Yet another New York restaurant has arrived London recently. This time it’s Balthazar, a stylish brasserie breathing golden orange tones. It’s almost an exact replica of the New York restaurant from mirrors to pillars and it’s equally busy during peak hours. I love the tilted mirrors on the walls which allows you to see more of the action and people than the ceiling.
The food is French and so are some of the staff. The big one page menu is slightly weighted towards seafood with a few French classics slotted in here and there.
It was a pure impulse that pushed me and J into the restaurant when walking by this Sunday evening. We were early and seated on a small table before the crowd caught up.
The bread was good and probably provided by the inhouse bakery next door. It’s the first impression in the mouth at restaurants providing bread but yet many fail to deliver proper ones. This was not love at first sight but definitely a sign of a promising evening ahead.
Snails is something I rarely order but this was a reminder of how good it can be. Full of flavour from the garlic butter, which was fine considering we shared this dish and had no more people to meet after. What was left of the garlic butter and parsley was wiped clean with bread.
Both of us ordered the same main, Roasted Fillet of Cod with crushed potatoes, olive tapenade and pistachios. It turned out to be a good choice. The fish was well cooked and portion was generous. The amount of pistachio on the plate made it one of the main characters in the dish. It contributed with texture and weight to the dish while the olive tapenade brought some freshness to the otherwise quite earthy tones. With this we had Lucas & Rieffel 2011 Riesling.
This side dish deserved more attention but the size of the main made it a bit redundant. I regretted ordering something this heavy without realizing that the main was well enough. There nothing much to say than it was alright although a bit on the salty side for me.
The food we had this evening was good. Service-wise we had a very charismatic waitress who probably had enough energy to take care of two sections. She was very nice and offered to let us try the white wines before deciding but was probably in deep water when it got busier later in the night since she printed out the wrong bill for us. I think this place is worth a visit and I will most likely come back this year. It’s not an eye-opener but instead offers comfortability and reliability. It’s the kind of place to go with good friends or family.
PS. Did I say the bathrooms are worth checking out?
For more photos from Balthazar, please visit my Flickr set.
4-6 Russell Street
Tel. +44 (0)20 3301 1155