Bala Baya

4.5
741 reviews
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£26 to £40
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Israeli
Bala Baya brings the essence of Tel Aviv to Bankside’s Union Street Arches, the first stand-alone project from Israeli born Chef Eran Tibi, whose vibrantly progressive cuisine pays homage to his roots.
Eran’s creations offers you a unique experience that is all about feasting and sharing whilst ensuring that all ingredients are all responsibly sourced.

With the restaurant paying tribute to the city’s atmosphere which has been carefully replicated by multi-award-winning designer, Afroditi Krassa. Inspired by the Bauhaus architecture, Bala Baya has created a kaleidoscope space that allows you to experience the sun-kissed youthfulness of Tel Aviv from the heart of Southwark.

Follow the camel and enjoy Eran Tibi’s a poem to Tel Aviv!

Specials

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Mon - Fri 5:00PM - 6:00PM 9:00PM - 10:00PM
Sat 9:30PM - 10:00PM

What 741 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.4
service
4.2
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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j
London
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Very creative mixture of flavours. We enjoyed each dish very much

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ZB
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

The food was absolutely delicious. I would go back for the variety and the uniqueness of each dish. The cauliflower and the hummus were my favourites. We were a group of 7 and we ordered the tasting menu and there was a lot of food. We felt bad at not having been able to finish it all.
The service was really good as well and the lady guided us and told us about the most popular dishes and we had a good laugh with her. The only thing that could have been improved is the attentiveness towards the latter half of the meal when we were all quite full and the food lay there for a long while before moving on to the last course.
In all, loved the place and can't wait to go back.

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ML
London
5 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Wonderful food. So tasty. Lovely, friendly service from our Lithuanian waitress. Only surprise was that they charged us for extra pitta bread. Their prices are not cheap so giving an extra pitta at no charge would be a nice gesture.

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s
1 review
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We dined there on Saturday night and had the best culinary experience. Since we travel the world and dining in many restaurants, we couldn’t believe this amazing find. Everything was amazing. Lovely, friendly and accommodating staff. Great music and by far, the best meal we have had lately. We shared 6 plates including the prawn baklava (WOW), cauliflower, lamb chops, kipper, aubergine tea & milk and the crispy chicken thighs. The service was top notch. We had to leave to see a play and they’ve made sure everything will be on time including an amazing cheesecake for a dessert. We also tried few cocktails. My favorite was the honey and smoke. And we shared a bottle of Israeli viognier that was amazing. By far the best Israeli/ Tel Aviv restaurant in London and obviously my favorite one. Can’t compare it to anything else. Unique and innovative. Definitely coming back here. There’s a lot more I would like to try. Thank you all very much.

Bala Baya
Responded 5 days ago

Hi Sean, It is a real treat to read your fantastic feedback - we are absolutely over the moon and want to thank you for all your kind words! We thrive for perfection and it is comments like yours that let us know all our hard work is paying off. We are delighted to hear you sampled so much of what we have to offer and thoroughly enjoyed each one! We can wait to have welcome you back soon! Much Love, Bala Baya Xx

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MG
London
5 reviews
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Fabulous vegan tasting menu for £33 per person. So many different dishes and lovely flavours. Very friendly staff and attentive service. I only took 1 star off on Ambience as we were outside and wind was blowing smoke from next door’s meat grill in our direction! Otherwise perfect, would definitely recommend and will definitely go back.

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LY
London
3 reviews
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Excellent food, great value, good service. Very minor point was after ordering food came out very fast; table got congested.

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OT
London
1 review
Dined on July 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food and super nice service. You should definitely drop by.

Bala Baya
Responded 5 days ago

Hi! Thank you so much for your love and support, it means the world to us. We hope to see you again soon! Much Love, Bala Baya Xx

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M
London
11 reviews
Dined on July 10, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 1ambience 2

Second visit - the first was marred by poor service and I was assured that was unusual and an apology from the manager. I only went back again as the food was outstandingly good.

Hugely disappointed as again, really poor service. Incredibly slow, food coming out before drinks, massive gaps between plates. The staff were very courteous and friendly but nothing quite makes up for it if you’re anxious about whether you’ll ever get your food or drink.

Bala Baya
Responded 5 days ago

Hi Mk12, We can’t express how disappointed we are when reading your comments, providing outstanding quality of food and service is what we pride ourselves on, and extend our sincerest apologies that this was not the case when you visited us. We are always keen to learn more and improve and would welcome the opportunity to discuss your experience in more detail, if you could please drop an email to Natalia@balabaya.co.uk? We hope to hear from you soon! Much Love, Bala Baya Xx

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OT
London
2 reviews
Dined on July 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Simply sublime.

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OT
London
5 reviews
Dined on July 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Exceptional! Great food - impeccable service! Will be back!

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C
London
9 reviews
Dined on July 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Delicious, creative Mediterranean tapas like you've never tasted before! This restaurant never disappoints! It can be noisy in the evenings, when it's full, but quiet during the day.

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a
London
9 reviews
Dined on July 4, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 5ambience 3

The waiter was outstanding, really made us feel special.
Although When they brought the food they didn’t even described the dish.

Portion so small.
Quality fair.

The prawn baklava were incredible.

All the rest though not worth 50% of the outrageous prices.
The mackerel with tomato could have been just a Tesco mackerel with tomato paste - I am still struggling to digest it.
The pork belly was tough and chewy, I can have it at half the price and double the taste in a Chinese restaurant in china town.
The chicken thighs nothing special, burnt and normal sauce.
Not coming back

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SM
London
1 review
Dined on July 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Took 6 colleagues to Bala Baya for a work night out, and it was fantastic. Fab energy, delicious food, great service. Particularly lovely on a summer evening when you're sat partly outside. They've really bought the Tel Aviv vibe to London. One of my colleagues was vegan, and they easily adapted the sharing tasting menu for her, so she didn't feel left out at all.

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HY
London
1 review
Dined on July 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely atmosphere. Great staff friendliness and exciting vibrant food.

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B
New England
8 reviews
Dined on June 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Perfect. In Every way!

Bala Baya
Responded on July 10, 2019

Hi Bosox8, Thank you, as are you :) We hope to catch you again very soon! Much Love, Bala Baya Xx

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AJ
London
2 reviews
Dined on June 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

LOVE LOVE LOVE this place. Incredible food, our beautiful waiter was such a sweetie, music is fab too. All the staff are so friendly and fun - lovely place to hang out.
My favourite local, would happily eat there every night. Annie xx

Bala Baya
Responded on July 4, 2019

Hi AnnieJ, We LOVE LOVE LOVE YOU too! It really is comments like yours that let us know all hard work is paying off and we are getting it right and we thank you for your continued support. Looking forward to hanging with you again very soon! Much Love, Bala Baya Xx

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DO
1 review
Dined on June 26, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

A kalidoscope of flavours and textures all well integrated.

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F
Stuttgart Area
5 reviews
Dined on June 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very good Food in a nice Environment.

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PC
1 review
Dined on June 23, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Came here before mid-week with my daughter and we both enjoyed the meal very much - except she ordered a glass of house white without checking the price and they gave her the most expensive on the list at £14 a glass - sneaky thick that. Anyway despite that we came back with six of us but got quite confused with the Sunday Brunch menu. Apart from egg style dishes you could only order from two mains and one of those (the lamb) was sold out. You can get unlimited snack plates (called Feast Brunch) with Pita bread for £8 a person but not unless you order a main. Shortly after the pitta dishes arrived they started serving the main dishes so you would not be inclined to eat more of the snack and let the main go cold - so much for unlimited. The snack dishes were quite disappointing with onlt two (humous and Taksiki) any good the rest were pickles and things not too appealing. Two of us had Sea Bass which was good but priced at £26 a helping - just fish with garnish - no veg. Three others had an aubergine dish (shakshuka) which all three found quite sour with too much lemon. The egg dish ate by the sixth person was fine. The total bill for six £253. After this we went to Tate Modern and had coffee and cakes to fill up. The open plan bathroom allowed me to see one member of staff picking his nose. Overall not a good meal which a bit sad as celebrating one persons birthday.

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M
London
164 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Stunning meal in interesting venue. Staff are warm friendly and helpful. And some of the wines unexpectedly amazing.

Bala Baya
Responded on July 4, 2019

Hi Mogman, Thank you very much for taking the time out to write your review. We glad to hear you enjoyed your visit with us and can't wait to see you again soon! Much Love, Bala Baya Xx

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MS
London
5 reviews
Dined on June 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love this place. Superb food, great service. One of a kind

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g
Cleveland
2 reviews
Dined on June 19, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

Tasting menu enough for 2 people at least.
Food was not outstanding.
Made us order way too much
Confused those of us who had ordered the tasting menu vs ala carte.
For the price many better options elsewhere.
I would not recommend or come back.

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N
London
10 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love this place. First came across them at Taste of London Food Festival (2018 I think) and have visited restaurant several times. Tasty, fun, lovely wine.

Bala Baya
Responded on June 25, 2019

Hi Nicky! Thanks so much for taking the time out to write your review, we are so glad to hear we made a friend at last yeast Taste of London. We really appreciate your continued support and we hope to catch you soon! Much Love, Bala Baya Xx

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DL
London
1 review
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and service, inventive dishes which provide a really good sharing experience

Bala Baya
Responded on June 25, 2019

Hi DianeL, Thanks so much for your love and support, it really means the world to us! We can't wait to welcome you back soon. Much love, Bala Baya Xx

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SP
1 review
Dined on June 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Smaller tester items with reduced price pl,,....,....................................................
What's wrong with shorter review

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AP
London
7 reviews
Dined on June 11, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great food, service was a little slow to begin with but food was tasty.

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P
London
4 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

Pretentious and overpriced. £14 for three prawns sets the tone. The cocktails were nice and the ambience was good, but the food was served in tiny portions on massive plates and did not feel like Levantine "lots of small platea for sharing". Service was okay, when you finally managed to get someone's attention.

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LM
London
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Service was amazing, as was the food! I took my boyfriend here on Saturday for his Birthday meal as a surprise and was slightly disappointed that we had been sat downstairs, despite asking on arrival if we could be sat upstairs. Unfortunately this meant that we were sat next to a table of children, which was slightly disruptive to our evening, especially in a small space.
The food was absolutely delicious and the waiting staff were amazing, but sadly our order of cauliflower was not processed and therefore only came after we had to re-ask for it (which was after we had finished all other plates).
A lovely candle and surprise 'happy birthday' song was a special touch and thoroughly enjoyed.
Overall a fantastic place and would definitely recommend - would just advise some more thoughtful table planning for future to ensure all customers are satisfied :)

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GK
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food was extremely well thought out and executed beautifully with flavours matching the presentation. Service was undoubtedly some of the best I've ever experienced. For me, the highlights were the Manouri cheese and the perfectly cooked and seasoned octopus. Many thanks Bala Baya! Will definitely be going again!

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SW
London
2 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Beautiful flavours for brunch but we struggled to eat it all. I keep dreaming of the leftover hummus! Definitely go with a big appetite and you will be satisfied for hours!

Bala Baya
Responded on June 10, 2019

Hi SophieW, Thanks so much for coming over and taking the time to leave a review! So great to read you had a good time, brunch definitely is buzzy and a lot of fun! Next time let us know and we can pop your leftovers into a doggy bag and there will be no dreaming of leftover hummus! We hope to catch you again soon. Much love, Bala Baya Xx

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m
London
1 review
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Some of the best food I've ever eaten in a restaurant topped off with excellent service. Will definitely be back!

Bala Baya
Responded on June 10, 2019

Hi mitqu92, Thanks so much for your review. So good to hear you had a great time and felt our vibes! We can't wait to welcome you back soon. Much love, Bala Baya Xx

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O
New York Area
58 reviews
Dined on June 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Creative Israeli cuisine with a fun, hip vibe.

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C
London
1 review
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Food, wine and service were all outstanding. The weather was beautiful so we were lucky enough to spend the evening outside. Downside is that the portions are really small, but with an expensive price tag, so even though we ordered a lot we did not leave full (without being big eaters!). The prawn baklava was stunning (although very expensive), and sadly there were only 3 prawns served for our party of 4.

Bala Baya
Responded on June 10, 2019

Hi Charlie, Thank you for your review! We can't think of anything worse than anyone to leave feeling hungry and are sorry to hear you thought the portions were too small. We'd recommend ordering 3-4 dishes to share between 2 people, and have taken note on the prawn baklava and will ensure our team explains the portion size when our guest's order, making sure there is enough to go around. We do hope to see you again soon so we can ensure you leave us full and happy! Much Love. Bala Baya Xx

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n
London
9 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Nice to be sit outside on a summers evening. Only grumble was all the dishes came out virtually at the same time, when I asked if they could be staggered. Great food, lovely ambience. Will come back.

Bala Baya
Responded on June 10, 2019

Hi neataj, Thank you for taking the time out to send us your feedback, we are so pleased to hear you enjoyed our food and will be returning! We apologise for the speed of service and have passed your comments on to our management team who will address this with the team. We hope to see you again soon! Much Love, Bala Baya Xx

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IB
London
1 review
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was excellent and flavoursome. The service was attentive and considerate.

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OT
London
1 review
Dined on May 31, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Food was amazing but they forgot to serve us our cauliflower dish. Was upset to miss out on what I’ve heard is a great dish!

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OT
London
2 reviews
Dined on May 31, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 2

Great food, too noisy! Why do they play music like that? It adds nothing and takes away a lot.

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JD
London
15 reviews
Dined on May 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely meal, in a really fabulous space. Everything was great, from food to service to atmosphere

Bala Baya
Responded on June 10, 2019

Hi JDJD, Thank you very much for feedback and support, it really means the world to us! We are so pleased to hear that you enjoyed our food and that our team looked after you. We hope to see you again soon! Much Love, Bala Baya Xx

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OG
London
1 review
Dined on May 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place is an absolute gem! Service and staff were great, very welcoming, warm, and friendly. The restaurant is tucked away in a good location and the restaurant itself is stylish and spacious. The food was absolutely incredible, the lamb chickpea dish was amazing as were all the dishes we ordered (of which there were a lot of)! Lamb chops and baklava prawns would come highly recommended also. Will definitely return and very much look forward to doing so!

Bala Baya
Responded on June 10, 2019

Hi OliverG, Thank you very much for your review & support, it really means the world to us! We are so happy to hear you enjoyed our food and that our staff looked after you. We have passed your comments over to our team and we hope to see you again very soon! Much love, Bala Baya Xx

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F
Cologne Area
1 review
Dined on May 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service was the best Eber in London
The taste absolute delicious

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