Balans society is an ensemble of Café, Restaurant and Bar opened in various prime Locations in London. It lives by the idea that "the best plan is no plan", meaning that they value spontaneity and the simple pleasures in life. The idea is to come here, sip on one of their delicious cocktails and escape from reality, or to indulge yourself with their amazing food.
Each venue has its own particular vibe however there is a recurring vintage feel to them. I have visited the Balans in High Street Kensington and in Soho, and both have a unique and particular decor that creates an escape to your usual minimalistic café. In the High Street Kensington Branch there is a beautiful, neat interior design. The rustic wooden tables and intriguing objects such as candelabrum and various picture frames create a home-like feel, but the addition of a white tree placed in the middle of the dining room adds a sort of wonderland effect to the decor.
The Balans in Soho however is probably one of the most beautifully designed venues in London in my opinion. Made up of three rooms, Balans in Soho is very spaceous. Again a wonderland vibe due to the beautiful patterns on the walls and the velvet sofas surrounding the dining rooms. Furthermore there is a back room made up entirely of drapes, insanely beautiful lighting and again velvet sofas, creating the perfect romantic and intimate setting for a date.
The menu has an extensive selection of breakfast and brunch options. If you like eggs then this is your spot - they cook eggs many different ways. If you're looking for a little spice then try the Eggs in Hell [£8], with the eggs poached in a tomato & chilli sauce. For something lighter then opt for a cheese omelette or take your pick on how you want the eggs to be cooked. You can also have the classic eggs Benedict [£9] or, for something fancier then try the High Society Benedict [£12.50]. There are also various things you can choose to add to the side such as avocado [£2], bacon [£2], smoked salmon [£4], black pudding [£2] , baked beans [£2], sausage [£2] and double-cooked chips [£3-5]. The menu also has a variety of healthier, lighter options such as porridge [£4.5], house baked granola with berries and honey [£6]. If you are someone who loves something sweet for breakfast then the French toast with strawberries, banana and maple butter [£8] is a good choice or the pancakes with bacon and either banana or berries and maple syrup [£8].
In terms of what we ordered, the High Society Benedict caught my attention, made of two poached eggs sat on bacon, avocado and a toasted English muffin with a topping of lobster and hollandaise sauce. This was the perfect dose of energy for the day. I don't know about you but I absolutely love lobster so this dish was (in my opinion) the best valued, priced at only £12.50. Additionally we ordered smoked salmon and avocado with scrambled egg and sourdough toast which was again a simple yet healthy and delicious option and to finish our brunch on a sweet note we chose the mixed berry pancakes. The pancakes were served warm, fluffy, tasty and drizzled in maple syrup with a mountain of berries on top.
I was also invited here for lunch, and oh my would I come back here. The menu is extensive, however we decided to order a variety of small bites as I don't like to eat too much at lunchtime. It worked out perfect because each little plate tasted fresh, light and different. We ordered Manchego & Serrano Ham Croquettes [£8], Cornish Crab (with pink grapefruit, squid ink crackers, avocado purée, wood sorrel) [£9], Chickpeas which actually was my favourite dish, made up with falafel, humous, crispy chickpeas, harissa yoghurt, flat bread [£7], the seared scallops which were beautifully cooked and were served with wild mushrooms, chestnuts, caramelised cauliflower purée [£] and the Black Bean tostada served with black garlic humous, avocado, queso blanco, roasted salsa [£7.50]. On top of this we decided to add the double dipped chips [£3.5], the Ginger and Garlic sautéd Kale [£3.5] and the steamed broccoli [£3.5]. This was a perfect amount of food for two people.
Out of everything we tried, the hummus and the scallops were my absolute favourite thing. The flavours and spices came out and they were beautifully garnished and presented on a plate. Of course sharing plates aren't for everybody, but luckily Balans has also numerous options for main courses. For example for you meat lovers, I would recommend trying their Roast Chicken Suprême (stuffed leg, wild mushrooms, sage & onion) [£18] or the Pork Belly (served with honey-truffled parsnip, cavolo nero, prune caper oregano sauce) [£18]. For the veggies they have a very interesting looking dish which is Miso Glazed Tofu & Aubergine [£12]. A salad option includes Matcha Poached Salmon served with udon noodles, edamame, sesame, spring onions, avocado which sounds like a fresh and healthy lunch option [£13] or Chicken and bacon cobb salad [£13]. Balans also offers numerous pasta dishes such as Goats cheese & Basil Gnocchi (with roast artichokes, peas, feves, pinenuts) [£12] or Cornish Crab Linguine [£15].
At night the lights are dimmed and it becomes the perfect spot for having a drink out with your friends. Whether you're looking to drink a bottle of wine or a cocktail then come and check out their awesome menu. Cocktails priced at [£9.5] include Slap on the rum (Redleg spiced rum, pineapple, mint, ginger beer), Pineapple express (Ron Cortez rum, pineapple, lime) and one that really intrigues me, El Gringo (El Jimador tequila, crème de menthe, maraschino, chocolate, cream).
All in all, Balans ticks all the boxes. The food is a 10/10, the prices are affordable, the staff is super attentive and there are numerous locations spread around London so if you are looking for somewhere to go, whether it's breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner or a cheeky drink then you should definitely check Balans out. For any reservations check out their website here.
Address Soho: 60 - 62 Old Compton Street, London W1D 4UG
Contact : 020 7439 2183
Address Kensington: 187 Kensington High Street, London W8 6SH
Contact: 020 7376 0115
Address Clapham: 16A Clapham Common South Side, London SW4 7AB
Contact: 020 7627 1096