By April K. at 2016-12-03
Wow. What an amazing little eclectic bar and restaurant. The place was so amazing we returned two nights in a row. The yelp description list this place as Thai, but I'd argue it's more a modern fusion type place. It serves either entree or tapas style (you chose your dining experience.) We selected tapas AND entrees and pretty much shared everything. Lobster rolls were creamy and rich. The pumpkin ginger soup was just the perfect amount of savory and peppery. The oxtail melted in your mouth. The caramelized chicken thighs were tender and sweet. The key lime pie was perfectly tart. The chocolate pate was rich and velvety. And the cocktails...perfectly balanced, unique, and we'll thought out. Truly craft cocktails. Made slow and correct.
Our waiter was so passionate and helpful it seemed as though he might own the place. Maybe he does. But I think the owner just happened to find that rare gem of a person who loves what they do, loves the food, a loves making people happy. Since we returned two days in a row, the executive chef came out to meet us. I meant to remember his name. Keon, maybe? Was a wonderful gesture to come visit us.
The ambiance is that perfect mix of romantic and classy without being pretentious. You could come here dressed to the nines or just come dressy casual. You won't feel out of place either way.
If you live in this area, it's worth a visit. I know it's on our list for when we return (we are here a couple times a year.) You can thank me later. I travel quite a bit for work and pleasure and this is definitely in my favorites list.
By Tony A. at 2016-02-18
It was Saturday Feb. 13th, 2016 when an impromptu pre-Valentine's day dinner plan came to fruition. After navigating the damn VCU basketball game (Go Rams!) we finally found street parking and walked our butts into Balliceaux (the food area being branded as Kampot).
Our friends were running late so we stepped up to the bar for a cocktail. Being a California boy I stayed true to my roots and ordered a Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin. My lady friend was more daring and ordered "The Rap Game". If you can read it from my picture The Rap Game is butter-washed dark rum, house root beer, and coconut. It's then garnished with a salty pretzel. She loved it and forced me to take a sip. It wasn't my cup of tea but I can respect the artistry of it.
For my next choice I tried this funky (somewhat local) Shotgun Betty Hefeweizen ale. This was impressive considering it came from them Lonerider boys in Raleigh, North Carolina. You have to love and admire any dining establishment that serves craft beer.
Our guests finally showed up and we were seated at our table. I wish I had more pictures but it's lame to constantly be taking Yelp pictures when you're with your peoples. Now, I'm not saying my guest and I are total ballers. I'm not saying that. What I might be saying is that we balled out that night in true Latin fashion. We damn near tried everything they had in one sitting. We had seven small plates and two desserts.
fried chicken skins
seared hanger steak
grilled marinated pork shoulder
avocado chocolate silk pie
The stands outs for me were the hanger steak, oxtail, chicken skins, and gulf shrimp. I enjoyed the tuna and pork but I feel the wonton escargot needs some tweaking.
The gulf shrimp arrive one degree below scorching and taking the shell off those piping hot decapod crustaceans was a nuisance. I should be more patient and allow them to cool but the heck with that. They looked too good to wait. On the dessert side of things I felt the chocolate sauce for the churros was excessively rich. The churros reminded me of home so they get a pass. The avocado silk pie was just weird. Your mileage may vary on the desserts.
Overall the food at Balliceaux\Kampot is fantastic. I would return in a heartbeat.
By Melina B. at 2016-06-12
Went on a Saturday night and it was busy but not packed. Very interesting menu for Richmond with quite a few vegetarian options but also great for seafood lovers.
We ordered the lobster roll which blends buttery and asiatic flavors; I could literally have eaten 3 in one sitting. The shoshito peppers are nicely charred but a bit too salty. Crab rangoons are perfect and creamy. The plain sesame noodles are delicious and I'm going to try to recreate them at home. The vegetable dishes like the Bok Chou and mushrooms w crunchy shallots are extremely well done. We could definitely see this become our new neighborhood hangout.
Oh also great drink specials if you like fruity cocktails.
By Karen R. at 2015-12-01
This is a chill spot to hang out. I've been a couple of times to see 2 different friend's bands play. Drinks are good and the staff is nice. I haven't yet ordered any of their food, but hope to next time I'm there.
The back area is where the bands play. I like the ambiance of that area... dim lighting and just comfortable.
I'd say the environment is mostly hipster. Not typically my scene, but most seemed friendly and just wanting to enjoy a nice time.
By Jaynee K. at 2016-12-19
I don't typically write reviews, but this was one of the most negative experiences I have ever had in a restaurant. Being new to RVA, and unfamiliar with the "must try" restaurants , my friend and I decided to try this place out for dinner, as we had heard positive things.The ambiance of the restaurant is awesome. Dark, cozy, and the music that was playing was fitting for the atmosphere.The food WAS good- but not worth $17. We both got the garlic shrimp noodle bowl. The shrimp was good, but didn't really get the garlic flavor, and the kale was excessive, overpowering the plate. This was a Sunday at around 6 pm when we went. Their menu CLEARLY states at the top that from Tuesday-Sunday they have happy hour between 5-8 pm which includes $5 specialty cocktails. Which is half off the original price. My friend and I both ordered two cocktails, assuming it would amount to $10 each. When we got our bill we noticed that we were charged full price, paying between $20-24 a piece in just drinks. We would not have ordered a second cocktail if we knew we were being charged full price. When we asked the waitress about it, she essentially stated that they don't do happy hour for cocktails on Sunday, and after we showed her what was written on the menu, she stated that they "sometimes do half off specialty cocktails, but not Sundays." She was very vague and passive in her explanation. A chef who was sitting near us overheard our conversation, and actually came to apologize and he kindly admitted that the menu is misleading and that they need to change how the advertisement is worded. He offered a free round of cocktails on him as an apology. Though that was a kind offer, it was not the appropriate one. He should have fixed our bills, and charged us 1/2 price for our cocktails as the menu advertised. We won't be going back to this restaurant, and will certainly not be recommending it to others.
By David J. at 2016-01-26
We had never heard about this place, (have since gone twice in a month), until our awesome-cool-amazing-hip twin 24 year old, beautiful daughters, Alyssa & Brianna, told us about a cool live band and dance spot in the RVA, where "as we walked by, the food looked really good. You guys would like it."
Because they've proven to have trusty palates and The Force is strong with them, Mom & I decided to give it a try during a double date with some friends.
This place is a great example of why Richmond has found it's place in "Foodie" destinations and over the last 2 years had many things written about travelers visiting the RVA.
First off, we sit famished awaiting our friends. They take our drink order from a very clever, and well thought out cocktail menu. They promptly bring a free bowl of seasoned peanuts that I MUST LEARN how to make. Mildly spicy, citrusy notes; these peanuts do what they should. Make you long for a libation, and get hungrier while viewing the amazing menu. Perfection.
Next, we receive our perfectly made cocktails that taste eerily accurate, but better than the description.
Our friends arrived. Once we got through the pleasantries, we went in for the kill. I love it when I'm more adventurous than others I'm chowing down with and because the restaurant is so baller, what I forced them to try far exceeded their expectations. The chicken skin tapa cannot be compared to anything I've had, (says a connoisseur of pork rinds like no other). They are perfectly executed and served with a magical sauce,("nuoc cham dipping sauce"), the combination which was likely thought out by the fine inhabitants of Neverland. This is really the reason Peter did not want to return.
They have the brilliant idea of offering every salad, every app, and every entrée, sea, land, and air, in both Tapas/small plate style and bigger entrée portions.
The cabbage 3 ways is just that, and you get a TON, so a great value at the tapa price of $6. More than enough for 4 people to share and try. It goes perfectly well with the falling of the bone, deliciously unctuous braised oxtail.
We tried the carmelized boneless chicken thigh, the seared hangar steak, (tapa portion is plenty and a great value), and I of course had to try the octopus, lest I betray my Spaniard roots. Octopus perfection is not easy to execute. I hear it needs to be cooked either very short period or very long period. Either way, there are many folks out there that do not like it because they have either tried it cooked wrong & rubbery, (not your fault), or don't like how it looks, (your fault-grow up). Try it here. These folks seem to "GET IT."
We had a wonderful meal, and thankfully caught happy hour in time, and also tasted an amazing house red wine that is also an incredible value at $4.
We finished just as the "cool young folks" were arriving for a band. Which, before you think it's loud, it is NOT. They have a beautiful, long dining room, with a cool bar that has a Santa Claus face hung up, and up the stairs and in the back is where the music, band, DJ's set up.
A cool place for a cocktail, dance, music, date, and as you get peckish, they got that covered in spades and as well as you can get those items anywhere.
THANK YOU TEAM BALLICEAUX!
By Kimberlee Z. at 2016-04-17
The food is pretty good here, but my problem is with the people who run this place. I believe it was a manager who decided that we weren't going to pay for our food and told people to make sure we pay before we leave. I mean, how rude is that? I can't even focus on how good the food is in this review because I am appalled at how bluntly disrespectful people can be.
I tried returning to give it a second chance, but I had to leave because I was too embarrassed from the last time.
I'm sure you'll enjoy the food, but my experience will not be bringing me back in.
By Zane U. at 2015-11-22
My girlfriend and I split 3 tapas, rice, and a dessert on a Saturday night. We had plenty of food for the two of us by ordering the tapas-sized portion for all of the dishes. Don't miss the green papaya salad or the caramelized boneless chicken thigh, both of which were highlights of the meal.
We ordered a few cocktails and all seemed to be made with the same (maybe better) quality as the old Balliceaux menu. Greatly enjoyed their take on a Moscow Mule (can't remember their name for it...) which used the restaurant's homemade ginger beer.
Glad to see that the new menu is living up to the promises! We'll be back!
By Richard Z. at 2016-01-29
My wife and I decided to check this place out. The octopus was excellent. I also recommend the cabbage 3 ways. We split the lobster sandwich and seared mushrooms. Service was excellent, will be back.
By PizzaTheHut X. at 2016-02-01
This review is for the restaurant part of Balliceux, called Kampot. I enjoyed dinner here for the first time over the weekend and it exceeded expectations. I was with a group of people and we ordered multiple items to sample the menu. Everything was good to very good. It was a bit intimidating first looking at the menu, as there are items you wouldn't typically order. I suggest letting the server suggest some options and go with it. Kampot was a pleasant surprise.
By Tami M. at 2016-07-11
We had such a fulfilling experience eating and trying new meals at this restaurant. Beautiful set-up, delicious food, unique drinks and excellent customer service. Definitely looking forward to returning back on my next trip to RVA!
By Shana S. at 2016-02-22
Everything I've ever eaten here was gold. The service is great and the atmosphere is chill. I recommend a monthly visit if not more.
By Heather F. at 2015-12-29
Fabulous! Ambiance: hipster chic. Drinks: delish! We got the Rap Game with housemade root beer, the Russian market (take on a Moscow mule) and the Nigori drink.... All so yummy. Then we split a bunch of tapas. Fairly priced and delicious. We sat at the bar. Bartender was very nice and attentive. They have cool events there, even swing dance classes on Mondays. Oh and it is the Fan District, which is such a cute neighborhood. Very fun to walk around and admire the decorations and architecture.
By S S. at 2016-03-01
I usually love Balliceaux. Great food and fun spot for music. But watch your cards if you go. I paid with a debit card for my order and my card was not returned with my check. The server left before I could tell her and I couldn't find her anywhere. I had to go to the back and find someone to help. They told me that my card was returned, even though it wasn't, and I had to practically beg them to go back and get my card. They handed me what looked like my card, I put it in my wallet, and it wasn't till the next morning when I scrutinized the card that I realized that the staff had returned the wrong card to me. They were closed till the following evening, and after calling multiple times and driving to the restaurant, I eventually had to cancel my card and get a new one as a precaution. Double check your cards if you go here.
By Emma L. at 2016-04-21
This place rocks. Great food. Try the hanger steak and fries.
By Nate M. at 2016-04-27
I can say Balliceaux's backroom is a great place for private events. I've been to a few cocktail-style functions with the bar and specialty snacks. It's hard to find spaces that feel contemporary and adult yet youthful. I like how eclectic Balliceaux is and how private the space feels for an event. Food (buffet style hors d'oeuvres) that I've had has been great!
By Blake J. at 2016-04-21
Born and raised in Richmond.This spot is a leader in the robust culinary scene that has developed in RVA.
By Leslie L. at 2016-02-17
The place is extremely nice. The customer service is great, the atmosphere great, the food and drinks are good. And the noise level is comfortable to have a conversation.