Jason Atherton brings the city a Grill, Cocktail Bar and Deli
Category : Bar, Restaurant
| Cuisine : British
Address : 22 Old Broad St, The City , London , EC2N 1HQ, UNITED KINGDOM - Directions
Web : www.templeandsons.co.uk
Opening Times : Mon-Fri: 12pm-2.30pm, 5.30pm-10pm; Sat: 11am-3pm, 5.30pm-10pm
Closest Tube : Liverpool Street, Bank
Jason Atherton seems to have the Midas touch. Regardless of which culinary tradition he taps, it appears to turn to gold. The latest to receive this treatment is perhaps the most personal for him - Great British comfort food. As a site to spread the love, he opted for a two-storey wedge-shaped building on Old Broad Street, directly next to Tower 42 and his City Social restaurant. Rather than opting for the high-flying cuisine of the elder restaurant, he will be dishing out crowd-pleasers that would wring a tear from your gram's eye.
We visited on a Thursday evening and there was a palpable buzz throughout the restaurant. Downstairs you'll find the bar and deli area which serves food throughout the day, however it was too busy for us to find a place for a preprandial so we were whisked upstairs to our table in the 66-cover grill restaurant. Russell Sage Studios have performed the challenging feat of designing the restaurant to resemble a Victorian grocery without it coming off as laboured or naff. It shares the same chic design DNA as any other Atherton opening.
While we sampled a couple of selections from the cocktail menu we couldn't fail to notice the serving staff walking back and forth through the dining room with groaning wooden boards laden with meat, game and seafood. When we finally made our decisions, we learned that these were the nightly specials running the gamut from Dover sole to rack of lamb. For our starters, we enjoyed a classic prawn Marie Rose salad which demonstrated perfectionism with its sauce. Oysters Rockefeller was a little less traditional. The actual bivalve was removed from the shell, deep fried in a parmesan batter, and served with a baby fennel and confit lemon salad as well as tartar sauce.
We were intrigued by trying Jason Atherton's take on a sausage roll. His was packed full of minced pork, apple and black pudding, roasted to a golden caramel colour, served with mash and poured over with HP gravy. A giant opalescent tranche of monkfish was coal-grilled and served simply with lemon. Both found excellent pairs in the side dishes, particularly sprouting broccoli studded with Dorset Blue Vinny cheese, seed granola, anchovy and caper puree. We were hard-pressed to fit it in, but dessert was a work of art: a frozen PBJ yoghurt cone with a roasted brioche crumb and Morello cherry jam.
For anyone looking to charm a client or seal a deal in the City, Temple and Sons is Athertonian brilliance at its most accessible.