Part of the Harvey Nichols family, Prism occupies the former Bank of New York building on Leadenhall Street. The restaurant is housed in the grand, neo-classical banking hall, complete with pillars, high ceilings and stucco. On one side, near the long bar, is an informal area with red sofas; the rest of the space has tables. Unfortunately, when the place is (almost) empty, as it was on our visit, diners are dwarfed and conviviality is almost impossible – though staff assured us that lunches and winter evenings are busier.
Confident cooking, with good ingredients combined with flair and originality, marked our meal. From the (very good-value) set menu, a cube of luxurious, dense duck confit was topped with gorgeously flavoured green beans wrapped in pancetta. On the side was a little dollop of sweet apple sauce. Equally good was a simple starter of melt-in-the-mouth, just-cooked trout, served with samphire. A main of roast chicken came with a flavoursome jus, and was beautifully presented with a circle of vivid peas and green broad beans. And a pudding of mini churros with a small cup of chocolate sauce made for a lighthearted, wickedly indulgent end to the meal.
Staff were friendly and competent – doing their bit to inject some vitality into a cavernous space. The bar in the vaults below is a cosier spot, with a less expensive menu.