Monday, 23 January 2012

Review: Balzano's delicatessen and café

One of the best things about being pregnant in January is that you can completely and utterly ignore all detox and diet resolutions. I'm already not drinking - except for the odd half pint of Guinness and black, purely for the iron content of course. And the idea of giving up cake or chocolate is simply laughable; they make up about 60 per cent of my diet at the moment. So for me and baby A, January is all about the cake. I've been trying out quite a few local spots and will blog about them all, but for now, the all-new Balzano's.

Tea and cake visit one: Balzano's

I met a lovely foodie friend (@VanessaFarrow) recently for tea and cake at Balzano's on Cherry Hinton Road. I have to admit that before our visit all I knew about the delicatessen was that their bread was unbeatable. Gog Magog Hills Farm Shop (@gogmagogshop) sell their granary cob and I can't get enough of it. With cheese, with a slab of butter, or best of all, with a bowl of hot chilli.

I'd heard all about the new cafe and the refurb late last year and been told it was lovely. And the rumours were right; Balzano's new look reminded me of the trendy Notting Hill delis that I frequented in a past London life. All the fixtures and fittings are a nice mix of modern and quirky, with wallpaper that you'd never be brave enough to go for yourself, but that completes the look perfectly. There's a big communial table to perch at while you have a coffee and lights that could have come out of a space ship. As for the deli itself, there's gleaming white shelves stretching the length of the shop, laden with lovely products and a cold cabinet full of various cheeses and charcuterie.

The lunch options were rather limited - from what we could work out it was a sandwich of your choice, filled with anything from the cold cabinet. Toasted or un-toasted. I had a simple Montgomery's cheddar and English roasted ham sandwich and my friend had aubergine and cheese toasty.

Cake options were numerous though. In my current baby-oven state all I want day and night is chocolate cake. And Balzano's devil's chocolate cake didn't disappoint my cocoa craving tastebuds. The cake was dense and soft, the icing chocolatey without being sickly. I could have had another slice.

The best bit: The overall look and feel of the place, it's fresh and modern and just what that end of Cambridge needs.

To work on: The lunch options - there's not a lot of choice yet and more hot options would be nice.

Balzano's 204 Cherry Hinton Road, Cambridge CB1 7AW. 01223 246168,

1 comment:

  1. Lovely write-up S, this place looks fab - love the 60s decor. Ps enjoy all the choccy cake!