Balans

60-62 Old Compton Street, Soho, London

Balans
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2/10 from 1 user review

Hedonistic eating and drinking in Soho - all night long

Balans, exterior picture

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Address:60-62 Old Compton Street
Soho
London
W1D 4UG
Map:Map & nearby
Cuisine:European
Region:Soho
Nearest Station:Piccadilly Circus
Telephone:
Opening Hours:

Mon:08:00 - 05:00
Tue:08:00 - 05:00
Wed:08:00 - 05:00
Thu:08:00 - 05:00
Fri:08:00 - 06:00
Sat:08:00 - 06:00
Sun:08:00 - 02:00
About: The Balans are a cheerful and funky chain of restaurants, usually full of a young crowd taking advantage of the energetic atmosphere and the late opening hours. The menus offer a mixture of modern European cuisine.

Related Businesses

Nearby alternatives

  1. Ducksoup (0.0 miles)
    Dean Street, Soho, W1D 4PY
  2. 100 Wardour Street (0.0 miles)
    Wardour Street, Soho, W1F 0TN
  3. Balans Cafe (0.0 miles)
    Old Compton Street, Soho, W1D 4TS

Top Tips...

Had a nice meal at Balans Soho with friends. That’s twice in a week!

Dionne Bromfield

Balans features in these AIL lists...

The best places to find a late night bite
There are two branches of Balans on Old Compton Street; the café, which is open 24 hours a day, and the larger restaurant, open till 5 am during the week and till 6 am on Fridays and Saturdays. The food is above average booze-soaking fare, with things like seared scallops, tuna steaks and all day breakfasts.

Bars & Clubs with a 24 hour licence
The Soho branch of Balans is the most popular end-of-the-night pitstop for West End partygoers. It serves cocktails and booze-soaking breakfasts, steak and eggs, and kedgeree among many others.


Balans features and articles

Turning 25 has never felt so good
Balans celebrates its birthday
Added on October 26, 2012

Balans' Red Ribbon cocktail has it all tied up for World AIDS Day
Funds go to the Elton John AIDS Foundation
Added on October 18, 2012



"Hedonistic eating and drinking in Soho - all night long"

Review Rating: 7 / 10
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Reviewed by

Balans Soho Society has a spiel that we can get on board with because when a bar is telling us that ‘too much of good thing is just a good thing’, we feel much better about ourselves. It may well be part of a chain but we like its marketing, at Balans there’s none of this clean eating, mindful living business, it goes heavy on the hedonism and gets the Soho spirit right.

Moody and hip, the Old Compton Street restaurant and bar is the type of place that feels like it encourages you to over indulge, to drink more than you should, to eat more than you should and not give it a second thought. In response to that, we decide to go along with the vibe of indulgence, digging into a late night Soho Full English with a Slap on the Rum cocktail on the side. Now, a fry-up is a fry-up (generally) but when you’re consuming said fry-up in the heart of Soho with a potent rum cocktail on the side at midnight on a Friday night, it feels a little special. Oh, did we mention that Balans famously goes all day and all night? No? It does. Breakfast to brunch, brunch to lunch, lunch to dinner and right through till the next day, weekend opening hours are 7.30am to 6am, which makes this pretty great in our view.

Other meals on the menu include the Balans burger, steak, roast cod and fish & chips at prices that would buy you three or four plates of Full English at your local greasy spoon. Still, they have to pay for those night shifts somehow.

With a good selection of beer and wine, along with a cocktail list of classics and Balans specials, this is bordering on becoming a Soho institution. We’re suckers for all night openers and we’d happily watch the sun rise from the Old Compton Street restaurant.


T.A.O reviewed Balans on Fri 24 Jun 2016
Review disclosure: reviewed anonymously

"Balans is a great addition to Soho's lively scene"

Review Rating: 7 / 10
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Reviewed by Directionless

An all-day all-night feast, Balans Soho is part of a small and select chain, nestling in the most cosmopolitan areas of London, including Earls Court, Kensington and Westfields. Balans also moonlight over in the US with a number of locations cruising the nightlife of Maiami. The key thing to remember about Balans Soho is it is open all hours, quite literally all hours.

On those all-important Friday and Saturday nights, it’s possible to settle down to a table of food any time between 7.30am and 6am the following morning. A bit of a hidden secret for those wandering Soho after the final Sambuca shot wondering what to do next. During the week, the hours are marginally more sober, spanning 7.30am until 5am, and Sundays sees a very modest 7.30am until 2 on Monday morning. Licensing laws do prohibit alcohol after 3 in the morning, but the serving of food remains strong through out the night, perfect for those looking to rebuild after a raucous night on the town.

Balans gears itself for a mix of pre-theatre, post theatre, breakfast and afternoon customers, as well as the night owls. Due to this, it sits as a diverse hybrid of restaurant, bar and café. Possibly better for those after a casual meal rather than a cosy dinner, the quality of food and drink is none the less satisfying and the choice is wider than a lot of the surrounding contempories.

Starters range from crab cakes with mango papaya, salsa and chipotle remoulade to shredded duck spring rolls with cucumber ribbons to beetroot cured salmon with dill mustard.

Mains jump between Thai curries, ducks, steaks, burgers and pork bellies. There is also a fairly extensive seafood menu, including shrimp linguine, salmon fishcakes, battered haddock and a seafood jambalaya of mussels, squid, shrimp and clams. The sea bass is particularly good, coming with crushed new potatoes and a chive butter sauce.

The portions are generous, although slightly heavy on carbs and sauce, perhaps reflecting the cravings of the later crowds. As reasonable priced foods go, it is a cheerful selection that though not mouth wateringly gourmet does the job and certainly doesn’t leave you wondering what it was you paid for.

Deserts include brownies, New York cheesecake and a spectacular and highly recommended raspberry ripple sundae with meringue, raspberry and vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and chopped nuts. And there is no skimping on portion size.

Balans is slightly renowned for the cocktail selection, and it would certainly fill the gap for a pre-drink post drink stop off, especially if you fancied combining with food. The wine list isn’t bad either.

Perfect for getting in the mood to go out, having a raucous sit down with a group of friends, or as an alternative to the darker, louder cocktail bars, Balans is a great addition to Soho.


Directionless reviewed Balans on Mon 08 Oct 2012

"Food at Dawn in Soho"

Review Rating: 7 / 10
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Reviewed by

If you’re a regular to West End nightlife, you’re bound to have been to one of the two Soho branches of Balans. One of the few places in London to offer you a full meal at 5am, it’s wholesome burgers, eggs Benedict, breakfasts and Bloody Marys are often the just the thing after a night on the dancefloor.

The cocktail menu contains all the popular choices, Margaritas, Daiquiris, Mojitos… and are usually of a good standard, however it does seem to vary according to who’s behind the bar on the night. “Huh, was it too strong for you?” a hunky waiter smirked on an occasion when I simply couldn’t finish my Berry Vanilla and we’d ordered the bill. “Erm, no, it just wasn’t very nice” I uttered without realising he was taking offence. On paper the ‘vanilla flavored vodka, crème de mure, lemon juice pressed apple juice, over crushed ice & berries’ looked extremely appetising, in reality it just tasted like bad vodka.

The food menu has delicious fish cakes and calamari, wholesome tuna steaks, asparagus risotto, and veal dishes, all cooked to a high standard, a little like American diner food but with a European edge, with the mains averaging £12.

Despite its popularity in the area, Balans has managed to retain a certain amount of anonymity as a place to spend time undisturbed, after all Amy Winehouse is a regular. Those who do want to be seen can sit outside and spy on the pretty couples of Old Compton street. There are also branches in High Street Kensington, Chelsea, and Chiswick; however only at the Soho branch will you experience the fabulous decadence of the area.



Leila reviewed Balans on Tue 05 Aug 2008


The Latest User Reviews of Balans


User Rating: 2 / 10
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S H
Newbie
Member since: Sep 2006
Posts: 0
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Save your money. Go elsewhere until the owners sort this place out. Management utterly rude and unprofessional. Manager needs to be fired and replaced.

An additional unexpected guest in our party was humiliated and refused entry even though the restaurant was half empty and the waiting staff could see no issue. When politely asking the reason, the manager became aggressive and threatened to bar us from the place! We left our meals unfinished and left without paying service charge which he said he didn't care about because service was "optional anyway". How about non-existent. Ridiculously patronising and unacceptable behaviour. Food is so-so - people go for the buzzy atmospher

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