Soho, Fitztrovia, Covent Garden

Balthazar London


French | Soho, Fitzrovia, Covent Garden

Keith McNally, an English ex-pat, is big on the New York restaurant scene where Balthazar is a go-to place for both tourists and locals in the Village. He returned to the UK to open this, serving brasserie style food in a spectacular room.

Restaurant details

4-6 Russell Street, London WC2B 5HZ
Nearest station: Covent Garden
Telephone number: 020 3301 1155
More info: 
Bar area


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4-6 Russell Street, London WC2B 5HZ


Critic reviews - total score 7 out of 10

Critics' score: 5
Matthew Norman Telegraph
Reviewed on May 21, 2013
"With a restaurant such as this one, which exists to offer elegance, in-crowd glitz and a dash of theatricality, the cooking is not the paramount thing. Yet at these prices, there are basic standards of competence which must be observed. Too many dishes were either sloppily executed or suggested that the profit margins are being inflated by chopping the butcher's bill with the brute force of Ramsay." READ REVIEW

Critics' score: 6
Jay Rayner Observer
Reviewed on April 14, 2013
"None of this was disastrous, but when your proposition is so simple you don't have wriggle room. Most of these dishes are classics. Either you get them right or you stay home." READ REVIEW

Critics' score: 5
Zoe Williams Telegraph
Reviewed on March 19, 2013
"The food, I'm afraid, is simply not that good. Bizarrely, the rest of it is so likeable that even thinking about it has put a smile on my face." READ REVIEW

Critics' score: 6
AA Gill Sunday Times
Reviewed on March 17, 2013
"I expect Balthazar will be a big hit with people who have special faces to greet mirrors. The food isn’t really the point, and it’s fine, it will do. The point is the pizzazz, the theatre, the putting on a show." READ REVIEW

Critics' score: 8.5
Tracey MacLeod Independent
Reviewed on March 16, 2013
"...though the London branch may be a pastiche of a pastiche, there's nothing brash about it – in fact it has that touch of mystery and magic that characterises all great restaurants. As a theatrical showcase of the restaurateur's art, it's a hit." READ REVIEW

Critics' score: 6
Giles Coren Times
Reviewed on March 16, 2013
"...I am in no way saying that you should not go. Just go prepared. For the best restaurant in London, and the worst food in Europe." READ REVIEW

Critics' score: 8
Grace Dent Evening Standard Estimated score
Reviewed on March 08, 2013
"But when you enter Balthazar, touristville ebbs away and you’re whooshed into a sort of seductive Manhattan/Marseille hinterland... Damn them — after all the hype and trouble, this place is very good." READ REVIEW

Critics' score: 8
Richard Vines Bloomberg
Reviewed on March 08, 2013
"It’s great fun dining at Balthazar and I recommend it, with one proviso: The food was uneven in the opening days. There’s good reason to believe this is just a teething problem." READ REVIEW

Critics' score: 8
Andy Lynes Metro
Reviewed by March 07, 2013
"A perfectly cooked risotto that’s studded with chunks of lobster and dots of aromatic black truffle is given a savoury boost by a rich cauliflower cream. It’s so good I clean the bowl with some of the superb brown sourdough from the adjoining Balthazar bakery." READ REVIEW

Critics' score: 10
Guy Dimond Time Out
Reviewed on February 27, 2013
"British chef Robert Reid has tinkered little with the brilliantly nostalgic menu. Signature dishes such as the onion soup remain. It’s more stew than soup: a ‘lid’ of grilled gruyère sits on a substantial bowl of thick country bread immersed in a rich, sweet chicken stock." READ REVIEW

Critics' score: 8
Kelly Hussey View London
Reviewed on February 20, 2013
"The buzz around Balthazar is already sufficient to attract the kinds of famous faces frequently frequenting the tables of its Transatlantic cousin. Thankfully, it's a lovely restaurant for us mere mortals, too." READ REVIEW

Critics' score: 8
Fay Maschler Evening Standard
Reviewed on February 20, 2013
"In the main course a standout was linguini fruits de mer with garlic confit, lemon and pointedly sharp piment d’espelette. Grilled whole gilt-head bream was a piece of magic, served head on but completely de-boned, removing at a stroke the argument some people have with fish." READ REVIEW

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