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Voyages: Tempo Food + Drink

Voyages: Tempo Food + Drink

I’ve been living in Halifax for four years now, and every weekend without fail I find myself gazing longingly inside Tempo Food + Drink as I make my regular half-buzzed trek up Duke St. after a Saturday well spent at the legendary Split Crow Pub. While I’ve decided to lay off the beers today, it is with more than just a little excitement that I stroll up to the front door on this nippy but sun-splashed late March Tuesday ready for one of my favourite kind of adventures – the type that involves stuffing my face full of delicious food.

As I step through the door, the first thing I notice is how wide open and airy the space is. The long open kitchen allows you to watch the chefs at work and the combination of sharp lines, boxy light fixtures, and steel netting gives an edgy but industrial feel. While this establishment is technically associated with the Delta Barrington Hotel, they welcome the public in with open arms and offer a relaxed environment for culinary enthusiasts and business travellers alike to kick back, grab a perfectly mixed cocktail or glass of local wine, and sample some of head chef Andy Camm’s amped-up delicacies.


Seeing as I have come here today to take in the full Tempo experience, I start off my meal with a nice cocktail. As my knowledgeable waiter Dominik Kiss brings my beverage to the table, a Tanqueray gin drink with a splash of Ironworks Arctic Kiwi liqueur and Bols Blue Curacao garnished with a lemon wedge, I am taken aback by the stunning visual display. The cocktail is perfectly built with a layer of bright blue floating atop a layer of white. While not overly boozy as some martini-inspired drinks tend to be, it has a good kick of gin balanced with the sweet and sour essence of the blue curacao.


As soon as I finish my drink, Dominik is on the scene with my entrée – the famous fish tacos. Wrapped between a double whammy of fluffy soft and crunchy hard taco shells is a hearty serving of fresh fried haddock, crunchy batter bits, lemon aioli and tomato-jalapeno salsa. As soon as I take a bite, I can understand why they are famous – there is no other word I can use to describe them but EPIC. Although you have to mentally prepare yourself to open your mouth wide enough for a bite, it is all worth it as soon you get the fresh flavours of the fish and that tangy lemon aioli.


Tonight my tacos come with a side house salad of hand-cut greens, pickled beets, poached pear, goat cheese, and most interesting of all, pecan brittle. On top of the salad is toasted red pepper vinaigrette, which has a nice sweetness and goes very well with the smooth creaminess of the goat cheese. Overall, this dish is a home run for any time of the day.


After a great start and an even better middle to the meal, my dinner comes to an end with the poppy seed tuile-topped passion fruit cheesecake. The cake isn’t baked so it has an unusual texture that is surprisingly light for a cheesecake. The flavours coming from the passion fruit extract and raspberry coulis are extremely vibrant and contribute the perfect hint of fruity brightness that I need to end the night on a soaring high note.


3.5 years of providing Haligonians with quality fine-dining options in a casual atmosphere hasn’t slowed down Tempo Food + Drink one bit. With a motto like Eat-Drink-Network, it is obvious that their all-star team has every intention of taking the customer experience to the next level. Whether it is Sous Chef Dave MacLaughlin’s regular visits to the table, Supervisor Sarah Larson’s dry sense of humour, or bartender Tim’s sheer creativity, it is clear that the fine folks at Tempo never miss a beat.



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