Bank, Brindleyplace

The exterior of Bank doesn’t scream ‘come on in, you’ll have a great time’. It’s a bit forgettable, so when I ventured there recently it was more a case of self- preservation than desire – a downpour coincided with a fresh blow-dry forcing me in alone.

A friendly member of staff brought me a welcome pot of tea while I dried off and recruited a friend to join me for lunch. The place is nothing like the outside suggests. It’s cool and fresh with happy, efficient staff. The décor is thoughtful with funky seating, starched white cloths and a well-stocked sweeping bar. Not a hint of beige. We sat by the windows overlooking the terrace which is due to be redone any day now. A nice glass of pinot grigio, a bowl of olives laced with rosemary and sour dough bread baked in house was a great start. The quick lunch menu appealed although the full menu had us salivating too. My friend went in heavy with the meat and chose potted beef and bacon followed by a cheeseburger while I opted for the crispy duck salad followed by salmon fishcakes.

GETTING GIDDY

The potted beef was like an intense beefy pate served with tangy piccalilli and more of the lovely sour dough. The duck salad with watercress had a zingy dressing loaded with coriander that made the whole dish sing. It was pretty large and would have sated me as a complete lunch. A juicy cheeseburger arrived looking mighty fine on a glazed brioche bun with thin crispy chips. My friend promptly evicted the gherkins and passed them my way. I didn’t get a look in with the burger though which was apparently delicious. Three little fishcakes looked pretty perched on a pile of spinach with a canary yellow lemon and dill sauce. It was really tasty as it was, but I found the addition of the sour gherkins from the burger worked a treat. Coffee and truffles finished off the meal nicely, but we were both reluctant to leave. It’s the sort of place we could have whiled away the afternoon and probably a large chunk of the evening happily sipping great wine and getting giddy. Don’t judge a book and that…

Bank, 4 Brindleyplace, Birmingham B1 2JB. Tel: 0121 633 4466 www.individualrestaurants.com