Arjun Waney is a serial restaurateur and club owner operating at the top end of the market whose portfolio includes Zuma, Roka, La Petite Maison and the Dover St Arts Club. His operations are stylish and sophisticated and the food is very good. Banca is his Italian restaurant. It’s the sort of place you would hope to find in Milan and it sits perfectly in Mayfair.
Banca is situated in a converted NatWest bank. The security boxes are still situated downstairs in the private dining room which overlooks the kitchen.
But at Banca it’s not the bank you need to rob but the bar which has a great selection of grappas, vermouth, and particularly vintage amari , those deliciously bitter drinks such as Cynar and Campari that the Italians (and The Hedonist) love so much.
In Milan if you go into a bar or restaurant between about 5 and 7 p.m. there is a magical two hour period known as the ‘Aperitivo’. Order a drink and you will be presented with a choice of delicious savoury snacks. Incredibly wisely those lovely people at Banca have decided to bring this estimable tradition to our grey and fractious Isle.
Bellinis were delicious and made with properly fresh peach juice, a ‘secret ingredient’ and excellent Prosecco.