This week sees the grand opening of the much-anticipated London outpost of fashionable New York brasserie Balthazar. The attached bouji bakery opened its doors a few days beforehand though, and by lunchtime on its second day Time Out’s reviewers were on the scene to see how well they bake their boules. What the place lacks in size, it sure makes up for in quality. Our croissant filled with ham and cheese was perfectly flaky, while the potato bread roll stuffed with smoked salmon and delicate pickled beetroot had a fluffy middle and decent chewy crust. As the gold lettering on the window proclaims, they may just be the ‘premier choix’ for a decent loaf in the Covent Garden area. Keep an eye on the price tag when choosing though; the ciabatta’s only a couple of quid, the wholegrain bâtard’s a stonking £12. Also on offer at lunchtime are colourful salads such as earthy spent and tomato, or shredded heritage carrot, displayed Ottolenghi-style on big platters. Next time we’ll be checking out the pretty patisserie work too.
For info, see balthazarlondon.com.