With such esteemed venues as The Arts Club, Roka and Zuma already to their name, Arjun and Peter Waney are no strangers to catering to the well-heeled and culinary discerning. It’s no surprise then that they have launched Banca to be one of London’s most spectacular Italian restaurants.
Located in a former NatWest bank, the interior provides a seriously glam interpretation of a typical cucina Italiana. Expect a palette of dark tones in a range of elegant textures, accented with hints of gold and bronze all set against a striking black and white marble floor. The designers have also incorporated elements of the building’s heritage by retaining functioning safety deposit boxes and the original vault door in the private dining room.
A long bar meets you as you enter and provides an enticing space in which to enjoy a classic Italian aperitif before your meal. Further temptation comes in the form of bar snacks, although in this case scotch eggs and scratchings are replaced by more sophisticated nibbles such as Rabbit terrine of and Cod brandade. Visit between 5-7.30pm and you can even take advantage of free bar nibbles during their Aperitivo hours.
Taking charge of the kitchen is veteran Italian chef Marzio Zacchi, who has created a seasonal menu inspired by the food of Northern Italy. Starters include Deep fried Sicilian prawns & calamari served with spicy garlic mayo and a classic Vitello Tonnato, whilst those inclined may fancy a cheeky mid-course of Lobster spaghettini or Pumpkin ravioli. Mains include Roast guinea fowl breast stuffed with chestnuts & lardo and Salt crust roasted seabass.
Whilst there are no surprises in terms of flavours or dishes, the standard of cooking is extremely accomplished. Given the Mayfair location and aspirations of the venue, the experience obviously comes at a lofty price, but if it’s good Italian food you want and you’ve got the wallet to accommodate it then Banca certainly hits the spot.
Cuisine type: Italian
Dinner for two (excluding drinks): £120
30 North Audley Street
London, W1K 6ZF
Tel: 0207 647 2525