temper Covent Garden | Pizza & Vermouth
Neil Rankin’s temper keeps rising.
You see, it all started with the Soho original, where he roasted animals whole over coals in a sleek basement smokehouse. Then, he worked up a temper in the City, where the focus was on curries cooked over a fire pit, served with gin. And now to complete this open-fire triumvirate, he’s unleashed his temper on Covent Garden – this time bringing you pizza & vermouth.
You’ll find it all tucked down a side street off the Seven Dials, in a huge, bi-level space with an outdoor (heated) patio and basement seating overlooking the dough-proving room. Just to prove that they make it there. Taking note from the theatrical layout of the other two sites, it’s got bar seating snaking around an open kitchen & bar area, with everything pivoting around the huge, bright blue wood-fired oven.
That oven is cranking out croissants in the AM, then pizzas from lunch onwards. Before you dive into the main event, however, they have some starters for you in the form of ragu (with some bread or crispy polenta to soak it up), including Cabrito goat, or aged Dexter beef. Alongside that, there are selections of pasta – including beef fat & pesto ravioli, or some St Marcellin cheese-filled fried tortellini with hot honey – and ‘not pasta’ such as some razor clams with ‘nduja.
The pizza come in two shapes: Massachusetts Round (ultra thin, with cheese right to the edge) and Detroit square (pan-cooked, deep, and loaded with toppings). The former can be topped with the likes of crab, fennel, hoisin, and sesame; beef heart pepperoni; and even a whole, creamy, ball of burrata cheese.
The latter meanwhile, come stacked with toppings like ‘ALL the cheese’ (pecorino, provolone, mozzarella, St Marcelin, parmesan); Katsu pollock (with dashi sauce, flaked Pollock, and prawn mayo), and more. There are even a couple of vegan pizzas to round everything out.
The booze is focussed strongly on vermouths running the gamut from sweet to dry; and you can either drink them neat or muddled into a cocktail, such as one of their many Negronis. If you’re not already ordering the Aperol Spritz on tap, that is.
After all, that temper needs to be kept bubbling.
NOTE: temper Covent Garden is open now. You can find out more, see the full menu, and reserve a table on the website HERE.
temper Covent Garden | 5 Mercer Walk, WC2H 9QP
Making a night of it? Read our guide to the best bars in Covent Garden