I‘ve lived in london for six years and eaten some great stuff. But when it came time to start writing my first review, I didn’t know where to begin. And so, I do what I usually do when I’m in full contemplation – I have breakfast at Balans.
A good chunk of those six years were spent in Earls Court. Yes, the exhibition centre in Chelsea’s backyard, sporting an abundance of Australians and vehicular pollution. It straddles between zones one and two, being the confused castaway from the Kensington Boroughs and at the same time, the unofficial gateway to Fulham. I do digress.
I lived about two minutes away from Balans and it was the perfect excuse for me to escape my final year exam revisions (Twas a time I was young). At 8am (closer to 11 actually) in the morning, there are few places I want to go in order to grab a decent breakfast.
Decor. Dark wood, burgundy colours and cushioned seats. In the mornings, the music is usually turned down, the staff welcomingly warm and make you feel right at home. My only complaint – it can be abit noisy with the traffic – but it does kind of add to the atmosphere of city breakfasting… if you like noise that is. The place is cosy enough to be safely swimming in your own thoughts, conjouring delusions of granduer, and in my case, attempting a review.
Breakfast Pudding. Freshly squeezed orange and apple juice on offer, a fresh start indeed. A few minutes after ordering – and just barely finishing my scan through the front page of the Times – the waiter brings my order of double ham benedicts. I’m told to be aware of the hot plate. Nice and warm. Hollandaise sauce is tricky, it’s one of those recipes where a little too much can spoil everything. When it goes wrong, it’s taste like sour milk. Thankfully, the chef gets its just right. I can taste the silkiness of the butter melding nicely with the lightly toasted muffin. Coupled with some perfectly poached eggs and quality cooked ham – it produced an elegantly effective way to kick start the day. I finished with a large cappuccino, sunk into my seat and leisurely took in some words with every sip.
There is little doubt that the chef is a master at balanced flavours. They do daily specials and asian influenced dishes such a thai green curry tuna with cocunut infused rice are a common feature. I’ll save that for another time, however, here’s a sneak preview: dinner is great, the corned beef hash, doesn’t sound like much, however it does do what it says on the menu – ‘appetise’.
Credits: Image by adactio