Tempus Gourmet Garden has closed down.
Tempus Gourmet Garden is another newcomer to the gourmet burger / steakhouse scene, and has been attracting a bit of attention on social media (as does everything these days). And where there’s food on social media, there’s me figuring out where that food came from. Luckily, food hasn’t filed for a restraining order against me yet. Not that that would stop me. All the meat here is halal.
I visited Tempus in early December and ordered myself a T-Bone steak, medium-rare of course, with steak-chips and an Oreo milkshake. I also hoovered up half of my friend’s classic beef burger (short people are great because they never finish their food. Also you can put their things on high shelves and laugh).
The T-Bone steak came as a grand, dark brown slab of meat. It was closer to medium-well-done than medium-rare, as is the standard overcook-to-be-safe protocol in most asian-owned restaurants, which doesn’t surprise me anymore. I’m more surprised now when I order medium-rare steak and actually receive medium-rare steak. Nonetheless the steak was still fairly tender, despite it being slightly tougher towards the middle than I would have liked. The steak also retained it’s juices quite well. Tempus’ steak is marinated (and I mean drowned) in a “secret sauce” which seemed to me to consist mostly of Indian spices.
The steak possessed a powerful and interesting set of masala-style flavours, which delivered a moderately spicy burn and a sharp zest with each bite. Whilst this was pleasant, it was a shame that the natural flavours of the steak had been obliterated. The steak chips meanwhile were very nice indeed – thick, soft and of a high quality. The Oreo milkshake however, was very thin in consistency with very weak flavours, making it difficult to enjoy at all.
Once I was done engorging my own food, I moved onto my friend’s leftover classic beef burger. The patty itself was of a fair quality, though the texture wasn’t quite as thick as I was expecting. Nonetheless it was tender and well-cooked, despite the fact that the flavours within the burger as a whole lacked significant strength. All in all, a good but fairly average burger, though I suppose a “classic beef burger” is always going to be a little bit vanilla.
Value For Money: 3.5/5
Food is reasonably priced here and you shouldn’t feel too much of a strain on your finances. Burgers are around £5-£7 without sides, which are around £2-£3, steaks range from £14-£18, and milkshakes around £3-£4.
Service is friendly, but not particularly warm nor special.
Tempus is a small to medium-sized restaurant that goes for the standard back-to-basics steakhouse look, with nice, simple brick walls to surround you with. However the seating is a little bit uncomfortable, at least where we were sitting. The chairs and tables are far too cramped and close together, which makes for very awkward dining. Doesn’t help that I walk around with a big gym bag and a thick long overcoat. I had to practically fold myself into the seat around my belongings and my friends. Not great for the leg circulation of a fragile old man in his 20’s like myself. Perhaps not the best place for large get-togethers or special occasions, though there are larger tables at the back that you could possibly book.
Parking should be fairly easy to find nearby. It’s not too difficult to get to via the joys of public transport either. It’s a good 15 minute walk from Bethnal Green station, though you could catch a bus down too.
Sadly there’s not much of an atmosphere here. The odd bus or car passes by outside and that’s about as captivating as it gets.
Overall, Tempus Gourmet Garden is fairly average – and that’s not a bad thing. It’s a new place, and if a new restaurant can meet the average mark in it’s first few months, well, that’s a good start. They have a few kinks to iron out, but it would be interesting to see where they are in a year’s time. For the time being, it’s the kind of place I wouldn’t mind paying a visit if someone else wanted to try it out for the first time. However it’s not quite so special enough yet for me to want to rush to for a return visit myself.
Tempus Gourmet Garden
123 Roman Road
London E2 0QN
Telephone: 020 3759 9511