ussell Tisbury is gaining a lot of attention right now - and for good reason.
The Temple Bar
112 Western Road, Brighton, BN1 2AD
Russell Tisbury is gaining a lot of attention right now - and for good reason. A straight-talking and instantly-likeable bloke, with a good head on his shoulders and a heart of gold, Russell is setting tongues wagging with his revamped menu at Temple Bar. Not to mention his charity challenge.
Having formerly managed the kitchen at Hop Poles, Russell made the move to Temple Bar a mere two months ago. It is here that Russell refined his style and created a stripped-back menu that offers both traditional pub food alongside a burger collection - both with a strong emphasis on quality.
When it comes to the humble hamburger, there is a plethora to choose from in Brighton and Hove. Some go for the more upmarket, family-friendly creations; others focus on Sussex produce and locally-sourced or foraged ingredients; and others want you to have the dirtiest, messiest burger.
The Temple Bar has found its own niche by providing straight-up, honest American-style burgers.
The combinations Russell has on offer are fantastic and there is something for every taste. Example creations include the rodeo stack, with onion rings and barbecue sauce, or the matador with chorizo and aioli. Russell also plans to introduce special themed burgers throughout the World Cup.
I ordered the Mac and Cheese burger, while my companion chose the Brighton BandB, with melted blue cheese, smoked bacon and caramelised onion jam. As an insight into the more traditional side of the menu at Temple Bar, we nibbled on some strips of creamy coconut and coriander chicken satay, dressed with lime and crisp salad leaves as we waited for our meal. These were appetising and showed that Russell has more to him than just burgers.
The Mac and Cheese burger was stacked high and crammed full of a large, fresh-off-the-griddle, slightly-charred 28-day-aged Sussex chuck steak patty, with fresh salad leaves, gherkin, crunchy red onion, house relish, mustard, and a thick slice of herb-flecked and decadent mac and cheese.
The meat patty was excellent and you could really taste the gritty, almost earthy, quality of the meat. The seeded, light bun held the contents together well and did not allow for the innards to spill everywhere.
The combination of textures from the course meat and silky mac and cheese worked like a dream and rendered this burger a triumph. The side of slithers of skin-on, handout fries were terrific when doused in some salt and dunked in the homemade black pepper mayonnaise.
The buzz around Tisbury at The Temple is not just over the re-worked menu. Russell has also set up the "Brighton’s Biggest Burger" challenge - a 50oz patty served in a 30cm bun with 1lb of cheese, eight rashers of bacon, eight sliced gherkins, one red onion, salad leaves, and homemade chutney and mustard. The £35 entrance fee to take on this beast of a burger is donated to the Martlets Hospice; a charity close to Russell’s heart.
Whether you are a burger-lover or hater, both the traditional and American elements of the menu should tempt you into having a good quality pub meal in a local, friendly boozer.