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The Balans brand’s hallmarks include a cosmopolitan vibe, a please-all menu and an all-day offering (and, in the case of the original Balans in Soho, an incredibly late evening offering too). Drop by for a full English, a mid-morning snack or a casual dinner along the lines of roast chicken with shiitake mushrooms, or Cornish crab linguine – the world is your larder here. If you’ve got room for dessert, you’ll be ordering from the likes of chocolate brownie cheesecake or spiced pumpkin panna cotta. The drinks selection is just as wide-ranging as the food, from Martinis, Margaritas and house mixes, to a clutch of affordable, globe-trotting wines. With its decent prices, relaxed atmosphere and undemanding comfort food, Balans is in possession of a strong formula which is seeing it gradually spread across the capital.
If someone says the word brunch, Balans is actually up there in terms of the places I always remember getting a good fry up. The portions were enough to fend off the toughest of hangovers, the staff were fabulous and the cocktails so tempting, I do remember my pal ordering a pornstar martini when it was barely nearing midday (hair of the dog if I remember).So when I heard that some of the cafes within the Balans group had received a bit of a nip and tuck, I was very keen to investigate. The two I’d had such fond memories of were the two in Soho (One restaurant and bar and another, more smaller cafe, both...
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