Balans in Earls Court is the sort of place where you can drop in for a coffee or a full-blown meal. The area is well known for its gay community, with the staff friendly, and mostly gay. That doesn’t mean that the clients are. In fact, on the evening I visited there was a mixed bunch. That is, as far as I know!
Balans is wi-fi, and there were quite a few people busy on their i-pads. What has happened to the art of conversation? The restaurant incorporates quite a large, inviting bar. Locals are encouraged to pop in for a drink as cocktails between 4 and 7pm are sold on a two for one basis.
A girlfriend, Emma and I visited on a Wednesday evening when they have live music between 8 and 11pm. We tried a couple of their popular starter dishes – chicken potstickers, fried crispy dumplings filled with a chicken mousse and accompanied with a chilli sauce, and seared scallops served on a slice of pork belly, with an orange soy glaze. The latter was beautifully presented but neither would have been my choice. They, however, are most probably good dishes to pick at with a drink.
For mains, I sampled their most popular dish a 10 oz burger topped with a slice of melted cheddar cheese, and crispy bacon in a sesame bun. It seems that now-a-days medium-rare is no-longer an option. We are obliged to eat our burgers medium or well done. The accompanying salad was more than just a garnish, not to mention the hand-cut fat chips! At £10.95, this is more than adequate as a meal.
Emma chose the seared tuna steak, which was beautifully presented and cooked rare, just as she requested. The tuna was set in a bed of halved cherry tomatoes that had been cooked with capers, pine nuts, and olives in a gremolata sauce. I had a taste, and it was delicious. My kind of food.
The menu includes salads and sandwiches, as well as an all day English breakfast.
Open from 8am to midnight Sunday to Thursday and to 1pm on Friday and Saturday.
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