When people arrive at Bancone, they sometimes don’t even look at the menu. They’re there for one thing: the silk handkerchiefs with walnut butter and confit egg yolk.
‘We get people walking in and waving their phone around with a picture, saying: "I want this",’ explains co-founder Will Ellner. It wasn’t his intention to create an Instagram-worthy hit dish. In fact, it’s a reinterpretation of a classic Italian egg yolk ravioli, which he says they’ve kind of ‘turned inside out’. He talks us through it.
The egg yolk
‘We confit our egg yolks by slow cooking them in vegetable oil at 63 degrees for 20 minutes. It cooks the yolk but doesn’t harden it, so when you cut into it, it bursts.’
‘It’s a simple dish, but there’s a lot going on with each mouthful. There are great textures: our pasta has a really lovely bite and the toasted walnuts bring crunchiness.’
‘We make a firm pasta dough – it’s hard work putting it through the machine. We start with sheets of pasta and trim them with a feather cutter to give a lovely jagged edge.’
‘We make a beurre blanc with shallots, white wine, black peppercorns, juniper, cream, unsalted butter and white wine vinegar. It creates a rich sauce with the yolk.’
‘We use rich yolks for the pasta – we want it to be sunshine yellow, not a wishy-washy beige. Then there’s the dark toasted walnuts and the bright orange confit yolk.’
Bancone’s silk handkerchiefs (£9) are available in multiple Bancone locations