Originating from the heart of Soho (the colony for the unconventional and the kingdom of the one handed clock), Balans Soho Society is on a mission to revamp its five eateries with Westfield Shepherd’s Bush being the starting point.
The Spirit of Soho
Not for the fainthearted, Balans Soho Society is a place to indulge. Enjoy food and drink in the company of fellow bon vivants. It’s a café, a restaurant, a bar, a member’s establishment and definitely a place where rules are made to be broken. And it’s all done in the spirit of Soho – the iconic corner of London that has always acted as a refuge for outsiders: minorities, eccentrics, bohemians, dreamers and people drawn together by a shared conviction that normal rules don’t apply to them.
With food served up by Executive Chef, Crispin Chetwynd who once toured the globe with the likes of Paul McCartney, Michael Jackson and Pink Floyd – rustling up daily menus themed on local produce for crew and artists – in addition to delicious dinners the restaurant serves great breakfast dishes like High Society Eggs Benedict – an exquisite platter of poached eggs, lobster, avocado, bacon, English muffin and hollandaise – and brunch dishes like Eggs in Hell – 2 eggs poached in a tomato chilli sauce with parmesan – or Rigatoni Italian sausage and tenderstem broccoli.
With a decadent cocktail list showcasing favourites such as the martini style Porn Star (Absolut Blue, vanilla syrup, passion fruit puree and a champagne shot) and Burn After Reading (Buffalo Trace, apricot brandy, Peychaud’s Bitter and lemon juice) – Balans Soho Society celebrates every day with various happy hour promotions to quench thirsty mouths.
Nothing communicates what Balans Soho Society stands for quite like the design of its façades and interiors, curated by Simon Costin (who first made his name creating fashion shows for Alexander McQueen). With clever salutes and nods to all things that make Soho oh so special, classic, vintage elements are tempered by a show of its more anarchic side. Colourful artwork, full of irreverence (and a splash of postmodern irony) is set against a dark, mysterious dark colour scheme.
Every detail is specifically designed to start conversations. Take, for example, the genius illustrations (detailed on the cutlery and plates) of the eye symbolising awareness and tolerance whilst the key logo represents freedom where a world of pleasure opens up.
And the attention to detail doesn’t stop there. The retro pharmaceutical bottles on the bespoke victoria dining tables serve as salt and pepper shakers and the match boxes cleverly give some serving suggestions ‘For whatever sparks you up’ – all capturing the heart, soul and spirit of Soho.
Also being introduced is the new member loyalty card and membership with quirky benefits such as the conception day offer celebrating your conception rather than your birthday, access to exclusive events as well as unexpected gifts thrown in for good measure.
The SLOAN! Review
Balans Soho Society Shepherd’s Bush is situated in the Westfield shopping centre just a short hop from the tube station. We found it warm and welcoming and were greeted by the super friendly staff who took us straight to our table. It was interesting to note that they have an outside area with heaters for those brave enough to relax outside, though in the summer this would be the perfect place to meet with clients or friends and enjoy the sun.
Once inside and settled it was nice to take in the surrounding and ambiance, it was clear that this is a great place to share an after work drink or bring someone on a date.
To start we had some Sourdough Bread which was beautifully soft and came with soft butter, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The portion was very generous and moreish, we washed it down with a Dark and Stormy cocktail and Balans fresh take on the Mojito, with Ron Cortez, pama, raspberry syrup, fresh raspberries, mint, lime.
Once the starters arrived it was clear we had made good choices. I had the Wild Hare Pâté and my dining companion had the Calamari. The Calamari was a good portion and the aioli suited the fresh taste very well. The Wild Hare Pâté was the perfect blend of smooth and course ingredients and a really good portion size. The quince jelly suited the dish perfectly and the game taste was just perfect, a dish I will definitely be having again!!
For our main course we had the Cornish Crab Linguine and Rack of Lamb. We were not disappointed by the main course. The Cornish Crab Linguine was a perfect concoction of pasta, crab and abit of (chilli) fire that left the mouth wanting more. I ordered my lamb medium rare and was not disappointed. The dauphinoise potatoes where cooked to perfection and were really complemented by the redcurrant jus. The lamb cutlets were beautifully presented and were soft and tasty, a definite must for meat lovers.
After such a beautiful meal there was not much space left for dessert but with food this good there is always room! I had the Sticky Toffee Pudding and my dining companion had the White Chocolate Cheesecake. The desserts defeated us but were nice and in keeping with good portions.
The food at Balans Soho Society didn’t disappoint and the friendly and attentive service from the waiters was second to none and if you are looking for good food with a good atmosphere then you wont be disappointed.
Balans Soho Society
Westfield Shopping Centre
Tel: 020 8600 3320