I recall many long London nights of my yoot ending in a fabulous foodie finale at good old Balans in Soho. Their American-style fluffy pancakes and sizzling steaks would beckon my weary self after eventful evenings in the capital.
Oh how I would gorge on fine meaty succulence and tantalising puddings whilst surrounded by the camp flirty shenanigans around me, swept up in an oblivious haze of gastronomic glory.
When I was recently invited to pay a little visit to the newly opened Balans in Westfield Shopping Centre (Westsiiiiide of course), I yelped with the kind of glee one only really reserves for exciting food-related ventures.
I arrived with a fellow appreciator of fine foods and an empty tum. We marvelled at the alfresco set up of this brand spanking new eatery and nestled ourselves at one of the outdoor tables before scanning the tempting menu before us.
We started with a couple of refreshing cocktails before a plate of chargrilled yellowfin tuna steak arrived before us. This was followed by a dish of golden-hued quesedillia - oozing with cheddar cheese and mango salsa - lavishly presented alongside generous slices of avocado.
|Go on...take a slurp|
The duck spring rolls with picked cucumber were perfectly crisp and slightly addictive, whilst the deep fried calamari evoked memories of balmy (and slightly barmy I suppose) Mediterranean holidays by the sea.
A multi coloured mass of sliced heritage tomatoes then arrived, pleasingly drenched in balsamic vinegar, bearing the hefty weight of a large mound of Burrata - adorned with fragrant basil leaves.
|We are ere to please your belleh|
|To nom or not to nom? That is the question.|
In hommage to my late night Soho feasts of years ago, we ordered the pancakes. They came drizzled in maple syrup and lovingly decorated with a merry multitude of berries, yet sadly minus the camp flirty shenanigans.
The Verdict: Summer-perfect alfresco venue with gorgeous food, friendly staff and ridiculously close proximity to oodles of your favourite shops. What more could a girl want?