Review: The newly revamped Balans Soho Society Soho Restaurant

She’s had a bit of work done…

As you step over the threshold of the newly revamped Balans Soho Society, you’re simultaneously struck by the size of the place and by the comfort it exudes from every angle. It’s not an echoey cavern, or some conveyor belt of diners and drinkers. It’s a comfortable, stylish and effortlessly cool environment to spend your time in. You don’t feel out of place or unwelcome – you’re with friends, and what do friends do? Open a bottle, eat something fine and chew the fat into the small hours.

Despite its gorgeously revamped interior Balans Soho Society Soho Restaurant remains the same animal underneath. Yes you can nip and tuck but if the core of Balans was to change you’d notice it within a heartbeat. It’s a joyously reliable combination of pleasant, friendly staff, the most mouthwatering of menus around, and that inescapable charm that keeps brining us back for more.

The drinks menu is always where we begin. Balans Soho Society is of course a haven for the the cocktail lover. As well as serving one of the best Porn Star Martinis in London – Tito’s vodka, vanilla, passion fruit accompanied by a delicious champagne shot – they also pay the utmost respect to their gin and whiskey. With a Negroni that’ll knock your socks off and an Old Fashioned that’s anything but, one is never disappointed propping up the Balans bar. You can always test the calibre of a good cocktail service when you politely enquire if you can order something that doesn’t appear on the menu. After requesting a Gimlet – a personal favourite – the experts behind the bar were more than happy to oblige. This is something that goes under appreciated in establishments such as Balans Soho Society – tip your bartenders people, they take care of you.

From a sumptuous menu of starters that include baked provolone cheese and cherry tomatoes on sourdough toast to thrice fried chicken, it’s rather difficult to resist not ordering the entire starer menu. You must try and hold back though, the mains themselves are of course, just as superb. Make sure you don’t skip past the decadent Shellfish Cow – Balans Soho Society’s take on the surf and turf – and the utterly divine roast hake with chorizo white bean and tomato stew. In truth, the entire collection of mains deserve a visit at least once – next on our list is the Cornish Crab Linguine.

Those souls with a sweet tooth won’t leave disappointed either – with warm doughnuts accompanied by whipped cream and a cinnamon apple compôte, and a banoffi pie that’s light and rich simultaneously, the puddings menu will keep in your seat just that little while longer.

It’s not just an evening affair though – those less prone to night owlish behaviour can enjoy a mind-blowing brunch menu. Eggs in hell is a sure fire way (sorry) to beat that hangover – two eggs poached in a tomato chilli sauce, Balans potatoes and parmesan. Or maybe you should just grab a Bloody Mary along with a Morning After – a super concoction of King of Soho gin, dry vermouth, Sebor Absinthe, lemon juice and Balans House Recovery Syrup. Regardless of whatever drink you do settle on, if you don’t order French Toast we’ll be very disappointed in you.

Balans Soho Society belongs at the heart of Soho, and continues to be a superb addition to the fabric of the city. It doesn’t take a genius to realise that if you do something consistently well the word will get out. Balans Soho Society does everything well. From the dining experience it has crafted to hiring exactly the right kind of people to work there, it’s a delight to experience and its presence makes Soho all the richer. Go and raise a glass of something delicious, and salute the rogue, the rascal and the reprobate.

To book a table and for more information go to balans.co.uk

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