Gazette Balham 1

100 Balham High Road , London, SW12 9AA

10 reviews

40 French Balham

  • Gazette Balham
  • Gazette Balham

SquareMeal Review of Gazette Balham

Comfortable in its bigger, brighter premises, the Balham branch of this very French outfit seems to have lost a little quirkiness. Nevertheless, it’s a reliable place for French staples, from breakfast croissants to after-dinner espressos. Gazette’s frontage opens on to Balham High Road in summer, making it a pleasant place to sit and watch the world go by, continental style. The menu pays homage to Gallic bistro greats – start with snails, foie gras or soupe à l’oignon, move on to moules marinière, salades composées and poulet rôti, with pot au chocolat or cheese to finish. Cooking isn’t perfect but it’s pretty good, and the battered Le Creuset dishes that serve as crockery add to the jollity. The only downside is the service: often slow, workaday and lacking in French panache.

Gazette Balham is recommended for

Fun | Breakfast | Outside Seating

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Nearby Tube/Rail Stations

Balham Station 352m

Balham Tube Station 352m

Address

Address: 100 Balham High Road , London SW12 9AA

Area: Balham

Opening times

Mon-Sun 8am-11pm

Nearby Landmarks

Wandsworth Common 887m

Clapham Common 1km

Details

Telephone: 020 8772 1232

Website:

Cuisine: French

Private Dining: 20

7.5

Food & Drink: 7.8

Service: 6.9

Atmosphere: 6.9

Value: 7.2

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 4.0

Timothy P. silver reviewer 16 August 2013

We dropped in on last Thursday evening (having passed on Harrison's round the corner as the music was overwhelming), having not eaten at this new location before. Overall – most impressed. Very French ambience and waiter-staff, who were a bit slow to get started but then produced wine, water and food efficiently. Nice touch is that a section of the wine list comes also in pichets and 50cl carafes at good prices; Sparkling water is gassed-up fresh water, at half the price of a normal bottle (of Badoit which I find too salty anyway). We ordered 2 different steaks, skirt and ribeye; I thought the latter won the cooking and taste test. They have weekly food and drink specials (but not on a Thursday!). They're trying hard, with the increasing number of eateries on the street, and deserve to succeed.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

squaremale silver reviewer 10 January 2013

This is a great local restaurant, often lively, and always a nice room to be in even when it's quieter. The food is good French-bistro comfort food. Service can be erratic, depending on who's looking after you, although always friendly and helpful, and everything happens in the end – but if you're trying to be quick then you might need to take control. This is one of three or four restaurants that mean you don't need to leave Balham to enjoy eating out.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

Paul F. 23 October 2012

This restaurant had some consistently scathing reviews when it first opened having moved from considerably smaller premises in Ramsden Road. My wife had been in its early days but had said that she would not go back again, such had been her experiences with the food which she described as awful. Nevertheless, a year or so on, we decided we ought to give it a further go although I went certain that it would be my first and last time. I was very wrong. On the basis of our visit tonight, this is now the restaurant it should have been from the start. The food is very good, particularly the steak tartar which I thought was very special, the wine list extensive but at prices to suit all budgets, and the service, which had be singled out for some particular criticism in the past, cannot now be criticised. The predominately, or maybe even totally, French staff are efficient, knowledgeable and very pleasant. Whilst the restaurant has lost some of its quirkiness with its move, there are still the random pots and pans in which side orders are served, something that I like. If the mood takes you, try one (or more I suppose) of the range of eaux de vie that are on display by the entrance. Having resisted going here for a long time I will certainly be going back again.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 5.0

Joanna B. 21 November 2011

I visited Gazette on Sunday 20 November for a light meal. I ended up having the 3 terrine from the starter menu and I have to say that they have to be some of the best terrines I have ever had. The 3 terrine consisted of a cheese, a fois gras and a champignon. The fois gras was delicious and just right, not too rich. The champignon was slightly course but had an amazing taste. It was the first time I had had a cheese terrine, it certainly won't be my last, it was delicious. The bread that they serve is freshly baked and equally as delicious as the terrines. All the waiting staff appeared to be French, they were all very knowledgeable and couldn't do enough for you. My only criticism is the other customers, there were a number of families dining when I visited and alot of the children were running wild in the restaurant. Not the restaurants or the staffs fault at all but a little annoying. I would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone, the menu selection is fantastic and the food lived up to the menu completely.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

Louise F. 08 August 2011

Having been a customer of Gazette when it was a tiny and tucked away kind of place, I was interested in how the experience would “translate” to bigger premises. The good news is that it has quite successfully (although I do miss the Le Creuset). I've visited twice recently both early week so the atmosphere's been a little on the quiet side, but it does mean you get good service and a choice of tables (the raised area banquettes seem to be the nicest although a big group would certainly enjoy sitting round one of the refurbished antique stoves). The menu is varied with a number of “plats du jour”, but my advice is stick to the steak with frites and – if you have the urge to splurge – the Chateaubriand really can't be beaten. My favourite Plateau Gazette has travelled with the move to new premises and is still a great sharing starter with the best French charcuterie, terrines and enough cornichons to keep everyone happy. A new addition, thanks to the increased size, is Le Chariot a Fromages which is an entirely evil selection of delicious French cheeses including some that it's probably not polite to eat on a date! All in all, the move has been a success and I'm looking forward to going back to Gazette again and again.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

Charlie B. 15 July 2011

Used to eat at the ‘old’ Gazette, but grew a bit tired of it, and it seemed to lose it's way. Was surprised, and wary, when I saw that they were moving to this new premises, especially given that it must be 4 or 5 times the size. But they've made the transition brilliantly, and all aspects of the restaurant (food, service, ambience) have been improved significantly. Have eaten here 2 or 3 times per month (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) since it opened – all of the meals have been pretty faultless really. I've seen a couple of whinges about the service – maybe they can have an air of gallic indifference occasionally, but we've never found cause for complaint. It continues to be a firm favourite.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 4.0

Andrew V. 10 July 2011

Visited for a romantic dinner on a weekday evening, with 50% of main course voucher in hand. Had a tremendous experience, interesting menu with some adventurous traditional French dishes, presented very well and extremely well cooked. A very pleasant evening, which I would happily recommend and repeat.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

Rhiannon L. 21 June 2011

Having made a decision not to revisit the ‘old’ Gazette (round the corner) because of increasingly poor service, I decided to give the new venue a new opportunity to impress and it didn't let me down. Service was good – and we got a great wine recommendation from a friendly waitress. Food also good, although a little on the fatty side. Not sure a French restaurant is the place to go for a healthy option but a couple of healthier choices would be welcomed. Overall though, a pleasant Saturday night and am pleased that I no longer have to avoid Gazette, I'll be going back!

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

IS 31 May 2011

One of the hardest things about moving south of the river has been finding a new brunch place that suits both my carnivourous hearty eating Northern boyfriend and my Californian palate. I can only stomach so many greasy spoons and he has yet to cooperate with my requests for made to order breakfast in bed, so it's lucky we've found Gazette in Balham. While we were initially wary of its slightly generic exterior, the food has proved to be exciting. He loves the basket full of fresh pastry, I love the eggs, mushrooms and parmesan served hot in a skillet, and we are both more amenable after sipping the very good coffee. The service is very French, but that's more understandable at a French place (what's the excuse in the rest of London), and if the waiters can get distracted at times, we keep busy creating chalk masterpieces on the slate tables.

Food & Drink: 1.0

Service: 0.0

Atmosphere: 0.0

Value: 0.0

lee j. 14 April 2011

As locals we thought we would try the newly moved restaurant call Gazette in Balham, we have not has such awful food and service for such a long time and to say we were disappointed is a understatement. First course was Guinea fowl, this was served raw and when we complained the waitress asked if we wanted it cooked more!! We felt like say no we would love food poisoning thanks!! Service was slow and the waitress was rude and unhelpful, we waited 45 minutes for the main course and we told from a distance ‘its coming’. The main course was tasteless and the tomato tart was burnt. We then proceeded to make a complaint to the manager who stated once we had stopped talking ‘is that it’, in a rude fashion!! Possibly the most sarcastic and rudest manager we have ever come across, this restaurant has little or no structure with a carefree attitude from the waiting staff and manager, the layout is cold and the table are positioned so you hit your head on the light fittings. The waitress did this on the table next to us twice and simply walked away leaving the dinners to steady it! Our advice is to dine here if you like rude and bad service and wish to have way below average food.

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