Sky high ceilings, sophisticated surrounds, fabulous food and cheeky cocktails - what's not to like about Bonds Restaurant and Bar?
I don't spend much time in the City, and had never heard of Bonds before I was invited along to dine there recently. Head chef, Barry Tonks, has impressive credentials and I had an inkling this was one offer not to pass up.
TPG and I were not disappointed from the moment we stepped up to the bar for cocktails. While the fun bar area is heaving on a Friday night with a glam after 5 city crowd, the beautiful stately room that is the restaurant is a calmer affair, setting the scene for the fine quality European fare coming from Tonk's kitchen.
Plump, hand dived West Coast scallops "a la plancha" were perfectly done, served in a line up of spicy roasted chorizo and squid ink polenta (£16.95). An impressive start. Spicy fresh Dorset Bay crab salad was fresh and zingy, although less memorable despite the quality produce (£14.95).
Slow cooked Elwy Valley lamb rump was an absolute winner. Tender, pink and juicy, it was cooked expertly so as to detract nothing from the flavour of the gorgeous piece of meat itself. The sumptuously rich braised lamb shoulder Boulangere potato accompanying it dressed it up perfectly, alongside sprout tops and root vegetable puree (£24.95).
A fine piece of Scottish halibut "a la plancha" came with a pretty collection of jerusalem artichoke puree, king oyster mushrooms, potato gnocchi and poultry jus to add some fru fru (£24.95).
Desserts were gorgeous - floating island with crushed raspberries and pink praline in custard and a silky creme brulee (with an unnecessary cassis sorbet) (£6.95).
Service was helpful and knowledgeable - the fabulous wines selected were spot on for our tastes and our dishes.
These are City prices, but overall it's good value for a City restaurant of this calibre and gorgeous surrounds. They also have a 3 course lunch/dinner deal for £19.95 which looks like a goer. Bonds may be full of pin striped suits at lunch for all I know, but it has a mixed crowd of all ages at night, and would be an excellent place for an impressive date or an unstuffy work dinner. Pass me a martini...
Bonds, Threadneedle Hotel, Threadneedle Street, London EC2R 8AY (Tel: 020 7657 8088)