Balans is an institution that started back in 1987, with The Old Compton Café No. 34, and has since then grown in terms of a number of restaurants and also what is on offer.
The venue we visited was Balans No. 60, aka the big one, with food and drinks served until 5 am every night! We went during the Christmas break and had a fabulous time. Great atmosphere and vibes, good music and ambiance, and very good food and drinks too. Now, in 2002, the porn star martini was invented and I was looking forward to trying it (the non-alcoholic version, which they have too!), but they ran out of it, so I tried the virgin mojito, which was also great! They have a great selection of classic cocktails, wines, beers, and also soft drinks, and mocktails. We started off by having the curried scallops and the beef ragu mac and cheese – both very delicious and perfectly cooked. We added some chili to the mac and cheese and that was a great addition too if you enjoy spicier food. We then had the Balans burger (without the bacon, but with a fried egg instead) and the squid ink linguine. The burger was good, well cooked, and came with fries. The squid ink linguine was nice too and had a tomato sauce as the base. Again, I would suggest adding some chili flakes, which they were very happy to bring to us. To finish, the highlight of the evening was definitely the dessert – chocolate profiteroles, which were these beautifully made chocolate choux buns, filled with cream and with the addition of honey and dark chocolate ganache, raspberry gel, and hazelnut crumble – a heavenly dessert! We had some teas and coffees and ended up staying for a couple more drinks, as we were really enjoying having a night out and the vibes and music – it was a wonderful evening and I’d love to go back and also try the different branches! Check their website for more information, menus, and locations, and give them a visit!