Bank On It Being Pretty Special in Paddington, Heist Bank

02 Sep 2016

Beer, pizza and flowers? I shotgunned this restaurant visit in a heartbeat, understandably. It’s a bit of a trek for a girl who generally yo-yos between Liverpool Street and Shoreditch (sorry, not sorry), but pizza covers two of my core food groups (bread and cheese), so I bagged it nevertheless.

Don’t be fooled by the name of the place – ‘Heist Bank’ suggests you might well be in for a rather unique dining experience (I was imaging the bread basket being delivered in a metal suitcase, or the waiters wearing stripes and clearing tables by swiping the plates straight into a sack and legging it), but actually this Paddington restaurant that comes from the guy behind Coin Laundry is your run-of-the-mill all-day bar and restaurant. It’s the ideal spot for local office workers and those slowly taking over the new high-rise flats that surround it. I expect this place will wind up being packed every night of the week – potentially bar Sunday, when the kids take their washing home to mum and dad.

So no, there isn’t really a theme to this place, I’m not 100% sure where it got its name from, but that’s not to say it isn’t worth a visit. There’s a great atmosphere at Heist Bank, and it seems suitable for all the ages. It’s a huge space, boasting 50 seats canal-side, great for a touch of alfresco dining, as well a pretty epic party room in which you’ll find vintage Nintendo games, Karaoke, fussball tables and board games. It also has an in-house florist, naturally.

To start, we ordered Olive & Cheese Curd Doughnuts, because when you read ‘cheese’ and ‘doughnuts’ you just have to. Unless you’re warming up for a pie eating contest (and if you are, please let me know), I’d recommend sharing these as they are enormous, but I can assure you they are deliciously enormous. Share that starter, sure, but also share another – the Crispy Squid with Creamed & Grilled Corn & Bacon Crumb. Squid, sweetcorn & bacon? Yep, it works. Salty, perfectly cooked, and if I’m honest, I was forking up that creamed corn on its own – what a winner.

Whilst Heist Bank is a pizza place, there are a lot of options on the menu that aren’t pizza, which I guess is good for the locals who are likely to be paying them a visit more than once a week. I went specifically for pizza, so ordered, on our waitress’ recommendation, the Three Mushroom with Burnt Butter White Sauce and Tarragon, as well as the Smoked Sausage, Hispi Cabbage, Chilli & Smoked Mozzarella. Why mozzarella isn’t always smoked, I do not know. Both pizzas were unusual in texture and flavour and quite coincidentally were paired very well with our Spee’wah Crooked Mick Pinot Grigio, which had an aftertaste of honey. Just imagine that combined with the smoky cheese. #Flashbacks.

If you happen to work or live near to Heist Bank, go for a few drinks and share a pizza with a mate on a weeknight. If it’s a bit far along the Hammersmith & City Line for you, I’d recommend going on a weekend afternoon, when you can spend time working your way down the very reasonably priced cocktail menu, playing Nintendo and eating as many of those doughnuts as you can fit in.

Sophie

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