Following the disruption caused by the first wave of COVID-19, restaurants are at different stages of re-opening. We are trying to keep information current, but please check opening times and any important menu details on booking.
Explore Harden's - The restaurant guide created by you for you
RestaurantsLondonBalhamSW12

survey result

Summary

£53
   ££
3
Good
4
Very Good
4
Very Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“A great pub!” (part of the Three Cheers Pub Co) down Balham way, with smart interior and gorgeous, big outside garden, and where steaks and ‘artisan pizzas’ are mainstays of a comprehensive menu: “even if the pub was boring, I’d come back time and again for the fantastic food!”

Summary

£49
   ££
2
Average
2
Average
3
Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Big, busy (noisy) Balham gastropub” with an “attractive, large back room” and lovely garden. Fans applaud its “good no-nonsense cooking” but ratings are under-cut by those who find it “too un-memorable”.

For 29 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. This year diners have submitted over 50,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK.

Have you eaten at The Avalon?

Restaurant details

Yes
Highchair, Menu
Yes
20
75
no children after 8 pm

Prices

Traditional European menu

Starter Main Veggies Pudding
£6.00 £14.50 £3.50 £6.00
Drinks  
Wine per bottle £19.50
Filter Coffee £2.00
Extras  
Bread £5.00
Service 12.50%

Harden's says...

Avalon SW12

In ever-emerging Balham, a large and ambitious gastropub offering straightforward, mainly Engish fare, solidly realised.


The idea, until recently, that anyone would have positively chosen to dine out on Balham Hill would have been pretty much ridiculous. Well, no longer, it seems. In the wake of Brasserie James (which boasts an ex head chef of Quaglino's, no less), we have this ambitious pub-cum-dining room, which has added gloss by virtue of having attracted a chef from the fabled Chez Bruce.


Initial impressions are that this is a large and smart establishment. The outside tables will clearly attract le tout Balham/South Clapham, come warmer days. Inside there's a large bar area, and an even more impressive dining room, which has been given that white-tiled and 'timeless' look that's becoming so popular it must surely fall out of fashion soon?


The menu is relatively straightforward. We kicked off with some oysters. They were fine, but why do so few English restaurateurs understand the theatre of seafood?


It's not so difficult. You get some of those stands you find in any brasserie in France, put a platter on top, pile it with crushed ice, and put the oysters on top, et voila. Six humble molluscs are transformed into a feast. The people on the next table might even want some too: it's called marketing. But not here. They come, sad-English-style, on an ordinary plate, piled on top of seaweed. No rye bread or Tabasco. No oyster fork. No spoon with which to transfer the shallot vinegar from its little bowl to the oyster. This is not carping. It's basic.


Steak is a house speciality, so we tried a sirloin, and pretty good it was too, cooked as instructed, and with a robust flavour, and nice hand-cut chips made a good accompaniment. The Béarnaise, however, was on the apologetic side.


Pudding was impressive - as good a chocolate tart as you'll find anywhere, not too sweet, and nicely complemented by some ice cream, and a decent espresso too.


Service was willing, but it was slow enough that one couldn't help wondering how they fare in the evenings, when - thanks, we hear, to instant popularity - the place is already quite a zoo.


See the Review
16 Balham Hill, London, SW12 9EB
Opening hours

Mon-Fri noon-3.30 pm, 6-10.30 pm, Sat noon-4 pm, 6-10.30 pm; Sun noon-9 pm
Last orders: 10.30 pm, Sun 9 pm

Best British, Modern restaurants nearby

Bistro Union
British, Modern restaurant in Clapham
£57
   ££
3
Good
2
Average
2
Average
The Abbeville
British, Modern restaurant in Clapham
£46
   ££
3
Good
3
Good
3
Good
Chez Bruce
British, Modern restaurant in Balham
£84
 ££££
5
Exceptional
5
Exceptional
4
Very Good

Best similarly priced restaurants nearby

PizzaExpress
Pizza restaurant in Clapham
£50
   ££
2
Average
2
Average
2
Average
Arlo's
Steaks & grills restaurant in Balham
£51
   ££
3
Good
2
Average
2
Average
PizzaExpress
Pizza restaurant in London
£50
   ££
2
Average
2
Average
2
Average