Sunday, 31 March 2013

Restaurant Review: Balthazar London

In case you didn't know, it's snowing. At Easter. While trying not to let this ruin any plans this weekend I took myself off to Covent Garden to take some photos. Now, it feels like everyone has left the island. There doesn't seem to be any Londoners in London. Everywhere is deserted. Covent Garden however was packed.

On the off chance I popped my head into the refuge of Balthazar just in case they could squeeze little old me in without a reservation. I wasn't hopeful - it was packed. On this occasion I was seriously lucky. They could squeeze me in! Hurrah. 

I pulled up a seat at the bar and grabbed the menu. First things first...cocktails or champagne. One of life's toughest decisions. I opted for the very reasonably priced house champagne (£11).

Balthazar Cocktail Menu

Now, having looked on the menu online previously I knew there was mac and cheese, and I had a suspect feeling this was what was going to end up on my B adorned placemat. The burger however looked and sounded amazing. If it wasn't completely piggy I would have had a burger with a side of mac and cheese. Alas, I gave some consideration to my waistline. 
Balthazar Menu

This bread was ridiculous

While perusing the menu a basket of bread arrived. Next door to the main restaurant is the bakery selling fresh breads. If the baguette in front of me was anything to go by, this will be delicious. The bread was to die for. The butter was soft enough to spread but not too melty. I made myself stop eating it before the mac and cheese arrived, thinking I would dip it.

On arrival the size was perfect. not too small I was going to be unsatisfied, not too big I was going to hate myself if I finished it (which inevitably...I would). Now I am going to out on  a limb here and say this was the best mac and cheese I have ever eaten. 
Gruyere and Bacon mac and cheese 
So delicious
The gruyere cheese was perfect and the bacon was massive and so tasty. It was pretty much an eyes rolling back in your head type of experience. It didn't even need the bread. The pasta to sauce ratio was so perfect. At only £11 this was a steal.

As I hadn't completely stuffed myself with bread - and had a reasonably sized meal i was definitely looking at the dessert menu. My natural reaction was to go to baked cheesecake. The only thing throwing my was the cinnamon and apple donut that comes with. I'm not a big fan of cinnamon. I asked for the waiter's recommendation. 
Dessert Menu at Balthazar

One of the most popular desserts? The almond rocher. Apparently like a massive Ferrero Rocher, I was sold on this recommendation. I saw the cheesecake go by, it looked OK... but I held out keeping the faith. My Rocher arrived, it looked perfect, exactly how I wanted it to look, but how was the taste? Amazing. I was so glad I went for the recommendation. First the coffee hits you, then the chocolate then the nuttiness. Every bite was delicious. 
Almond and hazelnut Rocher

To accompany my Rocher I opted for a Bordeaux Blanc (one of their best sellers) the generous serving was an excellent wine. Again, really reasonably priced at only £6.50. Altogether Balthazar completely lived up to my high expectations.

Will definitely be back, and can recommend walking in to try and sit at the bar. It was packed when I arrived around 3pm, but arrive at 4:30ish for the best chance of grabbing a seat at the bar after lunch and before the pre-theatre crowd arrive.

Atmosphere: 4/5, it was buzzing 
Food: 5/5 can't fault it. 
Drink: 5/5, an excellent selection and incredible value considering where you are
Overall: 5/5 highly recommend.
Pin It Now!

No comments:

Post a Comment