REVIEW: Penkul & Banks
Situated in the heart of Shoreditch on Curtain Road, this rustic tapas bar and restaurant has lots to offer. Perhaps more so than Beard To Tail, the formerly meat-focused restaurant under the same management that it replaced following a handful of damning reviews (pity, we visited and had a wonderful time).
No matter, because the latest incarnation is another experience and a similarly pleasant one. Spanning brunch, dinner and cocktails, it’s another all-day, late-night gem that shouldn’t fail to please.
The décor is inspired by an old furniture shop, but as with the food, comprises a thoughtful twist. Handmade light fixtures dangle from the ceiling, bulbs cocooned in glass bottles, while a wall covered in 2p coins glistens in the corner. There is the option of sitting at the back of the restaurant which offers a relaxed dining experience, or you can sit at the front near the bar, the open design allowing you to soak up the buzz of London’s Shoreditch.
However, it is the small plates that are the main attraction, offering a twist of modern European and Asian cuisine. Although this duo may be considered a strange match, perhaps uncomplimentary (there’s everything from Baby Squid to Ox tongue alongside more pedestrian Mini Dexter Burgers), it undoubtedly aims to cater for a wide range of palates and does so with ease.
As well as being friendly, staff were willing to offer opinions on their favourite dishes (which introduced us to the tasty Asian Bacon Popcorn) and advise on the menu’s ingredients to cater to our plus one’s nut allergy.
While waiting for your sharer plates, a wide choice of cocktails are on offer – we recommend the Dragonfruit Collins, a subtle mix of Ketel one citron, lemon pineapple juice, dragon fruit syrup and soda. When we heard about the £20 unlimited Prosecco brunch on weekends, it was a deal clincher for us. Whether it is the cocktail menu you are sampling, or you fancy some after-work tapas, from the moment you walk in, you will be spoilt for choice.
By Kimberly McGhie
77 Curtain Road, Shoreditch, London, EC2A 3BS