Tommy Banks brings his rural cooking to a city centre location with trademark charm
Roots is the city slicker equivalent to the country gent that is The Black Swan at Oldstead, chef Tommy Banks and family’s hugely popular North Yorkshire restaurant, and retains all the charm of its older sibling but in a more modern setting.
Coming from a farming background, Banks has created a menu at Roots that uses an abundance of interesting produce. He and his team have identified three key British growing seasons, which they call the Preservation Season, the Hunger Gap and the Time of Abundance, which the kitchen works around. The team knows its stuff, too, with many ingredients unearthed or picked directly from the Banks family’s 20-acre farm and three-acre garden.
Roots has switched from a la carte when it first opened to a tasting menu format that brings to the fore ingredients from each of the growing seasons. The 11-course £95 menu might feature the likes of raw beef, horseradish and charcoal; and monkfish with smoked butter and pickled mussel – but whatever the season you can guarantee plate after plate of clever, refined cooking that feels fresh and inventive and with flavours turned up to 11.