As a sister restaurant of Tarshish, I’ve got high expectations for The Banc. The two restaurants are not too far away from each other. The two are about a 15-minute walk apart – with The Banc situated between Seven Sisters & Turnpike Lane. While Tarshish features a higher-end rooftop dining experience, The Banc is more of a low-key shisha dining lounge.
We didn’t go to their shisha lounge section. But for a brief introduction, their shisha lounge has have a retractable roof (just like Tarshish‘s rooftop). That is most ideal for warm but breezy summery nights. In winter times, there are also heating installations so comfort is guaranteed. The restaurant in overall has a chilled vibe. With the dim lights, it adds a cozy touch to it. On the wall, they cheekily put up a quote:
“Your diet is a BANC account, good food choices are good investments”
You see what they did there?
Anyway, let’s get to the food part.
There is a good range of appetizers available on the menu. I didn’t get to try out a lot of them but it’s safe to say my favourite was the Lamb Skewers. They’re well-seasoned and reasonably tender. It’s served with a side of chilli dip, which added a mild kick. I can imagine the Chicken Skewers would be similar.
I enjoyed the Prawn Skewers too. It has really nice flavours but it just wasn’t at the freshest quality – but then it is hard to get really high quality seafood in England. As for the most visually memorable starter dish, it ought to be the other Prawn Starter, where they are cooked in a shallot and peppers sauce, and embedded in a shortcrust pastry. In terms of flavours, it was okay – nothing particularly spectacular. I personally thought the sauce could an extra punch of flavours and the pastry can be flakier. What I would really look for in this dish is to have all the elements and ingredients blend altogether to create something more sensational in both flavour and texture.
Beef Fillet Steak
For mains, I opted for the 250gr Beef Fillet Steak, which is served with a fried egg and herbed butter. The steak was cooked to a beautiful medium rare. I’m not a steak expert, but I thought the steak was decent. It’s not incredibly amazing, and I felt it needed an extra touch of seasoning. But in overall I’m fairly satisfied with it. You get to choose your own sauces / gravies to go with your steak and mine’s served with a Mushroom & Peppercorn Gravy. I thought the sauce was quite nice. It’s savoury, and it’s not too runny nor too thick. It complemented the steak well in overall.
I didn’t get to try out this one but it visually looked great, and those who ordered the burger seem to have enjoyed it a lot.
Mac And Cheese
Of course everyone got all excited seeing Mac and Cheese. And then of course everyone would attempt doing the cheese pull shot. While I successfully did one for Tarshish‘s last time, the one at The Banc was a fail. It was too dry to achieve that effect. Flavour-wise it was mediocre. There wasn’t anything special about it, there wasn’t a strong rich cheesy flavour in it, and again it was rather dry.
I find the fries in general under-seasoned. They were fluffy but lacked the crispiness on the outside in my opinion. So ‘shockingly’, I wasn’t crazy over this.
Chilli Con Carne with Hand Cut Fries
To choose from all the sides we had, I think this one’s my favourite. The Chilli Con Carne added flavours to the relatively bland fries. It was a hearty topping with a mild kick of spice, and certainly satisfying to the belly. The portion was relatively big as well so it’s a good one for sharing.
Sticky Toffee Pudding
This one was incredibly decadent. It’s very rich and packed with a lot of sweetness. I wouldn’t call it my favourite but it won over many of us on the table.
With me, you can’t really go wrong with chocolate brownie. These ones here at The Banc were decent. Rich, chocolatey, and decadent, which paired well with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I personally would like it to be more gooey – as I die for that gooey texture of a rich chocolate brownie!
White Chocolate Mousse Cake
I am normally not a huge fan of white chocolate as it’s too rich for me. However, I find this one fairly delightful. It’s light overall but could be more airy in texture in my opinion.
This one and the following one are not my type of dessert so I didn’t really try them. From the sounds of everyone else’s reviews, it was nice but mediocre.
Passion Fruit Cheese Cake
I didn’t try this one but heard some raving reviews about it across the table. It seems that either the Sticky Toffee Pudding or this Passion Fruit Cheese Cake were the most popular two of the evening.
To sum up, The Banc is a decent spot if you’re local around the area but I wouldn’t get out of my way to visit here. The food was enjoyable in overall but I didn’t really find something that’s particularly striking. I personally would prefer Tarshish more for both food and ambience. What are you guys’ thoughts?
Halal Status: Halal