This Old Compton Street venue is one of Soho's popular spots. Much of that is down to its flexibility - it's open for breakfast through lunch to cocktails and dinner in the evening that stretch into busy late nights and early mornings. The pavement seating and window tables prove a bit of a draw come summertime.
The all-day food menu ranges from breakfast burritos, full Englishes, kedgeree and chorizo con papas to pulled pork sandwiches, the Balans burger, rigatoni, risotto and crab linguine. The evening menu features Thai red curries, quesadillas, duck spring rolls and Maryland crab cakes alongside bellies of pork, rib-eye steaks and sea bass served with crushed new potatoes, spinach and a chive butter sauce. Many of the dishes are available late into the night, too.
Many visit just for drinks. A good selection of the global wine list is available by the glass, extending to the champagne, too. Cocktails, though, prove most popular, with frozen daiquiris and various martinis alongside an apple and elderflower collins, a passion fruit and pineapple swizzle and a monkey gland - a mix of Broker's Gin, absinthe, orange juice and grenadine.
Reveling in its reputation as the ‘enfant terrible’ of the Old Compton Street catwalk, Balans Soho Society, Soho is open early mornings to very late nights, 7 days a week.
Relaxed, spontaneous, sociable dining is very much the order of the day at Balans, whatever time of day. Whether it’s for a brief encounter at breakfast, a meandering weekend brunch, a light lunch or a candlelit dalliance over dinner, Balans Soho Society extends the most cordial of invitations to whet the appetite or wet the whistle, whatever your pleasure.
Using only the freshest, locally sourced, seasonal ingredients from such suppliers of excellence as The Ginger Pig and H. Forman & Son, everything – from small plates such as the delicate ‘Seared Scallops with Spiced Cauliflower’ to main courses like the perennial favourite ‘Red Curry with Jasmine Rice’– is prepared in-house. The wine list is skillfully chosen to carefully complement the eclectic, globally influenced menu.
The cocktails are created by skilled mixologists. After all, what sort of an event is it that doesn’t start in the company of at least one freshly prepared Porn Star or a Harlot from Jalisco?
Bohemian, gregarious, sophisticated and perhaps just a touch eccentric - a place to abandon your plans - Balans is the quintessential Soho experience.
|Venue name:||Balans Soho Society Soho||Contact:|
60-62 Old Compton St
|Opening hours:||Mon - Thurs: 7.30am - 5am | Fri & Sat: 7.30am to 6am | Sun: 7.30am - 2am|
|Transport:||Tube: Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus tube|
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Average User Rating
3.8 / 5
- 5 star:10
- 4 star:7
- 3 star:4
- 2 star:2
- 1 star:2
Always a fun night! Great food, great staff...it's a fab place to hang out, meet friends and, as they say, 'abandon your plans'...
Popped in with a few friends for brunch. We were quite early for central London so was quiet to begin with, got placed towards the back of the restaurant which has a bit more of a laid back, quieter vibe so was good for nattering. Menu had something for everyone. Love that you can order a savoury main but get sweet pancakes with fruit on the side! I thought all the sides were really well priced. Portion sizes more than reasonable and food very tasty. My steak was cooked spot on.
The real highlight though has to be the staff. We received beyond fantastic service with really fun, outgoing staff making our visit even better! We didn't want to leave but they had another table booked in so they moved us to a booth out front which was fine by us! It was nice that they didn't want to chuck us out and were happy to find a way that we could stay.
Last Saturday we went to Balans Soho Society. And it was an absolute delight. From the moment we walked in until we left. The staff is extremely friendly and the food absolutely delicious. It is certain the most quirky restaurant in the whole of London. You have to try the cocktails and mocktails, fabulous. An absolute must to visit if you life in London or just visit.
I was told by a friend that this was a pretty good breakfast/brunch spot. I had the eggs benedict with salmon while my friends had the linguine, pancakes, and scrambled eggs. Honestly nothing really struck me as amazing. Your typical breakfast/brunch food, that's about it. The best was probably the pancakes, although I'm biased. My eggs were also not poached to the standard I hoped, the egg yolk was not flowing it was almost as hard as a boiled egg. Not terrible, but nothing special about it either.
I popped into Balans for coffee a few months ago, but today was the first time I tried out the food - and it was totally worth the wait. The garlic chicken was delicious and the double-cooked chips couldn't have been more perfect. I wrapped up the meal with a wonderful carrot cake - so wonderful I reckon I'll come back again just for the bad boy alone. The prices are definitely on the higher end so you could easily spend more than expected - but for great food and charming staff, Balans can do no wrong. Just try to avoid the lunch time rush.
After midnight there is a £2.50 extra per person cover charge (even if you accompany a friend and don't actually eat) with the excuse of some mysterious Westminster regulation (TukTuk next door opens late at weekend and doesn't charge anything!), plus 12.5% service charge.
A ridiculously small £11 (!) English breakfast (1 sausage, 1 slice of bread) with the extra charges came to £18!
Food arrived after a good 20 mins wait.
Polish Manager rude and arrogant.
They are trying to go for the higher class feel but are arguing over £2.50... pathetic.
Avoid at all cost.
How tricky to refurb a Soho institution! But nicely done. A gorgeous little velvet pocket of a burlesque boudoir brasserie with a nice nod to the Renaissance. Whether 2 in the afternoon or 2 in the morning, Balans offers a stylish, sophisticated and well sourced sanctuary to Soho socialites, post-show performers, those wot lunch, the queers and the nearby dears. We dropped but for cocktail happy hour from 4pm and demolished an array of cocktails and a cheese and charcuterie board for the princely sum of £20! Balans is indeed a Soho Society and here to stay!
My favourite restaurant and cafe. Unlike some reviewers, I've never had a bad meal here and the varied menu contains something for everyone - I would heartily recommend both the Balans Burger and the pie of the Day. The staff are always friendly, even at 4am and the atmosphere is pleasant and very relaxed whenver you go.
If you are planning on being a regular diner then I would recommend the Balans Card which is one of the best loyalty schemes I've ever seen .
Very friendly and attentive staff, food was brought our relatively quickly and was to a good standard. Relatively cheap prices for London too. In a great location in soho, so would definitely recommend to anyone.
So pretentious we we're not even let in! Never been so insulted by such ignorant behaviour. Standing in line in the cold while the doormen let various "VIP's" queue jump just shows the type of place this really is.
I ate here last night - the service was great, food was amazing and the atmosphere was wicked! I had the Greek Platter (there was alot of it!) to start, followed by a really tasty Thai Red Chicken Curry. Would definitely recommend this place for a delicious, filling and reasonably priced meal.
The chef at the small Balans in Old Compton is truly amazing. He does the best Smoked Chicken/Avocado salad I have come across in London and the presentation is excellent. I have tried this dish in other Balans and the Old Compton street Cafe leaves the others trailing. Don't lose this chef!!