North London's Best Burger Bar & Steakhouse?
West Green, North London
A redeveloped bank perching on a corner of Haringey’s West Green Road once boasted to finance the community. Today, The Banc is a Mediterranean Burger Bar & Steakhouse restaurant and Shisha bar that has done away with the banking tellers, but kept the need to check your balance whilst you’re here.
Until recently, if you lived in North London and you wanted to grab something meaty that looked good, tasted great and felt somewhat special; chances are you probably headed towards Highbury and Islington or further south on the tube to go all out in Zone One.
But London’s northern boroughs are changing and with those changes comes reinvention and revolutions in local cuisine. The Banc is one of those locations.Upon entry to this ‘Mediterranean Steakhouse’ the atmosphere is noticeably more professional than some of the other restaurants in the area, setting the mood closer to a professional’s eatery instead of a family diner.
The décor backs up this feeling too; with all-leather chairs and hard leather table tops, they make the restaurant seem slick and up-market whilst also making a beautiful backdrop for the enamel plates in which they accompany.
So, it may come as no surprise then that the majority of other people dining here do so whilst dressed to impress and on their best behaviour; though despite the professional tone, the Banc is occupied by couples and friendship groups alike, with ‘work-mates’ or business dinners seemingly kept to a minimum.So how is the food?
Upon opening the menu it is clear that The Banc focuses on Burgers before anything else, with a range of ten burgers to choose from, with the meat being of the expected range: Beef, Chicken or Lamb. However, the fillings of those burgers can be a surprise with some coming with the expected staples of Cheddar, Mayonnaise and Salad, whilst others try to be bolder with options such as Turkey Bacon, Rib Eye Steak, Blue Cheese, Peanut Butter or ‘the millennials favourite’, Avocado.
Steaks are The Banc’s next speciality with six to choose from. This time however, your options have been limited to either Beef or Chicken.The cuts on offer are not particularly exciting or adventurous either as you can only order a cut of Sirloin, T-Bone, Rib-Eye or Filet for your Steak, or a pair of Chicken Thighs or Filet Melt.
If none of these take your fancy, you can choose from their ‘Land and Sea’ range which goes on to include Salmon, a wider selection of Lamb other than ‘Burger’ and Sea Bass.
It must be noted that none of your mains come accompanied with a side; taking the £10 burgers a big step away from being good value and push the £23+ Steaks towards an ‘avoidable’ verdict.Now whilst this is not unusual at other up-scale Burger Bars and Steakhouses, it does make The Blanc the most expensive restaurant to dine at on the road.
This price point does come with expectations, one that The Blanc seems to fail to meet regularly as despite being allowed to request how you would like your meat cooked, patrons who want anything less than ‘well-done’ risk having their meats wellness fluctuate.
For some, ordering a Medium T-Bone risks having your meat fluctuate between medium-well and rare, so keep this in mind when ordering larger pieces of meat.
This means that the lack of an included side feels a little insulting, particularly when you realise that you can rack up £15 in sides between the two of you quite easily.Thankfully though, the sides are plentiful and you can stick with tried classics such as a Mixed Salad, Fried Mushrooms or French Beans, or you can push the boat out and have some Cheesy, hand cut Chips covered in Chili Con Carne.
After eating all of this, chances are you are going to want to wash it down with something. Luckily, the Banc’s drinks selection delivers.
For wine lovers, the concise list may seem like it was never touched by a sommelier, but it gets props for including the favourites, including a wine selection that spans Europe, South America, South Africa and Australia.
Liquor lovers aren’t left out either as The Blanc is happy to serve you a variety of Whiskeys, Cognac, Liqueurs, Gins, Vodka and Rum – some of which aren’t included in their diverse Cocktails menu.
Beer and Cider lovers may feel a little left out though, as Corona, Peroni, Magners and Effes are the only ones to make the cut; so you may want to look at the Smoothies or soft drinks if you want something with a little flavour.With everything considered, what exactly makes The Banc ‘North London’s Best Burger Bar and Steakhouse House?’ Truthfully, I don’t know; but with the solid selection of food available and the favourable atmosphere, The Banc is poised to be a date location you should be proud to spend an evening at.
- Great, professionals vibe.
- You and your date can come here, look great & not feel out of place.
- Superb transport connections if you aren't driving with a bus stop almost right outside the building.
- By not limiting you to a side, The Banc opens up a level of personalisation to your meal- meaning you only eat what you wanted to order.
- Professional vibe is equalled by the professional service.
- A little pricey with not much 'value for money' when compared to other things in the area.
- Not many 'great' cuts of meat.
- Varying degrees of cooking wellness if asked for anything less than 'Medium'.