Balans Soho Society information

Balans Soho Society is a relaxed restaurant serving a seasonal menu with signature dishes including steaks, seafood and burgers. They are open daily until the early hours making it ideal for pre or post theatre dining.

Ranked #234 of 5241 restaurants in London
"Balans Soho Society is a place to indulge. Enjoy breakfast, lunch, dinner and after-dark activities 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…people drawn together by a shared conviction that normal rules don’t apply to them. A place to go when you feel like doing things you probably shouldn’t."

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Opening Hours
Opening Hours

07:30 - 06:00


07:30 - 06:00


07:30 - 06:00


07:30 - 06:00


07:30 - 06:00


07:30 - 06:00


07:30 - 03:30

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What did you think of Balans Soho Society?

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Balans Soho Society reviews

By G.

Unsurprisingly for a bar on Old Compton Street, Balans has a big gay crowd. Still, there are plenty of straights too, and the atmosphere is relaxed and laidback. Balans do top food too - yummy Mexican and lots of sticky deserts. Yum.

By M M.

I went to Balans Soho for some drinks and it was great. The cocktails were delicious and the service was nice and polite! Also I really liked the atmosphere and the music they were playing. =)

By Daniel H.

Went to Balans with my partner the other day and it was not a good experience. First off we waited ages for the waiter to ask for our drink order, then when they came they was both warm(orange juice and pineapple juice). Starter and main was just about ok, didn't hang around for a desert as the waiter had got me p****d off as I heard him taking the Mick out of my partner because he had never has scallops before. All in all overpriced for average food and rude queeny staff!

By Kevin G.

Hideously overpriced for what is essentially pub food, badly executed. And I see they've recently had a refurbishment, with red drapes -reminiscent of Las Vegas circa 1972- now hanging from the ceiling. Tip go to Balans Cafe, further along Old Compton Street, where the food is better.

By Terry R.

I have tried this restaurant on about 5 separate occasions now and sadly I have to say every experience has not been good :-( From chunky chips not being cooked properly to poached eggs that tasted like they were boiled in vinegar (no exaggeration). This restaurant regardless (it seems) of the location is consistently bad. I suggest you avoid.

By Jason P.

Dropped in to escape the cold, the Xmas shopper traffic and the lure of their menu which said a Turkey dinner was on offer at £13.95. The front part of the restaurant looked more cosy than the back of house which was more like a club with intrusive music levels. Having ordered drinks (champage cocktail & a premium vodka & soda) as well as 2 Turkey dinners & a plate of samosas to share, we got our food pretty quickly considering the large number of people but it all went downhill from there.

The champagne cocktail used granulated sugar (always use cubes people!) and was overdosed with Cognac. The samosas were bland, unseasoned and the spice hit was there but not in every mouthful. The turkey dinners consisted of really cremated chipolatas, underdone roast potatoes (not parboiled & only coloured on the outside), overdone parsnips (mush) and underdone carrots (the size & shape of the carrot pieces varied between 1 & 4 inches long so how do they expect for them all to be cooked right through?), some bread sauce that had no moisture (it was just a lump) and turkey that had lots of sinew in it which made it difficult to cut & chew. Had "scabby horse" been on the menu, I would have taken it over this option it as I was hungry but still no excuse for bad cooking.

Two other gotchas: 1 - Service charge is 12.5% which is a little high. I was going to reduce it, given the experience, but figured it hits the wrong people. The service wasnt bad, it was the execution of the dishes that was poor.2 - The drinks bill came to £25 (the Champagne cocktail was £7, the premium vodka & soda came to £11 (yes, thats right, £11!) and we also had a frozen margarita (£7) and that was also badly done (1 massive ice lump beneath minimal crushed ice and a lot of liquid already in the glass when it came that only increased & overflowed as we sat & ate our meal. All in all, £65 wasted on what was a glorified bar/pub meal than a restaurant-quality offering & that seems like a

By Hilary J.

Hi I have worked in london for 33 years and been wined & dined as a client of many of our american cousins in most of the 'highly reviewed ' restaurants and must dispute the many derogatory comments made in some of these reviews - Balans is excellant value for money with very high standards of service in a friendly and relaxed manner.

it is open 24/7 therefore you are never rushed and always treated with the utmost respect not only that but the food is great with good sized portions - you won't leave hungry and have to grab a macdonalds on the way home - as I've done on a number of occassions after leaving some other 'highly esteemed ' venues

May the good work of Balans management and their colleagues continue

By P.

What the hell has everyone else tried?!? I've been in Balans during over the last weekend and I found it amazing! The service was great and so friendly, and the Balans food was so good. And i fell in love with the blonde waitress. I'll definitely come back there!! Hey, and if u're listen here: blonde girl, please contact me!!!!! Best, Paolo

By L.

Despite all the terrible reviews about Balans I read before going I would have to strongly disagree with them. The food was great, the service was friendly and the music and cocktails were fantastic. Rock on Balans.

By S.

Balans in Soho is terrible! I went there for lunch today and waited 45 minutes for my food. We then asked where our food was, and the Balan's waitress said 5 minutes. At this point the chef obviously panicked. Our food came out.

My colleague and I bit into our pies, and found the meat around the outside to be cold. I tried to open the pie to find that the whole thing frozen. A solid frozen pie! The staff were useless and offered a salad as a subsitute. Balans is a real disapointment.

By A.

Balans is terrible, overpriced with lousy food. I've eaten there three times and the only thing they can make is omlette. Last time I was there I had fish and chips, and the chips were so thick they were way too crispy on the outside and undercooked on the inside. The fish was overcooked inside, batter undercooked on the outside. These aren't difficult things.

Also, staff tend to be very rude - particularly the managers, not so the waiting staff. Stay well clear of Balans.

By F.

Go somewhere else other than Balans if you are hungry. Not only was my £10.00 main course Thai chicken curry the size of a starter, but it contained only four very small pieces of chicken. I had to pick up a sandwich on the way back from Balans to the office.

By S.

Save your money. Go elsewhere until the owners sort this place out. The management at Balans are utterly rude and unprofessional.

An additional unexpected guest in our party was humiliated and refused entry even though the restaurant was half empty and the waiting staff could see no issue. When politely asking the reason, the manager became aggressive and threatened to bar us from the place!

We left our meals unfinished and left Balans without paying the service charge which he said he didn't care about because service was optional anyway. How about non-existent?

We experienced ridiculously patronising and unacceptable behaviour. The food is so-so, people go for the buzzy atmosphere, late opening hours and nice waiting staff. Give it a miss - there are so many better places these days.

By R.

Balans is one of those places you immediately love the minute you walk in the door. The atmosphere is simply electric and is seeping out of the walls. It has a real buzz.

The tables are crammed in but you still feel that you can have a quiet intimate meal if that is the way you want it.

The waiters are very friendly and excellent at catering for your every need. Pleasant and helpful they add to the whole Balans experience.

The food is wonderful. I have been scores of times now and there is very little left on the menu for me to try and I will have no problem starting from the very beginning again and working my way through once more!

A particular favourite has to be the Halloumi cakes, or is it the Polenta and goats cheese, or is it the quesadilla, or the crispy duck salad, or Thai get the picture! ONE DEFINITE MUST is the Baileys Cheesecake...the most amazing taste and a very sexy end to a wonderful meal.

The cocktails are a little pricey but WELL worth it....if you feel daring try the Weeping Jesus.

A great place for many occasions...intimacy, or simply a chatty and fun meal with a group of friends. Balans should be on your top 5 places to eat when you visit london.

By M.

Went to Balans for the second time at the begining of December, good vibe even for a Monday lunchtime, lots of clients; lone diners, lunch couples and groups alike, all seem to flock to this smart venue.

Food is wonderful, atmosphere is friendly, and it has a definate buzz in its intimate table settings.

Great staff and attentive service, by lovely boys in Soho. Great to take your straight mates to as well. Strawberry Daiquiri @ 5.95 a hit, bit steep but very drinkable and worth it if it's your thing!

By John G.

Balans serves up a wide choice of simple food and delicious cocktails on Soho’s busiest thoroughfare, attracting a bustling crowd of straight and gay young hipsters.

The Venue
Located slap bang in the middle of Old Compton Street in Soho, Balans is close to Piccadilly Circus and Tottenham Court Road tubes, and is a great spot to watch all the oddities and goings on the street outside. With a large red signage and glass windows at the front you won’t miss it, and once inside there is seating both downstairs and up. The tables are packed closely together to accommodate the considerable crowd, and it spills out onto the pavement tables outside during the summer.

The Atmosphere
Like the New York diners it emulates, Balans is bustling and noisy throughout the day, whether you come for breakfast or a late night snack. It has a mixed gay and straight crowd with all the diversity one would expect from its location. There are lots of young hipsters here stopping off to refuel before a night of revelry, but you’re just as likely to spot lone diners, theatre-goers and couples on a date. Unfortunately, the staff seem to let the pressure of the crowd get to them - they are usually sharp and forgetful and you may need to remind them of your order during the busy weekend rush.

The Food
There’s a wide range of food to choose from here, with salads, burgers, fish, steaks and Oriental treats, as well as an extensive breakfast menu. Prices are pretty reasonable, with main courses averaging around £10, although the portions could be more generous. Food is available from early in the morning until late at night and the choice is vast.

The Drink
Balans boasts a long wine and Champagne list, and the range of quality cocktails is pretty affordable, particularly if you stop by during one of their happy hours on a weekday afternoon. During busy periods, it can take a long time for drinks to arrive at your table so the best tip is to keep asking until they arrive!

The Last Word
Balans is affordable, offers a great choice of food and drink, and is the perfect spot to people watch. However, service is slow and perfunctory and you’ll wait for a table during the busiest times. If your priority is a stopgap to refuel during a night out, it’s certainly well located but not worth making a special trip for.

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