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100 Balham High Road
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
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Best restaurants in Balham
100 Balham High Road
020 8772 1232
Balham Station 352m
Balham Tube Station 352m
Wandsworth Common 887m
Clapham Common 1km
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 4
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.
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.
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.
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