Bank sits at the centre of the financial district of London, otherwise known as the Square Mile or simply the City. Far from being just suits and spreadsheets, the Bank area is brimming with interesting dining spots, from high-end restaurants to quirky gastropubs. Here are six of the best options if you’re around Bank with a hankering for a hearty meal.
Cinnamon Kitchen, in Devonshire Square, just opposite Liverpool Street station, has cultivated a reputation as one of the best Indian restaurants in London since it first opened in 2008. Head chef Vivek Singh prides himself on using fresh ingredients arranged in artful and interesting ways. Menu highlights include a sharing platter with pan-seared cod, madras shrimp, Kadhai-style paneer and house black lentils. With an upper-middle price range and lots of variety, there’s plenty of appeal here.
Another imaginative take on traditional cuisine, Hispania London is impressive before you even sit down. The restaurant is built into the former headquarters of Lloyds Bank, and makes expert use of the cavernous, two-storey space to offer a Spanish dining experience unlike any other in London. Owned and run by Marcos Morán, whose family have operated the Michelin-star Casa Gerardo in Asturias for five generations, the menu is an enticing collection of Spanish classics that have been evolved and adapted by Morán over the years. The hand-cut ibérico ham is especially worthy of mention.
Despite the name, and indeed the food on offer, HOP is a quintessentially City of London spot. It was founded by Paul Hopper, a former financial analyst who gave that up to travel Southeast Asia and became inspired after trying pho for the first time in Saigon. Upon his return, he founded a quirky street-style Asian eatery that now has five locations around London. HOP serves a range of pho soups, hot boxes, banh mi baguettes and more, and the speed of service means that you’ll have your food in front of you within moments of decide what you’d like – a great spot for those in need of a quality quick fix.
One of three locations around Central London, Blacklock is a (sorry) lock if you’re looking for a quality carnivorous dining experience at a reasonable price. Housed in a former power substation (which sounds grim until you find out that the Soho one used to a brothel), visitors will be treated a range of chops, ribs and other delicacies in a rustic cellar setting. Prices start as low as £4 per chop, and there’s even a £5 cocktail menu which is always on, with no happy-hour restrictions, which is virtually unheard of in Central London. It’s a popular spot so booking is essential, but well worth it if you like good-quality meat.
Brigadiers isn’t your average Indian restaurant, but that’s all part of the appeal. Named and modelled after army mess bars in India, this lively spot offers a focus on Indian barbecue, with tandoors, wood ovens and charcoal grills smoking up a storm of interesting dishes. As if that wasn’t enough, there’s also a hangout area with pool tables and classic card games on offer, and a self-serve whiskey station. Each of the dining rooms is distinct in its personality so you can visit again and again and always have a different experience.
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