Seasonal produce is on the menu tonight as we’re off to investigate Drake & Morgan’s The Folly in Bank…
In a Word:
A variety of businessmen and women, groups of friends – big and small, there are a few couples on dates. The ratio between men and women is more or less the same.
The Drake & Morgan group pride themselves with their unique take on cocktail bars and restaurants. With venues across London, Manchester and Edinburgh, they’re attracting customers with their handcrafted cocktails, evolving dining menus and of course, their photogenic dining spaces. After all, each venue has its own distinctive style. Here, at Tasting Britain, we’re a bit cautious about restaurant chains. However, we were impressed after visiting a couple of the other venues. But just how does the Folly fair?
It’s safe to say Instagramers will love it here. The decor is stunning, you’ll find lot’s of inspirational quotes dotted around the walls (my favourite being something like; ‘be the reason someone smiles today or the reason they drink. Whichever works – Anon).
It’s also full of garden and botanical details from plant hangings to floral decorations. There are lots of cosy chairs and snug corners and the low lighting makes it feel a tad romantic too. However, don’t think for a moment that’s a particularly quiet spot! It’s especially busy and has more of a pub-meets-restaurant vibe, not what you’d expect from an imposing financial district. Expect to hear some Motown hits playing in the background too.
We don’t have to wait long before our starters arrive. I order the Ricotta Bruschetta and Jack goes for a popular dish – the Chorizo Scotch Egg with smoked paprika mayonnaise.
This is the first time I’ve ordered a bruschetta that didn’t have a single tomato. Instead, the slightly toasted slice of ciabatta bread has a generous amount of ricotta cheese spread over it with a sprinkle of basil leaves and a drizzle of honey. When you put all four ingredients on the fork, you get a satisfying sweet, herby overtone that sweeps through the soft, creaminess of the ricotta cheese and bread. It’s a lovely twist on the famous bruschetta.
I can see why their scotch egg is a particular favourite. As well as being beautifully presented, it has an intense, slightly spicy flavour. There’s a stark contrast between the two starters, the bruschetta is light and airy, whereas the scotch egg is dense and rich. The smoked paprika mayonnaise makes this dish stand out. Excellent comfort food!
Onto the mains now, served in a timely manner. Just from the look of them they’re good portion sizes. I have the Linguini Vongole which looks a treat. The pasta is perfectly cooked and the clams are tender, they slide off the shell with just a nudge of the fork. With the inclusion of onion and diced fresh tomato, the dish has a distinctive fresh vibe that makes it summery.
Jack’s Sugar-Brined Salmon is another delight brimming with British flavours. The salmon fillet is tender and flaky and the skin is slightly sweet and crispy. The accompanying radish, cucumber and pea shoot salad gives it a light, summer-taste. It’s also surprisingly filling.
In addition to the main course, we opt for a Hot Salmon Salad as a side. Yes, this does count as a dish on it’s own, but being super hungry has given us an excuse to get more salmon in us. This is another flavoursome plate of food with flakey, tender salmon, soft boiled egg, salad and croutons. The mixture of textures make it a standout dish. It’s filling and rather nutritious too.
To wash it all down, Jack has a beer. I’m not in the mood for alcohol, so I choose from their late selection of non-alcoholic, super skinny cocktails. You’ll be surprised at how many different types of drinks there are to choose from.
My first choice is the Market Spritz which is today’s special. It’s deliciously fruity and surprisingly sweet despite its mixture of lemon juice, pomegranate and rose water. It also has beautiful, pink ombre effect. My second choice is the Gunpowder Cooler. The gunpowder green tea is the strongest flavour here, but it’s refreshing and summery thanks to its citrus undertones of bitter orange and lemon and lashings of elderflower tonic. Makes a lovely change from the usual fizzy drinks!
Thanks to the perfectly sized portions, I’m confident I can devour a whole dessert. Jack sticks to a decaf cappuccino that’s beautifully presented with a mini chocolate brownie. It’s a dessert itself! Sadly, my original choice of Salted Caramel Plum Sundae is unavailable so I go for a Chocolate Brownie with vanilla ice cream.
It may not sound like the most adventurous item on the menu, but our waitress is particularly fond of this dessert so I take up her suggestion. It’s certainly delicious, the brownie is firm on the outside and soft on the inside, and has the perfect amount of chocolate. Sometimes brownies can be a little too rich, but this is perfect.
All in all, this is a delightful venue with lots to please the eye and the palate. Every mouthful is exciting and you can’t fault the fabulous service here. OK, so the dishes themselves may not be ground-breaking or experimental, but what they do here, they do it well. Judging from how it busy it is, the customers do enjoy it. Also, they must have the cleanest, and the most beautiful toilets I have ever been to in a restaurant. (Do have a look, even if you don’t need to go!)
41 Gracechurch Street, London EC3V 0BT