Penkul & Banks
REVIEWS, July 17, 2014
Overall Value
out of 5
Food 
Service 
Ambience 
Penkul & Banks, 77 Curtain Rd, London, EC2A 3BS

A relaunch, under unchanged ownership, of a dud former Shoreditch bar-restaurant (Beard to Tail, RIP) which looks set to become a handy all-day destination; our early-days visit was an all-round success, though the ‘new look’ may not fully be realised till Christmas.

Under unchanged ownership, but new management, the Shoreditch premises once known as Beard-to-Tail still look rather as they did when we reviewed that informal bar-restaurant a year ago, not especially kindly. (Occasionally, we get things right!)

This is still, it seems, a work-in-progress, and we were, on our visit, told that the woody (and, by night, rather glum-looking) rear dining room of the establishment would not be fully ‘transformed’ till Christmas. Watch that space then!

Some of the important things, though, already seem to be going very much in the right direction: this struck us as a very handy sort of informal all-day restaurant’ even if it still does have a bit of work to do to impress the locals. We lunched pretty much alone. The welcome is warm, and the food – if not especially ambitious – was in a different league from our former visit.

From the daytime menu – essentially a cut-down selection from the evening offering – we were able to try most of the types of dishes on offer. Tasty tomato bread, for example, made a good complement for a fresh-tasting assemblage of peas, beans and Feta-type cheese, and the brace of mini cheeseburgers were very decent too. Star of the show, though, was the tuna tataki – a nicely balanced small (but quite generous) plate and, in accordance with the fashion du jour, attractively florally enhanced.

The drinks selection was inviting, and quite reasonably priced too. For lunch, a pint of Brooklyn – what else, round here? – made a very good accompaniment.

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