The moment 5.30 on a Friday afternoon hits, I’m ready to get the weekend started. I’m constantly in search of new places which can tick all my boxes: great drinks, great music, great atmosphere and, above all, great food. Balls Brothers in the city seemed to look good on paper, so, laptops shut down, off we went to try it out.
Hidden just off Old Broad St we walked by the ‘after work drinks’ crowd at the bar to the secluded smart dining room upstairs. The feel-good Friday music filtered up, loud enough to fill the room but not so that we couldn’t hear our chit chat.
Sylvie, our waitress for the evening, was lovely and friendly. She sat us towards the back overlooking most of the restaurant and bar area – an ideal people-watching spot.
She encouraged us to try a cocktail from their huge menu. I opted for the captain shaddock, Tanqueray gin shaken with grapefruit juice, lime juice, and syrup. An absolute beauty and it tasted amazing as I felt the stress of the week slip away.
Mike went for a classic whisky sour which looked so creamy and tasted extremely potent, just his style.
To start, I wanted something light and the roasted goats’ cheese took my fancy. The lovely fresh crostini was heavily topped with the delicious cheese and contrasted with dark fig olives; it vanished in seconds. Also dotted on the plate were pine nuts, pieces of orange and a deliciously sweet honey dressing. A picture-perfect dish with every item elegantly placed.
The homemade soup of the day we had was beetroot, which was surprising when it arrived as it was a very mellow colour. The texture was perfect, full of flavour and with a dollop of creme fraiche to give it a kick. Accompanying crusty bread is always welcomed for final dipping.
We needed another drink pit stop. As a huge gin fan I was thrilled to see a whole section of the cocktail menu dedicated to the good old mother’s ruin. I opted for a Bathtub gin & tonic which came with a slice of orange, cinnamon and a few coffee beans – trust me it worked.
I’m a sucker for the specials and with only 5 left that evening my mind was quickly made up. The beef short rib slow cooked in London Pride onion liquor. It was a sight and turned a few heads on its way over to our table. The meat fell of the huge bone, it was so tender and bursting with flavour – I was in heaven. The celeriac remoulade was a fab addition. I was overwhelmed by the portion size so Mike had to help me out.
For Mike – predictably – it was the steak, and the 28-day aged Hereford 8oz Sirloin was his obvious choice. The juicy slab of meat, with perfectly charred crust and just the right level of softness in the centre, was a real treat.
The fat, chunky chips on the side were generous in portion size, and complemented the steak so much better than the skinny fries you typically find at other steak joints. Even more so when doused in creamy peppercorn sauce.
For pud, we shared a white chocolate raspberry meringue with cream and strawberries. We dived in, crushing the huge fresh meringue into bite sized pieces. I personally could have done with a little more cream whereas Mike thought it was sweet enough. Definitely enough for 2.
We had a fantastic evening at Ball’s Brothers, the team are efficient and friendly and we loved the chilled-out atmosphere whilst still feeling we were in a classy place. The well-rounded menu with lots of classics and something a little more special had something to suit every taste. Come for the signature dishes but stay for the extensive cocktail menu, we certainly did.
Balls Brothers Adams Court
6 Adams Court, Old Broad Street, London, EC2N 1DX