Our friend Andrey has just turned 25. Leaving jealousy aside (we wish we were that young again!), the rest of us joined him to celebrate at the Bank Hotel.
The Bank is not my kind of pub. It looks too fancy and it doesn’t have the beers I like. I’ve always felt like I don’t belong there (especially the day I went in my yoga clothes, but that one was my fault).
When Alvaro and I arrived people were already having drinks in the Sumalee Thai restaurant downstairs. We went to the bar and thankfully there was a queue, so we had some time to think what to order. I wanted beer and most of my friends were having beer, but I had been sneezing the whole day. I got a glass of Merlot instead. Alvaro got over the impulse to buy a cocktail and got a jug of tap water. Queues are not that bad, after all!
The idea for dinner was that each one chose a meal and then we shared everything. It would have been great if we weren’t too many. Or if we decided to order 2 or 3 of a few dishes to allow everybody to get a bit of each. Without really knowing how to do the sharing thing, we picked our meals from the overpriced menu. There’s a bar menu with standard pub fare at standard prices and average quality (judging from beef nachos I have tasted before), but it would have been a weird combination.
Alvaro and I shared the pork fillets in sweet curry paste with green beans and basil, and the roast duck with hot chilli, basil and garden vegetables. As everybody else, we got a serving of steam riced each. Both dishes tasted ok, but were not worth the price at all. There wasn’t much “meat chunks” in them and the lean meat/fat ratio was not very generous. I found the spiciness very mild and had no problems with eating the chilli slices in them.
Pork fillets in sweet curry paste with green beans and basil ($22/$24)
Roast duck with hot chilli, basil and garden vegetables ($29)
Bonnie got the stir-fried fresh king prawns with garlic, pepper and three green vegetables. She liked the dish, but wasn’t cool with the prawn count: only 6. For $32.
Fresh king prawns with garlic, pepper and three green vegetables ($32)
Angela and Tim ordered “Tom Khaa Pla”, salmon cooked in coconut milk, lime, chilli and Thai herbs, and a stir-fried eggplant and mushroom with hot chilli and basil. The Tom Khaa Pla was served in a massive bowl and looked like a soup, instead of the hot pot it was supposed to be. I ate some leftovers and found it a bit bland and too saucy (plus, the sauce was too thin).
“Tom Khaa Pla”, salmon cooked in coconut milk, lime, chilli and Thai herbs ($34)
Eggplant and mushroom with hot chilli and basil ($19)
Gary got the spicy salad of grilled marinated chicken and Thai herbs. It looked really nice but he was too far away for me to ask him for feedback (and a bite).
Spicy salad of grilled marinated chicken and Thai herbs ($19)
I have no idea of what other people ordered, they were too far away (except for Matt, who was in front of us and got the same pork dish we had). Next time I go to the Bank for a meal I’ll be eating from the pub menu. The prices are cheaper and the quality is about the same.
324 King Street
Newtown NSW 2042
(02) 8568 1988