Sunday, 20 November 2011

The Balcon Pall Mall

The Balcon, What's The Deal?: For some reason, the fact that I have lived in London all my life, makes me think I need never look at a map or work out my route when trying to navigate anywhere. And so I set off to meet my dining partner @hungryBecs at newly-opened The Balcon, believing as I always do that my sixth sense would subliminally guide me to the correct location.

I set off to Green Park tube station and then spent the best part of an hour circling along Piccadilly Circus, taking a couple of jaunts up and down St James Street, a long lengthy walk up and down once side of Pall Mall before finally making it to the restaurant (the other way down Pall Mall) about 30 minutes late.

I burst in through a classic old revolving wooden door and came face to face with London’s only indoor balcony from which the restaurant takes its name. This is now home to a rather fabulous selection of champagnes, which one can peruse and choose by popping up one of the circular stairwells flanking each side of the balcony.

The Balcon, The Food:
My guest and I were left to leisurely take in the smart surroundings and scoff our way through a large selection of bread accompanied by a moreish smoked butter – which needless to say all disappeared!

The restaurant has a large charcuterie selection and separate charcuterie bar where you can drop in and pull up a stool for some serious meat eating. Alas, being pregnant cured meats were off the menu for me so we settled on some of the restaurants signature pieces:

1. Herefordshire snails, garlic jus, parsnip purée, Mas air dried ham
& country croutons.
The escargot was very tasty. Each little snail had already been plucked from It’s shell and was served with a rich garlic jus and creamy parsnip was a lovely accompaniment.

2. Brioche ‘toad in the hole’ with Lyonnaise pistachio sausage and garlic confit chicken jus - the sausage was served inside a chunky piece of disappointingly dry brioche – something I would not order on a repeat visit.

For mains we did the coupley thing and went for two different fish dishes and shared half-half.

1.Cornish brill, butternut squash purée, brown shrimps and lilliput capers. A great dish. Another well executed purée, and the salty capers went well with the crispy cooked piece of brill.

2.Pan-fried black bream with braised fennel,seaweed and beurre blanc Another fine fish dish. Tasty and faultless.

We also ordered a side dish of delicious colourful roasted beets with thyme.

For dessert I managed to polish off in entirety – a very rich and hugely portioned chocolate fondant – I blame the baby not greed.

The Balcon, The Final Word:
A perfectly posh experience. Just remember to bring you’re A-Z if your navigation skills are as poor as mine.

The Balcon, 8 Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5NG, 020 7968 2900,

The Balcon London on Urbanspoon

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