Bank in Birminghams Brindley Place is a well known restaurant that is in between fine dining and a local favourite. The decor is very modern upmarket, with slate flooring around the contemporary designed bar and kitchen, which the whole restaurant is based around. The wooden flooring and white cloths on the table in the dining area set the tone for the meal, yet the open layout and floor to ceiling windows at the back, which open in summer time and in the evening so that you can sit outside and enjoy your meal or a drink on the big white squashy sofas, make it more relaxed.
For starters I ordered scallops, which were presented on a bed of lentils with a sweet chilli sauce with a few pea shoots and coriander sprinkled on top. It was a delightful surprise as scallops are a favourite starter that I often order and usually they are in a buttery garlic sauce, never with too many accompaniments, but this dish had an East Asian twist, which was surprisingly good. The scallops were the perfect size and not overcooked, which is always a worry, it was everything that a starter should be, light fresh and got my taste buds ready for more. The image does not do it justice.
My main was a slight problem. I ordered the seabass, but it was flavoured with too much cumin and garam masala, curry like almost. I sent it back. I exchanged it for the coconut chicken with butternut squash, which was very good, but it didn't blow me away. The very friendly staff were more than happy to accommodate my fussy taste buds and didn't bat an eyelid when I changed my order and my date and I decided to move our table outside to enjoy the balmy evening.
However, my dates main was something of joy, roast chicken, mash potato and asparagus with a mushroom gravy. A different take on a Sunday roast meal, comforting and cooked to a high standard that challenges your mothers. The chicken was moist, the mash potato creamy, the asparagus crunchy and fresh, with the mushroom gravy that reminded you of home cooking.
Bank is a favourite that consistently provides a good atmosphere, service and most importantly food. It's hard not to have a good time, even if you're the most critical of diners, the waiting staff appear to have photographic memory and if you get the same waiter/waitress as you had the last time you went, for example a few months ago, I will bet my life savings that they not only remember your starter main and dessert, where you sat, but also your very specific drink choice. Impressive.