Last week, I got a call from a girlfriend who had a dinner reservation at Temple and Sons restaurant, which opened on 22 November. She would not be able to go but wanted to see if I was interested in taking the reservation* for this hotly anticipated opening. For those of you who are in the know, this is one of Jason Atherton’s new restaurants. He’s famous for other popular London spots such as Pollen Street Social and Berners Tavern.
I gladly took the reservation because there are not many places in the City of London that I like. Most central London establishments are either too loud or too pricey or the seating and lighting are bad. The list goes on and on.
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I went on the 23rd, which was the day after Temple and Sons opened, and there was already a buzz. It’s located near Tower 42, which is a few minutes walk from Liverpool Street tube station. This makes it really convenient to go to after work and enjoy a nice meal with friends before heading home.
I arrived at 7:30pm and went into Tower 42 but it is not in the tower but rather next to it. Head to the right (if you’re standing out front) and look for Paul’s bakery. After a quick potty break (the restrooms aren’t that interesting and seem a bit dark), I made my way to the table. There are not a lot of seats in the restaurant, so I recommend that you book in advance. Temple and Sons has a bar downstairs if you just want a drink.
The lighting is dark but we sat near the open kitchen, which made it brighter. It felt really, really buzzy. I think there was a private round table booth in one corner. There were several large booths for groups. We had a table for two, which did not feel too tight despite lots of people going back and forth with food orders. Overall, the look and feel was very “retro chic”.
Now, for the food. I am actually going to start with the dessert. Whoever came up with the idea for pumpkin ice cream with caramel popcorn on top should get a raise or something! It was so awesome. My friend said that they were too full for dessert. Don’t get me wrong, I was happy to give away a few bites, but next time we’ll order for two!
It came on this little stand in a sugar cone. Talk about a perfect mixture of sweet and savory! I also really liked it because I’d had a very heavy meal and this was so cooling and fresh.
I had the short rib, which was really amazing. It came right off of the bone and had a lot of flavour. It comes with jalapenos on top. I had asked the waiter to see if I could have them removed. They still came with the jalapenos on and the waiter came over to apologize. I was the only one apologizing though, as they added a perfect kick and made an already tasty meal even better.
The roast potatoes in duck fat were great – not too soft or fatty tasting. I also ordered the BBQ beans, which were good but maybe a bit undercooked. I was expecting them to be softer, smoother. The flavour was amazing though. My dining partner said that the sausage and mash were wonderful.
The portion sizes were solid and I had to make a conscious effort to avoid eating too much, so that I could save myself for dessert.
The final bill was about £85 but that only included one glass of wine and one dessert. I opted for a soda as I’d already had a quick drink after work. There is a picture of the bill below to give you a sense of how much things cost. On some restaurant sites it says that Temple and Sons is about £25 and up per person. In reality, for a decent three course, you’re looking at £40 – £60 per person. Also, not sure why 22nd is printed on the bill, as we went on the 23rd.
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Overall, this is a great afterwork place if you’re looking to meet up with friends or even for a romantic dinner. Our service was great (thanks George if that is your actual name). They even brought us a complimentary dish (mashed potatoes, gravy and a veggie tart). If you’re in the City of London, this is one to check out.
*This is a good note to self. text your friends for a reservation takeover rather than cancelling