Bovine Dining @ The Bank Tavern: Review

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This guest review comes from Sarah Harding, who blogs over at Bedsit Bonne Vivante. You can see more of Sarah’s reviews for Bristol Bites here


In my usual “two fingers up” to what Twitter tells me to do, I turned my back on “Meatless Monday” (when your energy company is promoting it, you probably shouldn’t be doing it) as I was invited last minute to the latest Nose to Tail night at The Bank Tavern. Noted as one of the best places for a Sunday lunch, the tiny city centre venue is becoming one of the firm favourites of the glutton club in Bristol.

I took the boyfriend with me and we were warmly welcomed by the hosts, who took our coats and thrust glasses of Prosecco in our hands, so far so good. We were introduced to our table mates and offered a few nibbles to keep us going until dinner time.

We also opted in for the wine flight at a reasonable £17 per head, with a mixture of reds,whites and a dessert wine to finish. I am in no way a wine buff, but what better way to learn then to drink a whole bunch of them in one evening?

The first course was a bowl of mash with a marrow gravy and crispy artichoke crisps. The gravy was incredibly meaty and the mash was as smooth as velvet. The crisps were sweet and provided a contrast of texture to the dish, which was polished off in seconds and paired with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc that cut through the richness of the gravy nicely.


mash,  marrow artichoke


Second course was an ox heart basket with a poached quail’s egg nestled inside, served on toast with a seaweed-infused egg yolk. The basket was chewy (in a good way) and very indulgent when covered in the yolks of the hen and quail’s eggs. I sadly didn’t get much of the seaweed taste, but the hollandaise sauce was rich and creamy and the bread was a good mopper. This was paired with an oaked Chenin Blanc that, again, cut through the richness of the dish and was light and easy to drink.


quail egg in ox heart basket


The third course was the much-anticipated tendons and broth. Admittedly I envisioned tendons curled up like spaghetti at the bottom of a bowl but luckily I was presented with something a lot less affronting to my offal-novice palate: a light, meaty broth appeared, garnished with greens and the tendons were small, creamy textured nuggets that melted in the mouth. Definitely a good mid-meal dish. The wine accompanying was a Pinot Noir that was easy to drink and beautifully fragrant.

We then had a surprise course of fried tripe and mozzarella balls. By this time the wine pairing had done the job and fried food was very welcome. I bit into my ball with some hesitation (I’ve had a bad experience with tripe at a dim sum session) but I need not have worried. Chef Luke had expertly taken the ingredients and made a soft, creamy filling with a tomato sauce tying it all together and an expertly crisped exterior. I could have eaten an entire plate full.


tripe and mozzarella


Next course was an ox cheek and dukkah dish. After a Google, I found that dukkah was mix of herbs, nuts and spices, which was scattered over the cheek and then topped with pickled cucumber, the whole thing resting on a bean hummus. The cheek was, as you would expect, moist and fell apart if you looked at it hard enough. The nutty sweetness, along with the cucumber, complimented the meat and in turn the hummus and the entire dish was finished in no time at all. The wine was a Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon and by far my favourite of the evening.


Ox cheek and dukka


Despite feeling like I had literally eaten an entire cow, dessert was offered and we had a choice of raspberries, mint and ice cream or creme kent with banana. I chose the creme kent because I am piggy and almost regretted it. The pudding was very sweet and heavy, which I usually like but I had over-indulged and should have opted for the fresher looking fruit. I valiantly ate half, the boyfriend ate his and the rest of mine and I polished off the Chatrau Thenac. I don’t really “do” dessert wine but my partner assured me it was really good and he had a second glass.


creme kent


Overall for £40pp I was incredibly impressed with the value for money, 6 courses all at a restaurant standard from a pub that “has stood since the 1800’s, surviving an alarming number of riots, two World Wars, Bristol City Council Planners and Thatcher.”

Keep an eye on The Bank Tavern’s website for future nose to tail events or get down for a roast, pronto. Remember to book however, those seats fill up fast!



One Response to Bovine Dining @ The Bank Tavern: Review

  1. Pingback: Fowl Fine Dining @ The Bank Tavern, October 16th & 23rd - Bristol Bites | Bristol Bites

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