After wanting to visit The Old Bank for a while, I was delighted to be invited to another Brighton Qype event to sample the wine list and menu. Being a BIG fan of a good steak (and good wine, of course) I’ve been to a lot of steak houses – mainly chain-style ones which try hard to be faux-American and never quite beat a steak from a good butcher which I’ve cooked myself. This place is (thankfully) something completely different and in a class of it’s own.
I was the first one to arrive at the event (I have an awful habit of turning up to things stupidly early) and was greeted by Helen, the owner, and Jonathan, the general manager. It was lovely to chat to them a bit about the place first, which despite only being open for a couple of months already has the fantastic homely atmosphere of a well-established restaurant.
So, onto the food and wine. We started with a Prosecco which was wonderfully light, easy to drink and an absolute bargain at £19.75 for a great bottle of bubbles. The next wine we had was a Muscat – a gorgeous, sweet dessert wine priced at £16.50 for 50cl – accompanied by a chicken liver pate (on the menu at £4.50) which complemented it perfectly.
Next came a Chardonnay blend accompanied by warm goats cheese (£3.95 on the menu) – even though I’m not normally a lover of Chardonnay, this wine was actually really nice and very decently priced at £13.95.
Then it was onto the reds and the meat dishes. The next wine we sampled was a Riesling supplied by local wine merchant Henry Butler – priced at £24.95, this was at the top end of the wine list and it was easy to see why. It went fantastically with the chicken wings (from £3.95 a portion) which come in either ‘hot’ or ‘not’. Because I’m a bit of a wuss when it comes to spice, I went for ‘not’.
I’ve heard great things about The Old Bank’s ribs and I wasn’t disappointed – they are blimmin’ fantastic, especially when accompanied by another of Butler’s fantastic wines – a beautiful Malbec priced at £22.50.
But they saved the best until last – the steak. Jonathon bought out a medium-rare 28oz rib eye steak on a platter (which is ALL yours for £29.95) and I’m not ashamed to say I could probably have eaten the entire thing. With the steak we had a gorgeous rich, full-bodied Shiraz priced at £20.25. Perfect.
After such enticing tasters of the menu I had to order something – I went for the minute steak which is served with chips, jacket or a salad for £6.95. Keen to sample more wine, a few of us sampled their house Malbec which (although not as good as the one from Butler’s Wine Cellar) is fantastic value for £11.95.
All in all I thoroughly enjoyed the evening – great food, great wine and a great atmosphere. I’m very much looking forward to going back there and tackling one of those 28oz steaks. You never know, I might even share it. Yeah, right.