Restaurant review: Balans at Westfield Stratford City, E20
14:43 30 May 2012
It’s not often you find a restaurant you can rely on for breakfast, lunch, and dinner but that is what Balans at Westfield Stratford City aspires to.
The restaurant, in a rather trendy spot next to Aspers Casino in The Street, is the latest addition to the Balans Group, joining esteemed company from Soho, Bluewater, Kensington, Earls Court and Westfield in White City.
Before I visited their new premises, I asked my trusty band of Twitter followers what they thought of the restaurant in Stratford and most of them praised the easy-breezy, any-meal-at-any-time aspect of their dining experience.
With a neutral colour scheme of browns, beiges and oranges, a busy eating area outside, and a bar which accompanies a quiet, more intimate atmosphere inside, Balans really does cater for every social eventuality.
The service was friendly and inviting and extremely knowledgable - quite a feat when the menu includes everything from cocktails, to seafood, to all day breakfasts, to ice cream.
Deciding to play it safe (I was tempted to have crab, followed by pancakes, followed by key lime pie), I went for scallops on a pork belly bed to start off with, followed by their seafood jambalaya, with a banoffee sundae and a mojito to end.
All the seafood was cooked to perfection and the portions were so generously portioned I had to leave the rest of my banoffee dessert and that is not something I do lightly.
But beware sensitive diners as the spiced dishes are not for the faint hearted and there is very little on the menu to warn tentative tastebuds.
Balans is a versatile, relaxed eaterie for all mealtimes but, with a menu classed as ‘contemporary global’, try to abstain from having a full English with a side dish of quesadilla.