There is also a daily menu of classic English dishes such as sausage and mash and custard tarts. We loved the Cornish fish stew – quite possibly the best fish soup we’ve ever tasted! Generous pieces of perfectly cooked white fish and seafood are served in a deliciously thick and creamy bisque with braised fennel, red peppers and hints of lemon and saffron.
A main of perfectly cooked wood-fired pork chop was made even tastier with its lemony, crunchy pine nut crust, and we also recommend the sides of sprouting broccoli with a crust of roasted seeds granola and an anchovy and caper puree plus the New Forest mushrooms smothered in indulgent garlic, parsley and melted truffle goats curd (some chunks of sourdough could turn this side into a deliciously quick snack on its own.)
Temple & Sons may be based in a busy neighbourhood, but it is a firm fan of long lunches – and leisurely dinners – and we were definitely tempted to linger over pudding. Here, too, the vibe is old-fashioned-with-a-twist, and we loved the traditional-looking trifle with its gingerbread, poached rhubarb and spicy crystallised ginger.
For more information, visit http://www.jasonatherton.co.uk/restaurants/temple-sons
Scroll down to recreate Executive Chef Paul Walsh’s recipes for braised Irish short ribs, spring onion and coriander to bring the taste of Temple & Sons into your own home.
Braised Irish short ribs, spring onion and coriander
Serves 4 people
4 x 300g Irish short rib portions
2 litres shop brought beef stock
50g coriander, chopped
2 spring onion, thinly sliced
2 Jalapenos, thinly sliced
1 tbsp toasted sesame seed
Spice mix – see below
BBQ sauce – see below
For spice mix
270g smoked paprika
135g light brown sugar
65g fine salt
2 tbsp garlic powder
2 tbsp onion powder
2 tbsp ground black pepper
Half tbsp chilli powder
For BBQ sauce:
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, finely diced
100ml Frenchies mustard (an American type of mustard)
60ml cider vinegar
60ml Worcestershire sauce
60ml runny honey
120g soft brown sugar
1 To make the spice mix, place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well to combine.
2 For the BBQ sauce, fry the onion and garlic in a saucepan in oil on a medium heat for 3-4 minutes until they are soft, then add 20g of the home made spice mix and fry for a further 2 minutes.
3 Add the rest of the BBQ sauce ingredients and stir well, then cook over a low heat for 1 hour.
4 Blend the sauce in a food processor while it’s still warm and pass through a fine sieve.
5 Rub the short ribs with some of the remaining spice mix and fry evenly on all sides in oil in a frying pan on a medium heat until brown on both sides. Place the short ribs in a deep casserole dish and cover with the beef stock. Cook in the oven at 140⁰C for 4 hours or until tender to the touch.
5 Take the cooked short ribs and brush them with the BBQ sauce and finish with the chopped coriander, spring onions, Jalapenos and sesame seeds. Serve with fresh lime.
6 Store the reminder of the spice mix. It will keep in an air tight container in a cool dry place for 3 months.