Age: Well, zero. This is a brand new happening. But the restaurant itself is a few months old, the third in chef Neil Rankin’s group which originated in Soho.
Where exactly is it? In the heart of the Square Mile in the City. It’s in a tucked-away street – Angel Court – that we struggled to find, feeling like tourists as we marched down Throgmorton Street. City boys we are not.
OK. So what goes on there? Temper forged its name for “meat cooked over fire” (butch!) and the City branch reportedly has one of the world’s biggest fire pits. Following a whole animal philosophy, their zero-waste approach admirably ensures that nothing goes to waste, as well as having its own dedicated butchery area.
What should I eat? Well, on this occasion, steak, of course. It’s pretty much the first ever bottomless steak and wine menu we’ve spied on a London menu, so we had to give it a go.
So how does it work? Priced at £29 a person, there’s no choice: it’s just a simple hefty 300g cut of rare-breed British rump steak cooked over flames, with sauces and fries. Oh, and bottomless house red, white, or rosé wine. You get 90 minutes to fill your chops – then you’re out. If you’re posh, you can upgrade for a surplus to premium cuts including porterhouse and sirloin.
And is it any good? Delicious: the meat is expertly charred, the exterior caramelised, with a deeply rosy centre – and, in our case, perfectly medium-rare. Creamy bearnaise and salsa verde were good for alternate dunks, the fries crispy and skinny (order the smoky tomato ketchup too).
The interior: discuss. It’s dark, candlelit and capacious, with cosy corners, booths and lots of counter seating in front of the open kitchen. As as Steak Club is a specific weekly night, it takes place on the mezzanine, with views over other carnivorous customers below. And all the while, a gently throbbing 1990s dance soundtrack pervades, furthering the hedonistic ambience.
And what do I drink? Unlimited wine, obviously (you can ‘upgrade’ to prosecco for £4 extra, but really, why would you?). Curiously – presumably in an attempt to slow stressed office workers down – the plonk is delivered by the glass, refreshed whenever you ask. We did think they’d be better off serving up, say, 500 ml carafes, especially when it’s busy, although very quickly the friendly server got the hang of it and brought us a couple more (and then a couple more). Well, there’s no point not tucking in. Our advice: chuck a sickie.
What’s the service like? Front-of-house Hannah was one of the smiliest front-of-house people we’ve had the good fortune to meet this year. Ridiculously friendly, we were practically swapping life stories by the end of it (well, we were a few glasses in). She even gave us a take-home bag of scraps for our ancient Jack Russell: win-win.
Do say: ‘This is surely as fine as the legendary Hawksmoor.’
Don’t say: ‘Can I have the rib-eye at the same price?’ (Hint: you can’t – it’s six quid extra).