The Bank Tavern, John Street

Girl in Bristol visits The Bank Tavern over the bank holiday weekend for a Sunday lunch … 

The Bank Tavern is only a stone’s throw away from the centre and yet, it has managed to remain relatively inconspicuous over the years, populated primarily by those who already know where it is. Fortunately the 700 members of the Bristol Sunday Roast Club are more than happy to recommend it to any in need of a Sunday lunch with plenty of food porn to back them up.

Whilst the Sunday menu alters slightly each week depending on what meats the Bank have in, we were overjoyed to find they only cook ‘animals which we’ve bested in armed combat,’ their vegetables ‘ripped from the ground with extreme prejudice.’ On this basis, rare cow rump, pressed pig and sheep belly were the Bank’s most recent spoils which were served with the essential Yorkshire pudding, burnt onion puree, baked leeks, boiled carrots and cabbage (all £9.95); there was also a courgette-based alternative for the veggies. From the options, I chose the sheep belly whilst Chris chose the more traditional cow rump.

IMG_5492Our Sunday lunch arrived ten minutes later, presented skilfully in a stack with the meat layered beneath roasted fluffy potatoes and a huge Yorkshire pudding which was filled with shredded parsnips. My lamb was perfectly cooked and full of flavour, the onion puree detectable in each bite from where it had been absorbed by the meat. The Yorkshire pudding was homemade and crispy whilst the creamy baked leeks kept the textures on the plate varied. The only slight disappointment was the carrots and cabbage which were a tad on the soggy side, although I was still licking the plate clean (literally) at the end to get the last of the juices.

To end our meal, we ordered a trifle titled “Finish Him!” to share which came in a glass that showed off all the different layers. Although slightly boozy, it wasn’t overpowering or too sweet and the price was an amazing £3.50. Now if that doesn’t send you off with a smile on your face, what will?

IMG_5494We were delighted to find that reality completely matched up to our expectations when it came to the Bank Tavern. The staff were friendly (with lots of banter) and there was a relaxed vibe which put us entirely at ease when we arrived sunken eyed and slightly hunched over; a common sight on Sunday afternoons.

The quality and presentation of the roasts at the Bank Tavern are worth well more than £9.95 in my opinion so get down there quick – before the Bank catch on!

8 John St, City Centre, Bristol, City of Bristol BS1 2HR


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