Like many stuck at home, pasta has become one of my go-to meals. However, I was still craving the taste of fresh, perfectly al dente pasta and rich, unctuous sauces that you can only really get in the city’s best restaurants. Enter Bancone, the central London favourite which, unsurprisingly, was where I spent my last meal before the lockdown. I have a great memory of sitting with friends who were visiting town at one of the sleek marble tables, passing around delicious dishes and arguing over who had made the best pasta choice.
Bancone has two locations in Central London, their first Covent Garden outpost near Trafalgar Square and their Golden Square branch which opened last year. Whilst Genoa has the famous pesto Genovese, Rome has the carbonara, and Bologna of course, has the Bolognese, Bancone has chosen not to stick to one region and instead showcases speciality pasta recipes from all across Italy. Bancone has experienced an almost cult status with Londoners with much-Instagrammed dishes like the silk handkerchief with walnut butter topped with a beautiful confit egg yolk and the bucatini cacio e pepe.
Whilst in lockdown, the team didn’t stop looking for ways to deliver for customers and launched DIY kits for at-home assembly with their Bancone At Home offering. An additional benefit of the kits is that they allow you to get in on the action. Whilst everything comes in carefully sealed packets to ensure freshness, home cooks are able to flex their muscles and be part of the cooking and assembly process. Aside from the pasta kits (good for 2 or 4 people), antipasti and desserts are also on the delivery menu.
My Bancone feast arrived in a cardboard box with beautiful recipe cards that included instructions and photos to help me assemble the dishes. For the starter, I had a deliciously creamy burrata with kale, marinated beetroot, and chive oil. For a dish that seemed so simple, I loved the flavour that came from leaving the beetroot marinating in the seasoned olive oil. The extra intensity of the chive oil at the end really elevated the dish too.
For my pasta, it made me feel surprisingly productive to heat up and put together the spicy pork and n’duja ragu with mafalde. After following the instructions, I am proud to say that the final result very much reminded me of the meaty, spicy dish I have had previously at the restaurant. A coconut panna cotta made for a lovely end to our meal with an assortment of tropical fruits that balanced everything out with just the right texture and brightness.
With its Golden Square location now open (and available on the Eat Out to Help Out scheme), diners will again be able to enjoy the hand-crafted masterpieces in a safe sitting. Since its reopening on the 28th of July, Bancone is now taking reservations for tables of up to 4 guests from Tuesday to Saturday for both lunch (12-3pm) and dinner (5-9:30 pm).
Bancone at Home is available for both delivery (within 5 miles from Bancone Golden Square) and pick-up. Order via bbot.menu/banconesohodeliveryorpickup
Bancone Golden Square
Address: 8-10 Lower James St, Soho, London W1F 9EL
Phone: 020 3034 0820