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“The personal touch”
Review of Balin

Balin
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $40 - $90
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Late Night, Delivery, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Delivery, Reservations
Reviewed September 29, 2015

There are many good places to eat in Sestri but it was the individual touch which stood out here for us. The chef Guiliano remembered my booking by email and came out to chat. Unlike the hotels where we have dined, this felt like a place where care and thought had gone into the food. The provenance of the meat, the ragu recipe from his grandmother, the unusual and interesting wines. We loved our meal here and we loved Sestri Levante. A real town, unlike the CInque Terre. Book in advance and eat here and you will not be disappointed.

Date of visit: September 2015
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Thank UnaW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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25 - 29 of 549 reviews

Reviewed September 25, 2015

I came down to Sestri for a couple of nights to escape the hustle and bustle of Milan where I'd spent a few days and enjoyed much of the incredible food at the 2015 EXPO.

I used trip advisor to whittle down the top places to eat here. I noticed that this place was ranked 6th but when I looked a little closer, I noticed Balin Cuisine had considerably more reviews than all others in the top ten. Instead then of choosing the #no1 ranked place with 70+ reviews, I chose to dine here where nearly 350 reviews has marked this as excellent. I'm happy to say I can now be added to this list.

The charismatic Chef (possibly the owner) will briefly meet and greet you at some point and will share his passion and knowledge over the choice of food you have ordered. The young waiter also had this enthusiasm when he delivered the dish to me and explained, in depth, more about the food and its connection to Liguria. A great team. Then there was the food of which I've provided some pictures of...

Initially I ordered just the superbly cooked Scallops and would soon enjoy the best pesto-tasting Pasta I've ever had. After I let this digest, and not in a hurry to depart, I later also went about ordering beef fillet which was equally as enjoyable.

I'd have previously said it was unlikely my travels would be bring me back here but now I definitely have another reason to return to this beautiful sea-side resort.

It's not cheap here though but as the saying goes: 'Often you get what you pay for in life...'.

Date of visit: September 2015
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Thank MrGhini
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 8, 2015

Forget all the beachside and old city tourist traps, Sestri Levante has more than its fair share. Balin is probably the best restaurant here, if not one of the best in the region.

The chef/patron (Giuliano) has cooked for those who care, those who know and those who have the money to buy the best, in his time working with the Orient Express group (Michael Winner, Michael Caine to name but two of his critical diners).

Here, at Balin, you can enjoy all his talent, knowledge and expertise at very little cost. Indeed, at a fraction of the price you would spend in the touristy-catch places! The flavours and taste that Giuliano is able to impart into his cooking is simply divine.

The food is exquisite, cooked to order, covering a menu that caters to all tastes and choices. Please don’t look for a menu outside the restaurant - there isn’t one. Giuliano selects the best from the market day produce and conjures up a menu to suit all tastes and choices and presents it to you on the day. I am told you can even make requests as to your diet preferences and he will accommodate.

Interesting wine, not the ordinary “house stuff” that could set you back €25 a bottle. The choice of wine here is good and you would be hard-pushed to find a better selection nearby. Let yourself be guided by the charming waiter, who can select against your preferences – we did, and he never disappointed. We enjoyed two excellent wines, priced at €22 and €15 respectively. They were superb.

We dined very well at Balin and we would make a change in any itinerary that encompassed the region to make a return visit. In fact we are returning in just under five days’ time.

You just cannot always obtain enough of a good thing.

Date of visit: September 2015
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Thank AliG61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2015

If you want to meet the chef before you choose, this is the place for you! We came due to excellent reviews, because looking earlier in the day one cannot even see a menu outside! We had expected it to be fully booked, but on a weekday now just out of Italian holiday season at 8pm we were the ONLY couple in until two more arrived after 8:30. Frederico the charming waiter and Guiliano, the chef with a passion for excellent ingredients kindly took on my various seafood intolerances and adjusted the marvellous seafood soup accordingly. To start I had prawns with cauliflower.... Yes they worked together wonderfully! My only comment would be that due to my choice of dishes I had prawns in both dishes, also thyme... But I love both anyway. My partner chose 3 smoked salmon which he adored followed by cod in a light batter. We shared a delicious but unnecessary dessert and just took a glass of a local white wine each. With coffee our bill was 130 euro for a meal we felt was individually created for us, and we left feeling we were saying goodbye to some wonderful new friends. Thank you!

Date of visit: September 2015
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Thank Vernonne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 1, 2015

Tiny little place, but perfectly put together. The chef Giuliano puts on a one-man show nightly in the visible kitchen, and it's a good one! Every dish a treat.

Date of visit: August 2015
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Thank Karin T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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