Bank Westminster

Victoria
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Perhaps it was because the political class had gone into hiding, but American accents seemed most prominent among the lunching suits the day we visited this smart brasserie – one of several separately managed dining options in the Crowne Plaza St James hotel. Visually, it’s a stunner. Beyond a revolving door and a sleek wood and blue-glass corridor, you emerge into a light-filled, semi-circular modern conservatory facing the grand Edwardian courtyard garden. Staff are attentive to the point of touchy-feely. Bank also stands out, from the plush anonymity of the hotel restaurant, for the liveliness of its food. Menus reflect the international-hotel setting by offering something for most tastes, from Brit and American favourites like fish and chips, caesar salad and steaks, through mushroom risotto to tandoori-baked sea bass. Thankfully, there was no sense of routine cooking in our delicately handled king prawns in tempura, served with a chilli and lime jam that was spicy without being crude. Crispy duck with chinese greens and sesame and honey dressing also had plenty of subtle, satisfying flavours. Prices are reasonable (both for food and the nicely varied wine list), considering you’re in an upmarket Westminster hotel.

Venue name: Bank Westminster
Contact:
Address: 45 Buckingham Gate
London
SW1E 6BS
Opening hours: Meals served noon-11pm Mon-Fri; 5.30-11pm Sat.
Transport: Tube: St James's Park tube
Price: Main courses £10.50-£30.
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