You might know Heartthrob Rob from his hilarious TikTok or his Instagram reels. My good friend Rup and I first got into his videos over lockdown and so when we saw he was doing a world tour and it was stopping in London we booked tickets. It was in the basement of the Soho theatre a lovely intimate venue ideal for comedy. The show itself felt a bit work in progress, it involved quite a lot of audience participation which might of been more forthcoming if the audience was a bit more tipsy or drunk, but unfortunately it was a Tuesday evening, so we weren’t. Also some of the jokes didn’t translate and land because they were focused to a more American audience, something he definitely needs to work on if he wants to do a world tour again. There was some genuinely very funny bits though, but unfortunately not too many, it was very hit and miss. However there was definitely some potential there, but some more work needed.
Heartthrob Live with Rob Anderson
This was my second time at Blacklock and I’m a big fan. Annoyingly it’s another of those no reservations restaurants however if they don’t have any space they’ll put your name on a list and they give you a time to come back when they can fit you in and thankfully this being Soho there’s lots of nearby bars and pubs in which to grab a drink while you wait. Also most importantly it’s actually worth the wait. This restaurant is a meat lovers paradise. They serve great big platters of grilled meat. Though they do have vegetarian options, I would definitely say this is not really a restaurant for your vegetarian/ vegan friends. Brilliantly they’ve also done away with happy hours and have any time £5 cocktails instead, bargain.
For £20 per person (min 2 people) they do what they call an ‘All in’, which includes pre chop bites, beef, pork and lamb skinny chips all piled high on a charcoal grilled flatbread to share with a side each per person. The pre chop bites include cheese and pickle, pigs head and kimchee, and egg and anchovy. They come in bite size canapés type portions. I had two of each and JP who I was dining with had six egg and anchovy as they’re his favourite. A delicious way to start the meal off and perk up the taste buds. The massive platter of meat comes next and it’s pretty impressive, stacked high on a large serving plate for you to devour, with the flat bread at the base which soaks up all the lovely meat juices and is a delicious treat when you get down to the bottom. By that time we were completely stuffed, but if you do want dessert they do a white chocolate cheesecake which looked great. Highly recommend this place. Pretty good value for all the delicious food you get as well. Apparently they also do a mean Sunday roast as well.
Pre chop bites
Hoppers is the cheaper sister restaurant from the people behind the Michelin starred Trishna and Gymkhana. It’s named Hoppers after the traditional Sri Lakan egg pancake bowls that they serve. It’s another of those annoying no reservations restaurants. So they put your name down on a list and they give you a rough time a table will become available and then give you a buzzer that lets you know to come back when you’re table is ready. The buzzer works over quite a distance so you don’t have to stay at the restaurant, we actually went for a drink several streets away and it worked fine. We waited about an hour for a table, which given it was a Friday night we didn’t think was too bad. We had a couple of delicious Indian inspired cocktails to start and then on to the food. Obviously we had to go for the the classic Hopper which the restaurant is named after. We had it with two karis (curries) one lamb and one black pork and a rather spicy sambal (chutney). All utterly delicious with some really unusual flavours, pretty good value for Soho as well. I will be back.
I’d be wanting to try Temper for a while after hearing great reviews. The head chef, Neil Rankin, actually lives in my apartment building and used to host a supper clubs in his flat, though annoyingly I only found this out after he stopped doing them. So sadly I will never get to go, but I do have the option of going for dinner at one of his restaurants. Temper specialises in meat cooked over open pit fires. In the middle of this restaurant they have an open kitchen where you can sit and watch the chefs prepare, butcher and cook your food over fire right in front of you. It’s mainly sharing dishes, so we ordered 4 dishes between the two of us. We had one of their signature dishes, the cheeseburger tacos, which did indeed taste like a cheese burger. We also had a lovely crab and apple dish, which was really fresh and vibrant. The chef in front of us at the bar was grilling this amazing hunk of meat, we asked him what it was pork shoulder and he very kindly offered to carve us off a couple of slices. It was delicious. Fantastic meal, really recommend this place. My friend said it was the best restaurant he’d been to all year, which as endorsements go can’t get much better.