54 Curzon Street, London, England, W1J 8PG, United Kingdom

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Editor's note. In late 2013 temp closed. In February 2014 it reopened as Marani, a Georgian restaurant.

Tempo offers Italian food, but with a Japanese chef. Yoshi Yamada trained at Atelier Robuchon in Tokyo as well as in Italy before moving to these Curzon street premises. The room seats 55 people at capacity. The room had a wooden floor but was not too noisy, but had very small tables that could barely accommodate the dishes.

The wine list had 60 mostly Italian bottles ranging price from £19.50 to £175, with an average price of £36 and an average mark-up of three times the retail price, which is normal for London. Examples of the wines on offer were Pinot Grigio 2010 from Borgo dei Vassalli at £28 for a wine that you can find in the shops for around £8, 2010 Chardonnay from Isole e Olena at £65 for a wine that retails at £24, and Amarone della Valpolicella Allegrini Classico 2007 at £105 for a wine that will set you back £46 to buy in a shop. Water was £3.75 a bottle. We drank the enjoyable Isole e Olena. Some bread was made from scratch in the kitchen: focaccia was pleasant, but Sardinian flat bread (bought in) tasted a little stale.

A nibble of bruschetta with Dorset crab with lemon and chives was pleasant (14/20), as was a bruschetta of salami (13/20). The best dish of the night was gnocchi (£15.50) with a hint of chilli, tomato and mozzarella. Gnocchi is a tricky thing to get right, often endng up soggy and flaccid, but this version was good, and the tomatoes had plenty of flavour (15/20). Linguine (£24.25) with lobster and cherry tomatoes had al dente pasta but lobster that for me was cooked a little too long (13/20).

Turbot (£22) was a wild fish and nicely cooked, served with a dressing of rosemary and chilli; the fish had good flavour but the dish was too salty, even to my taste (13/20). Risotto with artichokes was far too watery, almost a soup with rice (11/20). On the side, roast potatoes (£3.50) were good (14/20) but spinach (£4) was soggy and cooked for too long (10/20).

For dessert, lemon tart (£7) was pleasant but too acidic (13/20). Better was apple and pine nut strudel (£7), prettily presented with cinnamon ice cream (14/20). Coffee was good quality (15/20). Service was pleasant, friendly and quite efficient. The bill came to £110 a head with a good wine and pre-dinner drinks. This seemed to me too costly for the level of food that was delivered.


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