Bala Baya

4.4
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851 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

Celebrate New Year's Eve with a fantastic meal!

Bala Baya Nights Presents: White night! The ultimate celebration paying homage to Tel Aviv’s white night “Laila Lavan.” Feast on a luxurious canapé & bowl food selection, free-flowing drinks for 2 hours and dance with us into 2020! From 9pm, £85 per person - email Bookings@balabaya.co.uk to book!

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Instantly increase your points with dining rewards

See availability for bonus point tables

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

What 851 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.3
service
4.2
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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MC
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food4service3ambience5

Best pitta we’d ever tasted. Some of the food served with a bit too much sauce for our liking (very wet brick potato).

C
London
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Fantastic flavours. Very prompt service by efficient and helpful friendly staff. Will aim to revisit next time in London.

HE
Sydney / NSW
3 reviews
Dined on November 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We did the smaller tasting menu and were very impressed. A great fusion of flavours, each plate served was full of mouth watering surprises. My only feedback would be that they use a different fish for the ceviche as it was a bit tough and chewy (the mango salsa was amazing and you could almost forgive the chewy fish!) Apart from that the cauliflower was a highlight, the hummus was fabulous and the chicken was cooked to perfection! Cant wait to go back and try some more dishes.

AG
London
1 review
Dined on November 11, 2019
Overall3food2service4ambience3

This is a poor version of Berber and Q or Palomar. And yet, not that cheap. Food wasn't hot enough - serve on warm plates perhaps rather than cold ones. Staff very friendly. Drinks good. Just, the food lets it down. Such a shame as otherwise would be an awesome spot.

KO
1 review
Dined on November 11, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

excellent food, excellent service. Fantastic Vegetarian options

D
London
2 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely unpretentious restaurant, tasty food and fantastic service. Whilst my group had an extended lunch which ran up to the end of the lunch sitting our hosts politely recommended places to continue our evening.

Our group had the set brunch & we all concurrent we enjoyed it.

AH
London
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Wonderful menu and cocktails. Great restaurant tucked away off union street

SM
London
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience5

We had the tasting menu, which was pricey but the food was excellent. There was a small hiccup with the plates delivered and a bit of a longer wait for the final plate, but generally the service was very attentive and swift.

PP
London
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was simply perfect :-) The food, the service, to book a table was really simply.

OB
London
1 review
Dined on November 1, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience4

Overrated, overpriced,,, the food was not extraordinary. Not particularly delicious. Main course and drinks were especially expensive.

CM
1 review
Dined on October 29, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Lovely food and great service. Staff were super welcoming and helpful.

S
London
5 reviews
Dined on October 28, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Really amazing restaurant. The food was fantastic!

JK
London
3 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2019
Overall3food2service3ambience4

The flavours were good, but all the dishes we tried from starters to mains were excessivly oily.

LM
Surrey
2 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience4

Not as good as it used to be. They have stopped refillable brunch plates, and they are still rationning the bread.

JA
1 review
Dined on October 25, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Nice buzzy atmosphere and lovely food. Service was efficient and helpful.

a
Wales
1 review
Dined on October 22, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Amazing, authentic food. The best hummus I've had since visiting Isreal over 5 years ago! Friendly staff and great atmosphere too.

M
London
168 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderfully authentic dining. Great food and efficient, friendly service.

M
London
10 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great food. Attentive service. The weekend brunch is delicious and good value

SE
London
11 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Always delicious but portions have shrunk and prices have gone up over the last year.
Will try again for brunch and see how it compares

MV
London
26 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience5

A little overpriced, service a bit inflexible, but otherwise great food.

LJ
1 review
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall3food2service4ambience3

Nothing particularly bad but generally felt like a less well considered version of ottolenghi. A number of the savoury dishes were oddly quite sweet. We had the tasting menu, assuming the dishes would come one by one but like all small plate places sadly they came out in droves, crowding the table and making the experience feel chaotic. Out of the lot I’d come back for the flatbreads and hummus

OT
Hertfordshire
2 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Fantastic food, although the service was lacking - half of our table received their meals 10 minutes before everyone else.

J
London
8 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience3

Could have been less 'background' music. Couldn't have a conversation with he rest of the table without shouting

F
1 review
Dined on October 18, 2019
Overall3food5service2ambience1

I cannot fault the food. It was divine. The loud club music at 5.15pm in the afternoon, however, was unnecessary and totally at odds with a relaxed dining experience. The staff need better training in how to make customers feel at home. Being approached to ask if I wanted to order more food whilst my mouth was full was frankly embarrassing.

L
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Great restaurant. One of our favourites! Food is always delicious and the service is good too. The only problem at our last visit was the noise. There were some big tables who produced a very high lever of noise and having the music on top of it meant we could hardly hear each other.

J
London
11 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

The food is amazing at Bala Baya. I love the hummus and pita and the sticky chicken is a must-have dish. The only downside to our last visit was our server pushed the lamb flatbread on us and it was our least favorite dish and the priciest at £18. Definitely don't get that dish because the portion is small and not worth the price.

H
London
6 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

My wife and I really enjoyed our first visit to Bala Baya. Lovely food, friendly service and a buzzy atmosphere. We had the eight-course dinner tasting menu and we loved all of it. The venison minute steak was a particular highlight, we'd never tasted anything like it before. We look forward to visiting again soon.

CM
London
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall3food3service2ambience3

Food overpriced and overly complicated without actually enhancing flavour.
Delay in service between plates.
Design of restaurant meant service was lacking.

OT
London
4 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall1food4service1ambience2

Regardless the food is great; service is disappointing.
Ordered set menu and additional dish, and had to follow up with the server for the additional dish. No one came back and letting us know how long will be for the dish to arrive. 20 mins later still nothing.
Restaurant is full but lack of attention to table, short of staff more like.
Requested bday plate on bookatable, manager said they have problem with the system.
Not a great experience to celebrate birthday!
Really need to look at staffing issue.

WP
London
4 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall3food4service4ambience3

The venue for Bala Baya, under railway arches, away from the road, was not as noisy as I was led to expect from reviews. It was a handsome venue - seating upstairs preferred - with friendly staff. Used to other Middle-Eastern restaurants, the food was interesting, unusual even, less dominated by herbs, but tangy with lime (tea-infused aubergine) or horseradish (Brick potato), all well presented, though the menu lacked larger vegetarian dishes. The biggest surprise was the price of wine - a large mark up, with average bottles approaching £40. If, or likely when, I return I will eat well but drink sparingly.

OT
London
2 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had a lovely birthday dinner with friends. Food is amazing and staff are friendly and attentive. But personally I prefer their brunch menu.

OT
London
2 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2019
Overall2food1service2ambience3

Overloaded dishes, waiters you couldn’t understand, not a delicate tasting menu. Burned for 30 hours.

Do not recommend!

L
London
3 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2019
Overall3food3service5ambience3

Staff really friendly and helpful, but little noisy and tables too close together. Some of the food was great, but few dishes bit underwhelming (bread a bit hard, the green veg included some large chunks that could have been cut).

OT
London
4 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

The food was delicious, from the main menu to the deserts!!

FD
London
6 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall2food2service1ambience3

We arrived on time for our reservation at 8:30pm and the restaurant was at full capacity. We were not seated till 8:45pm and we ordered immediately since we were starving. We had the tasting menu which was about 7 courses + dessert. While the first 5 courses came out rather quickly, we sat at the table waiting for one of our appetizers for a good hour and we had to get the attention of the waiter before they even realized we had been sitting there for so long. As soon as got their attention we also ordered our dessert for fear of waiting another 50 mins before being noticed. The table behind us had sat down after us, eaten and left before us. By the time we had finished dinner it was 3 hours since we sat down - of course we told the manager when we got the check and did not pay service. The food was okay but was it worth 3 hours of dining time, certainly not. I think if the restaurant was more organized, we would have had a much better experience but given there are so many options in London, I doubt we will return.

Bala Baya
Responded on October 11, 2019

Hi FridayDateNightFail, We sorry to hear your recent experience left you less than satisfied as we pride ourselves on our guest's full experience and take your comments seriously. We would appreciate the opportunity to discuss this in more detail. If you could please send an email to Natalia@balabaya.co.uk and allow us the chance to discuss and hopefully rectify the issues you faced. We hope to hear from you and be able to give you the real Bala Baya experience! Much Love, Bala Baya X

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CG
London
2 reviews
Dined on October 2, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience4

Food was good but service slow. All the dishes came out at different times so each of us ate our mains alone while we waited for the next one to arrive.

l
London
4 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience3

Food and service were very good, however the noise level precluded a simple conversation. Menu is good but could be a bit more extensive, and consistent. Had Dak Dak very good but needed some additional cheese, noticed later the neighboring table ordered the same and their meal had proper amount of cheese. That being said all dishes were very tasty and visually good.

Bala Baya
Responded on October 11, 2019

Hi Larry, It's great to hear that you enjoyed our food & our staff looked after you! We apologise if our portion sizes weren't matched to your neighbouring table, if this had been bought to the attention we would have made you new portion to match. We try to change up the music to suit the time and day of the week. On weekday lunches & brunch, it's more relaxed and mellow, but when it comes to the evenings we embrace the party atmosphere! Much love, Bala Baya Xx Much love, Bala Baya Xx

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JK
London
76 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had an amazing client lunch. Well I say lunch, but didn’t leave until 4.30pm. Food, service and drinks were phenomenal. Can’t wait to return.

s
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience3

That was average, but just because we had a brunch menu and not the original menu. Brunch is very adapted to the wide range of customers with some mediterranean twist. Wish i had a choice of original menu as well.

Bala Baya
Responded on October 7, 2019

Hi Sushifan, We are sorry to hear you found our brunch offering average, we do try our hardest to offer an array of dishes to excite all tastebuds and it is disappointing to hear this wasn't to your liking, we find most of our guests rave about our take on brunch. We do hope you will swing by for dinner or lunch where you can sample our offerings. Much Love, Bala Baya xX

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EB
London
185 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Really delicious food, great wine and perfect service! Highly recommend this gem of a place. The hummus and chicken and aubergine all so good. And the wine!