Looking for restaurants in Kent? Read our review of Bank House, and check out more places to eat and drink in Kent here.
Bank House in a nutshell
Bank House is the first independent restaurant and wine bar from Stuart Gillies, aka Gordon Ramsay’s ex-CEO, in a leafy London suburb.
Bobby Brown (formerly of Bread Street Kitchen and The Kentish Hare) is in the kitchen, while Angelika Oparczyk (who worked alongside Stuart for 15 years at Gordon Ramsay Group) is out front, selecting the wine (by bottle and tap).
What’s the vibe?
As its name suggests, this former brownstone Victorian bank, has had a lot of love (and cash) poured into it – there’s an aged coppertop bar, smoked oak herringbone parquet floors, and exposed brick.
What’s the food like at Bank House?
Bank House serves proper bar food – from meatballs and mac ’n’ cheese to Marmite flat irons with marrowbone – and priced to encourage sharing. There are delicious things for dipping and spreading. A slice of soft, yielding goat’s cheese comes warmed with a brûlée top, a rubble of toasted walnuts, thyme and a pool of chestnut honey. Crab gratin – a moreish, creamy blend of brown and white meat – is ready dunked with crisp crostini. There’s finger-licking buttermilk fried chicken with a crunchy batter, sharp and sticky barbecue sauce, a sweet hum from spring onion slices, and a decadent blue cheese dip. Pork belly is sliced and sandwiched between brioche with a cheesy blanket and sharp pickles.
And the drinks?
The food begs to be joined by something cold – a Deptford (30 minutes up the road) Villages Rodeo Pale Ale might do it, or indeed a negroni, which comes on tap (like many of the wines) to avoid long waits. If you’re brunching or nursing a hangover, though, try the smoky house bloody mary.
The restaurant’s generally really quiet Saturday lunchtime (according to local Chislehurst customer rhythm, we’re told) so it’s easy to grab a table then, otherwise book after 3pm on the weekend if you like more of an atmosphere.
Words by Laura Rowe
Photographs by Joe Woodhouse