We visited Bancone Golden Square just a few days after it opened. Already, the larger 4,000 square-foot space was buzzing. Downstairs there’s a basement and cocktail bar with an area set aside for private dining. The top floor has an open kitchen and the pièce de résistance is a large olive tree that guests can sit around. Despite being in the middle of the city, the vibrant and inviting décor transports us right onto a terrazza in Tuscany. It was delightful to see that with guidance from Melis, Head Chef Stefano Cilia’s menu embraced old favourites whilst presenting never-before-seen items. Drawing inspiration from the over 20 regions of Italy, the menu challenged traditional flavour profiles by throwing different ingredients into the mix and we were excited to dig in.
To start with, we went for the hand-picked white crab with Tuscan panzanella, which was fresh, light, and had a great crunch from the panzanella. For the pasta, we could not stay away from the cult favourite silk handkerchiefs with walnut butter and confit egg yolk. It was just as rich and opulent as I remembered from the original restaurant and is sure to be a mainstay on the new menu. We also tested out a new offering: the bucatini with Cornish mussels was bathed in deliciously smooth and salty seaweed butter. It was moreish, different, and dare I say, even better than the silk handkerchiefs. We rounded off our meal with a more traditional red wine-poached pear with yoghurt foam and honeycomb, but will gladly return for the pumpkin and saffron panacotta with green apple, chilli, lime gel, and almond.