Bank is the right name for this suit-filled gastrobar in the city’s financial epicentre. Planted at the foot of Shenton’s swish new residence, it’s far more glamorous than your average post-grind drinking well, with dark wood furniture, chandeliers, a marble bar-top lined with bank lamps, and walls inset with prints of colonial-era bills and maps.
The place looks great, and the service is hyper-attentive on our visit, but sadly the food doesn’t match up. Vodka-battered fish and chips ($24.50) turns out to be bland, leathery and limp, with dry and overcooked wild hake and nary a hint of alcohol. The braised lamb shank ($32) rings the same bells: flat, though comparatively juicier meat, sits on an almost water-y mess of butternut mash and rosemary sauce.
The gastrobar has much more gumption as a drinks den than a bistro – but even then, the signature White Collar Crime Martini ($16) has no more depth of flavour than vodka and lemon. Best, then, to stick to brews you know, and the familiar list of bottled and draught beers, liquors and common cocktails provides a safe fallback with which to enjoy what is a good-looking spot. Cherylene Chan