Food Review - Great food and good prices at Church Temple of Fun

Church - Temple of Fun is a rather popular vegan eatery owned by the Bring Me The Horizon frontman Oliver Sykes. Set against the swiftly changing backdrop of the once industrial Kelham Island, it was a venue I couldn’t wait to return to for some vegan-infused culinary goodness.

Monday, 1st November 2021, 11:40 am

After such a long wait to finally venture to such an impressively designed venue with such wonderfully resplendent decor, it would only be right to start with a drink… or three. Particularly while taking in the decor and layout of the venue. Church is home to, well everything, a bar, restaurant, tattoo parlour, clothes shop and an arcade with gaming booths no less. It’s pretty mint.

But back to the drinks… I went with three different ones purely because choice is king. I ordered three half-pints of the beers on tap. Opting for a selection of the Neck Oil, a refreshing, sweet and zingy IPA, a Brooklyn Defender, a so-called hoppy lager that is closer to a lager/IPA hybrid of sorts, and finally a Bitter Bastard, a traditional Tetley’s-style beer sadly not named after Sheffield’s own profligate swearer Sean Bean. Neck Oil was my favourite of the two, although I was partial to the Bitter too for its cursive moniker alone. They do a fine line in cocktails as well, not too overburdensome in choice. But selective and neatly varied, with a nice selection of whiskies on offer — I later may have indulged in a neat (on the rocks) Yamazaki Distiller’s Reserve.

One thing that I have found on my vegan adventures is the state of the cheese realm, or rather it generally being a bit of a state. To quote the eminent wordsmith, “you’ve got no taste like vegan cheese”, let’s hope that’s not true eh? For the starters, I went for the Mozzarella Dippers, served with a sweet chilli dip, and the Mac & Cheese Balls, which came with a garlic mayonnaise and BBQ sauce.

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Mozzarella Dippers, Mac & Cheese Balls, pint of Neck Oil, a half of Brooklyn Defender and Bitter B*astard at Church - Temple of Fun, Rutland Way, Sheffield, August, 2021

The mozzarella dippers were pretty tasty, seasoned nicely with Dill and the breaded panko crumb complimented the creamy (non) cheese with had a texture reminiscent of those potato croquettes you used to get in school. It may sound critical but, I liked them… pretty much polishing those off in one go.

As for the Mac & Cheese Balls, they were HUGE, you get three of these ginormous tasty balls (yep) and the panko crumb was simply divine, as was the pasta interior… a minor let down here was seasoning, I didn’t really notice the bacon and pickle flavourings. My only critical or rather constructive note here is that they could be a little smaller in size, similar to the mozzarella dippers. Excellently complimented by the dips though, especially the sweet chilli.

A short while later the mains arrived, two absolute feasts in the guise of the Gouda God burger and the Fairground Hotdog. Both were lovely, although I do think that the Beyond Meat-infused Gouda God was lovely in texture and not too bad in the taste bracket either, the melted Gouda cheese just dissolved with each bite and was nicely encased in a delicious beetroot red brioche bun. However, it would really have benefitted from a dollop of sweet chilli jam just to accentuate the fillings, maybe that’s just me… the bacon element was seemingly non-existent, which is a shame as I am a partial to the ‘THIS isn’t bacon’ rashers — maybe there should be more?

The Fairground Hotdog on the other hand was definitely the star of the mains, complemented well with the ‘slaw that added a sweetness to the dish. The Moving Mountains hotdog is really nice with a nice crunch courtesy of the crispy fried onions. Both mains were served with Dill-chips which can be upgraded to sweet potato fries for a quid, but try the Dill fries. Lovely stuff.

Gouda God burger at Church - Temple of Fun, Rutland Way, Sheffield, August, 2021

I’ve been to Church once before - and I’m not referring to the Sunday-variant, cue a chorus of righteous laughter - and I couldn’t wait to come back again, my highlight previously was the Philly Cheese Steak sandwich and I wish that it was still on the menu — it was truly divine, I can’t lie.

Did I have any regrets or major issues? Not one, great service, a chilled out atmosphere, good prices - the overall bill came to £49.35 — plus the food arrived in a timely fashion for each course. The overall mood was great with lovely staff, it just felt like we were given the time to relax, enjoy the moment there and the table checks were so non-intrusive as to barely register — in a good way. I really enjoyed my second trip to the aptly titled Temple of Fun

Sadly, I did skip the desserts this time and it was definitely not due to a lack of choice or a disinterest in the offerings. The starters (well, sides) and the main dishes were so fulfilling that I didn’t want to ruin the moment by forcing down a dessert when it wasn’t necessary, but I will definitely be back for more. The Popcorn Brownie and the Unicorn will definitely be atop my list the next time I venture down to Church - Temple of Fun, a place of incredibly good… no, almost great food and one that I’d recommend to the non-converted.

Church - Temple of Fun is housed in the historic Rutland Works
Gouda God burger at Church - Temple of Fun, Rutland Way, Sheffield, August, 2021
Pint of Neck Oil, a half of Brooklyn Defender and Bitter B*astard at Church - Temple of Fun, Rutland Way, Sheffield, August, 2021