J: When I step through the doors of the Bard & Banker, it’s hard not to feel like it’s Christmas.
Could it be the daily specials (drink must be bought to qualify)? No. Is it the grandiose look of the Bard that makes me appreciate this self-proclaimed “Scottish” pub? No, it’s not that either. I know, it must be that the Bard used to be the former location of the Spirit of Christmas.
With its lights, ornaments and decorated trees, Spirit of Christmas was one of the happiest places on Earth, next to Disneyland that is.
But don’t mistake what I am saying, the Bard & Banker still has some of that happiness. I was rather pleased with the decor. I could easily order a pint and settle in for that night’s entertainment. But can the same be said of the food?
E: I’ve been here before, especially when the music blasted so loud the party I was with said, “Let’s get out of here before our eardrums burst.” As for the food, my thoughts settled on a distinct no.
When the two-for-the-price-of-one deals are brought up, the food is nothing special. James and I learned our lesson in the Penny Farthing Pub. In my opinion, the B&B is for people who have fat wallets who can pay for the unique food items than for the casual crowd looking for a cheap bite. I think of this place as a tourist trap instead of a proper dining establishment.
J: And “tourist trap” speaks volumes when you put into consideration there is no online prices for their lunch & dinner menu. The trick is to draw you in because it’s possible it’s not the food you’ll be staying for.
The drinks and the entertainment, perhaps, but I’m going to say their services, at least during my visit was excellent. “Jerry W” must have this sixth sense of when her customer’s pop drink is near empty. She swooped in like an eagle and dropped off a new glass before flying off to her next destination.
E: Too bad another plate of fish was not brought in. The rock cod used was good but again, I would not rate it as anything exceptional. The quality is in what I would expect from a medium grade fish, the chip batter a nice touch to disguise any off flavouring and the tartar sauce being what makes the grade here. The fries were passable, and if James and I did not have another function to head to, I would’ve suggested going elsewhere.
Yes, he was doing the where-should-we-go directing that night. I guess two out of three isn’t bad when I put my faith in his instincts.
J: I can usually deal with average food if the decor is at least interesting. At least in here, I say it certainly is.
Ed is right about the fries and the coleslaw had no bite, it was warm. I like my coleslaw cool and crisp instead of limp and room temperature. The battered fish was below average. I found an undesirable taste which might have come from the age of the oil they used to fry this fish in. When I need to smother the fish in tartar sauce to improve the taste, that is a sign. I normally avoid using too much tartar but the sauce was the best tasting condiment on the plate.
I would definitely return to the Bard in a heartbeat if only for its service.
E: I’ll avoid the area like the plague during the evenings. I would take a different route to get to Bastion Square if I had my choice.
J: It’s a great theme pub to sit in and have a few pints with your mates. Being a Scottish pub, does this mean they’ll have a bathroom window to climb through when it’s my turn to buy the rounds?
2 Blokes out of 5