The Banc – Tottenham
Aptly named The Banc, this Halal steak and burger restaurant has been going strong on Tottenham’s West Green Road for a solid five years now after taking over from the previous building’s occupants, Barclays!
With such experience and pedigree, we were expecting good things, and first impressions certainly didn’t disappoint.
The Banc’s capacity of 90 is spread across two levels – an upper and lower – making this place intimately close without feeling crowded.
Based on a black and white colour scheme, there’s comfortable leather seating and smart decor, including simple yet thought-provoking quotes such as American celebrity chef Julia Child’s sagacious saying: “People who love to eat are always the best people!”, that keeps things interesting.
But the statement we were most interested in was the claim that “the Banc’s burger & steaks are made from the finest meats”.
And it started off promisingly too with these Sirloin Skewers – beautifully soft and flavoursome with the distinct taste of good quality cooked meat.
But, in this instance, it was also about this unbelievably rich and meaty-peppery sauce that superbly complimented and enhanced the natural flavours of the skewers.
What could be better than chips and mince covered in a gooey-cheesy mixture?
Though in itself a filling dish, the not-so-strong cheese, coupled with the heat generated by the sharp jalapenos, and the relatively flavourful mince, made this, if not the best interpretation of Cheesy Chips, then one that was, in the end, quite satisfying.
Delightfully crispy Calamaris these!
Perfectly cooked with a slight bite to ’em, these went so well with the accompanying thick, sharp and tangy tatar sauce.
SIDES & EXTRAS
Rustic by nature and rustic in texture – crunchy and tasty!
Yet, despite its pleasant smell, the patty, slightly close textured, turned out to be rather chewy and not-so flavoursome.
While the crispy turkey rashers delivered its familiar smokey taste, tempered well by the subtlety of the mayo sauce, we felt the overdone egg detracted from the overall experience.
We’re not certain either whether a more runny version would have worked. Perhaps it’s an acquired taste!
1) the delectable mustard mayo sauce, and
2) the infectious smell of the rib eye fillets.
The former had the most delicious sweet undertone to it with just a hint of spice, which married perfectly with the soft, tender and juicy slices of meat.
The second best burger on the night and one we’d order again in a jiffy.
As for the onion rings, then these were crispy on the outside and pretty well made, though the batter could have been more crumbly in texture.
We’ve been having some incredibly good veggie burgers in recent times (just check out the last one we had at Moor & Hitch).
The Banc’s Goats Cheese Burger was, in its own right, just as good, with a tantalisingly strong aroma that left us momentarily slack jawed.
The smooth creamy texture of the goats cheese – slightly pungent without being overpoweringly so – lubricated the whole burger really well.
But it was the slight char combined with the sweetness of the peppers, and particularly the creamy onion marmalade, that lifted this one into the stratosphere.
Definitely a burger for which “we all need to make time for”!
Not quite the quality we were expecting or hoping for.
Nonetheless, while the standard of the meat was certainly above average, the perfection of its cooking – bang on medium – along with the simple, yet equally well cooked condiments in the form of cherry tomatoes, French beans, and particulalry the béarnaise sauce, made this an above average meal too.
Despite its peculiarly anaemic colour, the sauce deserves a mention for its strong and musky vinegary kick. As such, all that’s needed is a gentle dip and no more.
One Lion did, however, consider the small bits of raw pepper as potentially overpowering a given mouthful.
Nonetheless, the criss-cross charring was far more pronounced than the above giving the naturally mild taste of this meat some much needed grilled flavour.
And despite the egg – served sunny side up with flecks of pepper – being an interesting addition, we again concluded unanimously that it didn’t quite work with the dish’s overall composition.
But the mushroom sauce – deliciously rich with smallish chunks of mushroom – was the perfect foil against the iron taste of the egg yoke.
Oven & Slow Cooked
We did, however, believe that the turkey bacon enveloped by the chicken clashed with the delicate flavours of the moist chicken and subtly flavoured cheese.
On the whole though, another very good dish.
This was as moist and tender as you’d expect of a well slow cooked lamb shank, with the flesh coming away from the bone with merely the slightest touch.
The enjoyment of this dish, however, was ultimately enjoyed not so much in the sum of its parts, but as a whole.
To this end, the rich, buttery meaty sauce combined with the bed of mash is what made this such a pleasurable eat. The firmness of the turnips provided some much needed contrast of texture.
All in all, an extremely comforting winter dish!
These trio of moctails were, on the whole, average.
With the passionfruit of the Tropical Cooler just about coming through, and the coconut of the Mango Colada easily trumping its mango counterpart, the Dirty Lemonade with its subtle lemony taste, pipped the post as the most flavourful of the three.
Fortunately, this milkshake came to our rescue.
If you’re a fan of Reese’s Peanut Butter, then don’t pass this by.
While one Lion considered this to be beautifully smooth and consistent, another wished it was slightly thicker.
No one disputed its deeply satisfying peanut and chocolatey taste though.
INTERVIEW AT THE BANC
- YES/ NO
- CHILD SEATING
- JUST EAT
While we visited the place during an extremely busy late evening, at no point were we made to wait unnecessarily or feel neglected, such was the efficiency and attentiveness of any extremely friendly and regimented staff.
The menu is so extensive and varied, however, that multiple visits will certainly be justified in covering all the restaurant's top dishes.
And though The Banc isn't quite there in providing the "finest meats", it certainly knows how to bring together simple ingredients and make them sing collectively, with a number of outstanding dishes that were thoroughly enjoyed as a complete whole.
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