There’s something primal about a live fire. From burning Guy Fawkes on Bonfire Night to roasting marshmallows with your Scout and Guide groups, there’s a thrill – with an added danger – to building and maintaining your own blazing. So what makes BANK in Totterdown such a joy to visit is seeing everything made with live fire cooking.
BANK has rekindled the primal nature of cooking: here meals are prepared with family-style serving and all with a live wood fire. But don’t expect neanderthal grub. This is a contemporary neighbourhood restaurant at the heart of South Bristol, producing high-quality, modern food.
What are the benefits of live fire cooking?
Though harder to maintain than other ways of cooking, with the flame needing constant care and attention to stay consistent, the main benefit of live fire cooking is ‘flavour’. An intense heat allows for quick searing and gorgeous caramelisation. While the smoke itself, particularly if using wood, can infuse more within the produce.
But BANK probably say it best: “Fire is where food started. Cooking over fire has always been about making food to share with those closest to us. You get incredible flavours, textures, and smells when you cook over fire. With our menu influenced by all corners of the globe, fire cooking gives our dishes a sense of cohesion, a common theme, and lets us create food made for sharing.”
So what sort of food can you expect at BANK? Well, There’s no set cuisine at BANK – probably best described as modern-fusion. Jack Briggs-Horan’s, head chef and co-owner, main focus is on creating a seasonal menu that reflects the best produce nearby to Bristol.
Recent dishes, however, have included tortang talong (a sort of Filipino aubergine omelette), chicken thigh yakitori, duroc pork belly + Galician octopus, smoked cauliflower, Atlantic prawns, bone marrow with oxtail rendang and pineapple salsa, and so much more. There is much variety to explore, but ‘live fire’ remains central to all the dishes. Even the vegetarian and vegan dishes are treated with same respect and consideration as the meat over the grill. We should also mention that Bank does a killer Sunday roast too.
Our words could never give proper justice to BANK’s thrilling atmosphere though. To get a real taste of excitement from the roaring flames, you really have to visit in person. To learn more about BANK head here.