The motto is ‘Too much of a good thing is a good thing’ and it’s appropriate for an establishment such as Balans Soho Society. The restaurant is a casual and quirky bistro-style dining spot of character. Perhaps that should be Character with a capital C for its individual charm is noteworthy. Yes, it’s a matter of taste, but Balans Soho Society on Kensington High Street has my vote, both gastronomically and aesthetically.
The bar is well stocked as one would expect and sports a brace of candlesticks of monumental proportions. Tables for breakfast and brunch (I can’t testify to other meals) were laid with crates of condiments. The napkins were of crisp white linen and the silverware heavy and embossed with the Balans Soho Society marks of keys and keyholes. Class in casual fashion writ large here.
A full English breakfast is always tempting: it’s on offer at Balans Soho Society and evidently popular. I noticed that the menu had a couple of less-than-traditional items that sounded intriguing, and, assuring myself that I could have the fry-up on the next visit, I ordered Eggs in Hell! The worst offence a restaurant can commit is to entice the prospective diner with the expectation of vibrant spice and then not deliver. This dish was pleasingly spicy with well-balanced heat from a tomato-based sauce. This bathed sautéed potatoes (Balans potatoes) which made a nest for two poached eggs and parmesan. A breakfast fit for any sluggish riser or lover of heat. Consider adding a slice of crusty bread for mopping.
The High Society Eggs Benedict was my guest’s brunch of choice. He is a man of refined tastes and appreciative of the better things in life. The regular eggs beni has been a favourite since the dish was first invented in the US in the 1890s. The regular poached eggs, bacon, English muffin and hollandaise sauce has a couple of additions here – creamy avocado and lobster. The preparation was pronounced delicious and worthy as a weekend treat for the discerning.
Brunch at Balans Soho Society Kensington High Street is great value for money. The brunch menu caters for those with hearty appetites, those with more modest cravings and even those unfortunates who are looking for a morning-after-the-night-before reviver, who will likely benefit from those heavenly hellish eggs.
Balans Soho Society
187 Kensington High Street
Phone: 020 7376 0115
Restaurant review by Chrissie Walker © 2018