25 July 2014

Balthazar two stars

4-6 Russell Street, London WC2E 7BN

£56.00 French Covent Garden

Overall Diner Rating


Based on 28 ratings. Rate it!

  • Wine: £20.00
  • Champagne: £61.00
  • Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 7.30-11am 12N-3.30pm 6.30-9.30pm

Square Meal Review of Balthazar ?

Fanfares and permanently engaged phone lines heralded the arrival of Balthazar – the hottest ticket in town and a deserved winner of the BMW Square Meal Award for best new restaurant. Based on Keith McNally’s legendary New York eatery, this ‘amazingly attractive’ big-time venue occupies the Covent Garden Theatre Museum – cue high ceilings, fantastic lighting and big mirrors, plus effortless showmanship from ‘absolutely fabulous’, hyper-attentive staff. The all-day offer runs from breakfast and brunch to afternoon tea and late-night suppers, taking in everything from onion soup, garlicky escargots or velvety lobster and black truffle risotto to Balthazar burgers, excellent duck shepherd’s pie and ‘orgasmic’ chocolate soufflé – although the odd notion of ‘Americanised’ French food exported to London inevitably means ‘safe choices and lots of garlic’. Even so, you can’t help but love the place – it’s everyone’s idea of a Parisian brasserie, yet feels like it’s been part of the London scene for years.

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  1. Balthazar

    4-6 Russell Street, London WC2E 7BN
    Overall rating:
    David H.

    Okay and very busy Brasserie

      Gold Reviewer  (37)

    • Food & Drink: 6
    • Service: 7
    • Atmosphere: 6
    • Value: 7

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  2. Balthazar

    4-6 Russell Street, London WC2E 7BN
    Overall rating:
    Neil M.

    Does London need another psuedo French Brasserie? Yes it does !!!

      Gold Reviewer  (55)

    • Food & Drink: 7
    • Service: 8
    • Atmosphere: 9
    • Value: 7

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  3. Balthazar

    4-6 Russell Street, London WC2E 7BN
    Overall rating:

    Extremely disappointed


    • Food & Drink: 4
    • Service: 4
    • Atmosphere: 7
    • Value: 5

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  4. Balthazar

    4-6 Russell Street, London WC2E 7BN
    Overall rating:
    Ed B.

    'Allo 'allo


    • Food & Drink: 9
    • Service: 9
    • Atmosphere: 7
    • Value: 7

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  5. Balthazar

    4-6 Russell Street, London WC2E 7BN
    Overall rating:
    Jean Paul G.

    Much ado about nothing?


    • Food & Drink: 5
    • Service: 4
    • Atmosphere: 6
    • Value: 6

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  6. Balthazar

    4-6 Russell Street, London WC2E 7BN
    Overall rating:
    Steve H.

    Wonderful evening

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

    • Food & Drink: 10
    • Service: 10
    • Atmosphere: 10
    • Value: 8

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  7. Balthazar

    4-6 Russell Street, London WC2E 7BN
    Overall rating:
    Nicky B.

    Not quite right

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

    • Food & Drink: 5
    • Service: 6
    • Atmosphere: 5
    • Value: 4

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  1. Balthazar London, his twelfth restaurant opening manifests his creative talents. His objective was to attract custom with the way his restaurant made them feel at the time, rather then being the ‘in’ place to be seen. A current example of the opposite being Chiltern Firehouse. Nigella Lawson sums him up well “he has a passion for authenticity and aesthetic perfection. Decent food and bloody good service.” Based on my experience last week, I agree...
    More from Whistle and Bango »

  2. Published : Tuesday, 11th March 2014

    Wrap Your Lips Around This :: Balthazar

    This French restaurant is the work of an Englishman, whose original Balthazar is located in New York. As unlikely a proposition as this may be the original Balthazar basks in good opinion. The London Balthazar finds its home in what was previously a theatre, overlooking the market in Covent Garden. The newly pimped out space has a price tag of £14m for the refurb, and would not be out of place in a Francophiles wet dream. Think moody red banquettes and mirrors so large and so tilted as to raise suspicion. In this backdrop of expense and suggestion then, the categorical rejection of London’s Balthazar is all the blunter. The majority of critic opinion thus far would ward off even the most obtuse reader, except of course a food blogger committed to the cause...
    More from Wrap Your Lips Around This »

  3. Published : Monday, 10th February 2014

    The Hungry Porker :: Balthazar

    When I tried to get a table a few weeks after Balthazar’s eagerly anticipated opening last year, I felt like Patrick Bateman trying to get a reservation at Dorsia. Not a chance was the response I got. Not this weekend, and not for any of the weekends in the foreseeable future. They might as well have let out that shrill laugh down the phone. Well almost a year later with the hype having cooled off, or rather people realising it really didn’t deserve half of that hype in the first place, my perseverance has paid off and I managed to land myself a table. With it’s huge premises just off the central arcade in Covent Garden it has the feel of a destination restaurant, and so it was the ideal place to take visiting family from Newcastle who wanted a taste of somewhere grand in London...
    More from The Hungry Porker »

  4. Published : Sunday, 3rd November 2013

    chichangout :: Balthazar

    Balthazar established its name in New York quite long time ago. Surprise, surprise…after the opening of its London branch, there were no available tables for weeks. Yep… Londoners love NY restaurants’ openings and it was no different this time. But I must say that this time the love was totally justified. Oh boy, their food is like heaven in the mouth!...
    More from chichangout »

  5. Published : Wednesday, 16th October 2013

    vialaporte :: Balthazar //Covent Garden // London

    Two steps from the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden is the carbon copy of a New York City restaurant, Balthazar. After ten years, Keith McNally decided that diners this side of the Atlantic needed to experience his version of a Parisian brasserie. Despite all the hype that surrounded the launch, Balthazar aims to deliver simple dishes made with high products. And the result? Well, it fulfills the brief well. As you arrive you’ll be struck by the magnificence of the dining room, with its high, decorated ceiling and sumptuous chandeliers. Certainly one of very few complaints would be that the day time menu is quite limited in comparison to the evening offerings, so bear that in mind when booking. Balthazar, however, is spot on with its sourcing of its products. While most of the dishes are absolutely spot-on, the team in the kitchen are still perfecting a couple of things...
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  6. Published : Wednesday, 14th August 2013


    Like with most American exports, I was so looking forward to the opening of Balthazar. I had been to the original in New York six years ago when I was pregnant with my daughter. Even though I was restricted with what I ate (being a first time mum I followed all the food rules), I had a fabulous meal and adored the buzzy environment.I was most excited about Balthazar opening in Covent Garden and had been salivating over the menu as soon as it was posted online – there was so much on there I liked I figured one trip would never be enough.I booked to go with three girlfriends and was surprised to be able to reserve a table at quite short notice. Like in the States the restaurant had a very busy, lively atmosphere and we had to squeeze past packed tables to get to our seats. While this does create a great ambiance, in practical terms it meant that we could not hear each other speak, there was nowhere to put our handbags and we actually had to pick up and move our table slightly as my friend Corrie kept on getting knocked by the staff.There were plenty of waiters and we were given menus and offered an aperitif straight away however unfortunately the service went downhill after this. We waited a while to order our food and then it took FOREVER to receive our wine (a big no no in my book)!I found it difficult to choose from the menu as I wanted everything – in the end I chose dressed crab and mac and cheese with gruyere & bacon – two of my favourite things. I was also tempted by the escargots, the frissee salade aux lardons  & obviously the burrata for starters. Then for mains I was also keen to order the moules or the cheeseburger (no surprise there).Unfortunately I think I ordered badly.Don’t get me wrong, the crab wasn’t bad, it just was not great nor particularly flavoursome. The sauce tasted like it was a marie rose sauce from Sainsburys or something. I obviously ate it all & the crab itself was good quality but all together it was nothing compared to other London restaurants.My mac & cheese certainly looked good and it was very very cheesy but once again it wasn’t bursting with taste – I had to season it repeatedly and it was definitely not worthy of main course status. I think I would have been ok with it as a side but as a main it was a let down – my mac & cheese is far better (even if I do say so myself)!On the plus side my friend Ceri had Nettle Agnolotti , which was absolutely amazing and the fries were exceptional.All in all, the restaurant did not live up to my expectations and was a little bit of a disappointment. My friends and I had a great night together and the restaurant definitely had a fun, party element to it but the service and food needs sharpening up. I am not sure whether I would return for a while, however if I did I think I would try lunchtime as hopefully it is slightly quieter so you can actually hold a conversation with the person next to you!! I think my friend Corrie summed it up very well when she said it is just a “posh Café Rouge"!http://www.balthazarlondon.com4-6 Russell Street,LondonWC2B 5HZTel: 020 3301 1155

  7. Published : Sunday, 2nd June 2013

    Drifting Epicure :: Balthazar

    Yet another New York restaurant has arrived London recently. This time it’s Balthazar, a stylish brasserie breathing golden orange tones. It’s almost an exact replica of the New York restaurant from mirrors to pillars and it’s equally busy during peak hours...
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  8. Published : Wednesday, 3rd April 2013

    Samphire and Salsify :: Balthazar

    Balthazar adds to London’s ever growing list of brasseries and is the creation of Keith McNally (I’ve never heard of him either). With its location right in the heart of Covent Garden and being an almost carbon copy of the already popular original Balthazar in New York it means getting a reservation is not the easiest of tasks. My gentleman companion and I happened to be passing at 5pm and thought we’d try our luck and were offered a table as long as we returned it within an hour and a half – result!...
    More from Samphire and Salsify »

  9. Published : Monday, 4th March 2013

    The Hedonist :: Review-Balthazar

    There is no pretending-Balthazar is the hot table du jour. To get a table I had to go on repeat dial for an hour as the booking line opened and the restaurant was packed to the gills with food bloggers like moi and celebrities such as …Heston Blumenthal wearing specs that somehow made him look like Atom Ant. Now London is not short of faux French Brasseries and with Zedel, Colbert, The Wolseley and The Delaunay at the top end of the market there is definitely competition for McNally. However Covent Garden is undergoing something of a rebirth as a gastro-destination and there is nothing quite like this in the area and certainly nothing that has McNally’s transatlantic pulling power...
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