There’s a new National Tequila Day menu at Temper, in collaboration with the award-winning Cazcabel Tequila. We gave it a go.

It’s only available from the 24th- 29th July, so we were happy to grab a press preview at the Soho branch.

Cazcabel is apparently the UK’s best selling 100% agave tequila, and teaming up with open fire pits at Temper, the smokehouse that recently featured on the ‘World’s Best Steakhouse Restaurant’ list, sounded a good idea.

Soho Temper was a bit of a big thing when it opened. Sleazily underground it felt rather special, the large room lit low and glow by the flames of the fire pit. Fire cooking was spreading like well, like wildfire, in those days and it still shows no sign of going out, with new restaurants tending flames still opening.

Temper now has four branches in London, but Soho is where it first rose to fame.

On a hot day, we decided not to sit by the fire, although clever ventilation means you don’t get roasted even if you do, and it is a fun place to be.

The usual menu we put to one side in order to concentrate on the special tacos and tequila menu. First though, Cazcabel cocktails. Three to choose from Cazcabel Honey in their ‘Hi Honey’ Cazcabel Coffee in ‘Cazcabel Coffee Flip’ (£12)  and Cazcabel Reposado in the ‘Pina Picante’ (£12).

We had the Picante which was very picante with peppers around the glass rim instead of salt, but with a gap to drink through. A nice Jalapeno tingle and of course Piña means pineapple, so it had that sweet but astringent note as well. We also tried the Coffee Flip which was a milder, less caffeinated version of an Expresso Martini and much the better for it, no one wants to be vibrating all through lunch after all.

Then the tacos, one each with a glass of Tequila each. First up was Drunken Goats Cheese‘(£12.50) –  The cheese charred over the flame with pickled red onion, nuts and a herbs, honey and lime dressing.

Goats cheese and honey always pair perfectly, and slightly melted the strong flavoured goats cheese was a gooey delight with vinegary crunch and tang of the onion adding lots of extra. You can’t easily put a topped taco down once you start, so we hit them fast and hard, taking our Cazcabel Honey shots in two hearty swallows as we went. Very good pairing.

Warmed by the tequila we we were ready for Drunken Pig’ (£18) – Smoked ham hock tacos with pigs cheeks, refried beans, smoked apple puree, topped with guidilla chilli and crackling. The crackling was delightful before the main flavour hit of the pork parts. That chili was fiery, but not crazy hot, and of course pork and apple is always a winner. The beans gave body and absorbed the glasses of Cazcabel Blanco, that cut through with agave, citrus and hints of black pepper. 

Two large shots of Cazcabel down and we’re beginning to head south and noisily welcome Drunken Goat’ (£20)- Cabroito Goat from Somerset smoked BBQ rub and served with chipotle sour cream and green sauce with crispy shallots. This is the winner out of all the tasty tacos, and that isn’t the tequila talking either. Goat meat is delicious when treated this way and that sour cream cream with chipotle was just the job. A plate licker and then some.

We toast each other with the Cazcabel Reposado, that is another good match, and decide this is the lunch of the week. Enough food for the rest of the day, even if the tequila is making the office less attractive by the minute.

The tacos and tequila menu is probably safest sampled in the evenings, if you’re working, and you might perhaps want to add a dish or too after just to properly fuel up.

Available Monday- Saturday for lunch and dinner at  Soho, Covent Garden, Shoreditch and City Monday- Friday.