Bala Baya

4.4
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890 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

Book now for Valentine's Day 2020

Whether you're dinning with your loved one, having a Galentine's night or just want a decadent treat! Join us from 5pm onward on Friday 14th February for a flirty 6 course Sharing Menu with a Champagne Gazoz to start the evening on a high note. Menu @ £55pp. Bookings@balabaya.co.uk. 02080017015

Saturday, February 15, 2020

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 890 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
87% of people would recommend it to a friend
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M
London
173 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Ramains the go-to venue authentic Israeli food. Great dishes, excellent service and fair prices. All that's missing is the beach!

Bala Baya
Responded 2 days ago

Hello Mogman, Thank you very much for a lovely review. We are taking into a serious consideration all the feedback that we get from our guests as we see them as our personal goals. In this occasion, the task you set is hard... but a beach it is!!! Much love, Bala Baya team

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OT
Sydney / NSW
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall3food3service4ambience3

Rggs in the lamb shakshuka were overcooked and became rubbery. Also quite loud upstairs and can be difficult to hear each other on the round tables

Bala Baya
Responded 2 days ago

Hello Anonymous, Thank you very much for the review and bringing this to our attention. The feedback has been already given to the chef and we are very sorry for the wrong execution of our delicious shakshuka. Please feel free on your next visit to let us know if something on the dishes or the ambience is not right for you and we will fix it swiftly. We are looking forward to hosting you again and make your experience much better. Bala baya Team

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T
London
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Tucked away off union street this split level restaurant offers excellent quick service, delicious Middle Eastern food. Traditional dishes you would expect are spiced up with exotic and inventive ingredients like the mouth watering roast aubergine with lychees. Best was the lamb in pitta with fresh salad. Ingredients were fresh and combinations worked well. Also nicely accommodated for my lactose intolerance. The dessert we chose was a chocolate pastry which came warm but dry and tasteless. Apart from that it was a delightful dinner after the exhibition. Ambience was buzzing but not overwhelming, wish they had turned the lights down a little especially downstairs where the countertop is. Recommend for couples and groups alike

Bala Baya
Responded 2 days ago

Hello Tesangel69, First of all, thank you very much for a lovely and constructive review and I would like you to know that we have already given this feedback to the chef. As for the lighting, we share the same opinion with you but unfortunately there is a certain level of brightness that our open kitchen chefs need in order to provide us with their magic. Of course we will see in to this and find a solution as we believe that our counter is the heart of our restaurant.

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H
London
1 review
Dined on January 16, 2020
Overall4food5service2ambience4

Best hummus in town, super generous amount of truffles in the plates ! great area and atmosphere.

WR
London
2 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

A relatively frequent visitor to Bala Baya and enjoy it every time I go - worth a visit to the “tapas style” restaurant....... a touch noisy at times but not yet too noisy!

Bala Baya
Responded on January 12, 2020

Hello WilliamR, Thank you so much for a lovely review and even more for your constructive feedback. Our music philosophy matches our cuisine and flavours, which is rich and intense, however, we would never want to affect anyone's evening in a negative way. I would like to encourage you in your next visit to feel free telling us to put the volume a little bit down for you. We know that we are overdoing it sometimes so please never feel shy to remind us :)

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PC
London
80 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had a superb business lunch here a few days ago. Everything hit the mark. Delicious food (the chicken and cauliflower were my top two), an excellent wine choice and just the right level of attention from staff. Looking forward to coming back very soon!

MC
Oxford
2 reviews
Dined on January 7, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Great quality food in lovely modern restaurant with friendly and efficient staff. Hope to visit again soon.

BC
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Some of the food was excellent (tomato salad and confit mackerel) but the prawn baklava and octopus were not good and at these prices (£14-16 for a tapas style main) it is just not good enough. Disappointing as it has a lot of potential. Service and drinks were pretty good.

LG
London
12 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Great service; very accommodating of a toddler

DP
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Lovely restaurant under the arches, with attentive and friendly staff. Food was really excellent, but we did find the special New Year menu more pricey than we had hoped. Would have been better if there had been a slightly reduced price for children. Would recommend and the ambience was first class. Will be back in the future.

J
Cambridge
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Good food, nice staff, Palomar, which has a similar menu is better though! Cocktail with roses very innovative.

RD
London
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall3food3service5ambience5

The cake we had was very dry. The cost was £44each. This is far too expensive.

OT
London
4 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Once again we had an amazing time. Good food, friendly, professional and fun service. Fun vibe.

OT
London
1 review
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience1

The music did not suit the restaurant, it felt more appropriate for a night club. The staff appeared underdressed a little unfriendly and intimidating. the food was ok but the market fish was overpriced and we were not informed at the time we ordered it.

C
London
2 reviews
Dined on December 20, 2019
Overall3food3service2ambience2

Portions too small, Correspondingly - prices too high.

WR
London
2 reviews
Dined on December 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

This is a lovely restaurant for lunch or dinner. It’s relaxed and friendly with a great menu, food with big bold flavours and a team with an efficient but chilled service style. My fifth time there and certainly not my last!

PC
London
80 reviews
Dined on December 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had a truly outstanding dinner here with friends. Delicious, unique food, amazing cocktails and the desserts were extraordinary. Can’t wait to go back

TS
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on December 19, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Some of the food was good, like the hummus, but some other was not great, like the octopus. I think the place was too overpriced.

CR
London
36 reviews
Dined on December 17, 2019
Overall5food4service4ambience5

We had a small team dinner here, choosing the festive tasting menu. The food and service were fantastic and we had a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

Bala Baya
Responded 2 days ago

Hello CardieRascal, Thank you very much for your review. We are very proud of our festive menus so we are very happy to receive this feedback. We welcome you to try our standard tasting menus as we believe that you will find them delicious and on even better value. We are looking forward! Bala Baya team.

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GW
London
1 review
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Very helpful staff when ordering and delicious cocktails. Welcoming atmosphere, whilst still feeling polished.

VF
London
6 reviews
Dined on December 13, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Absolutely delicious food! So incredibly good we ordered seconds of almost every dish! Loved the holiday sprigs in the ice cubes, a lovely touch! My friends and I had a really enjoyable evening here.

R
London
76 reviews
Dined on December 12, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Love this place! The food has always been outstandingly tasty, well presented, reasonably priced. I've been here 3 times now with different meals each time. I will definitely go back again.

SL
1 review
Dined on December 10, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience3

Delicious food and good service but music was loud and in general the space was very noisy. Nothing intimate or cosy.

AS
Dublin
1 review
Dined on December 8, 2019
Overall4food5service2ambience4

Great food but slow service and it wasn't even crowded.

JF
Bristol
3 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We visited Jerusalem in January this year and fell in love with the culture, history and cuisine and were thus delighted to find an Israeli gem in London. The food was SUPERB and so too was the service, really attentive, friendly and helpful. It was for my partner's birthday and when I booked I said it was for a birthday but was not expecting the restaurant to take too much notice, however, after we said no to dessert (too full) our waitress came over with two celebratory shots, telling us that she was going to put a candle in our dessert but since we did not choose one she wanted to still offer us a little something, which really made what was already an incredible dining experience that much more special!

Bala Baya
Responded on December 9, 2019

Hi JulieF, Such great feedback! It is words like yours that lets us know we are doing it right. We are so pleased to hear that our team showed you the true Bala Baya experience and took good care of you. We hope to see you again soon! Much Love, Bala Baya Xx

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KD
London
1 review
Dined on December 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

From the moment we entered and were warmly greeted to our departure an hour and a half later, it was all perfect! The food had so much flavour and colour! The waiting staff were attentive and informative!

Bala Baya
Responded on December 9, 2019

Hi KiwiDinah, It is a pleasure to read your review, we must agree our team have a great way of looking after our guests! We are glad to hear you enjoyed our flavours and we can not wait to welcome you again soon. Much Love, Bala Baya Xx

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BA
London
41 reviews
Dined on December 5, 2019
Overall5food5service3ambience4

I love this restaurant, the food is always phenomenal. This time however, the service felt very rushed... constantly topping up our wine glasses, when they're still full... taking plates away with food still on them. It made us feel we had to hurry... I'll be back, I know this was just a glitch.

Bala Baya
Responded on December 9, 2019

Hi BA20, Thank you for your continued love & support, it means the world to us!] We are apologies of the service felt a little more rushed than normal, we have passed your feedback over to our managers who will address this with the team. We cant wait to see you again soon! Much Love, Bala Baya Xx

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PJ
London
7 reviews
Dined on December 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Another outstanding meal! Such exciting flavours. And not too noisy despite there being a table of 30 on the mezzanine upstairs. Some confusion over our order - with the waiter trying to deliver some dishes to us a second time - but overall a really interesting and delicious menu and friendly service.
Skip the lamb-flatbread (fatty, late to be delivered, and not good value) and invest in two portions of the sticky chicken thighs instead. Incredible!

Bala Baya
Responded on December 9, 2019

Thank you very much for your review & support, it 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 regarding the lamb and they will address, where needed, any ongoing issues - We thank you for your honest feedback. We cant wait to see you again! Much Love, Bala Baya Xx

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YH
1 review
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall1food1service4ambience1

Super small meals, not reflected in the web and the menu.
Very disappointing experience!

OT
London
3 reviews
Dined on November 27, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Nice restaurant, tasty food and very nice decor. It is a sharing concept albeit certain dishes are not presented in a way that they could be shared (i.e. one piece of potato or one aubergine cake on the plate).

J
London
1 review
Dined on November 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food and service, with a menu full of dishes that none of us had tried before. The waitress was great and knew all of the dishes in detail. Would love to visit them again.

EB
London
23 reviews
Dined on November 24, 2019
Overall5food4service4ambience4

Great place for brunch and good choice from the menu.

SR
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall1food1service2ambience1

I am quiete surprised of the poor level of this restaurant.
I came to London with great expctation for this venue knowing that this Chef was inspired by a very well known Chef (Otolenghi).

We tried more than 7 dishes and the only thing I could call normal was the hummus and the pitta.
For what's left, I am still nice by telling you it was a complete no sense and nightmare in terms of taste.

The hype for this place is crazy. It was a complete disaster in terms of taste, I have never experienced something like this.
I have tested several times Israeli food and this is not Israeli food (the idea of putting some jelly inside a lamb sandwich....).

If you want to save yourself money, time and your stomach, don't go there.

AW
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Our whole night was excellent. They read the notes in my OpenTable booking and wished my girlfriend a happy birthday. We were seated upstairs which I would recommend, the potato was excellent, the hummus was very nice. It's the sort of place where people are turning to the other tables to talk about how great the food is. A gem of a restaurant.

Bala Baya
Responded on November 25, 2019

Hi AngusW, Thank you for taking the time out to write your review. We are happy to hear you enjoyed our flavours & had an enjoyable time with us, we must agree our brick potato is not one to be missed! I We really do hope to see you again soon. Much Love, Bala Baya Xx

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M
London
18 reviews
Dined on November 22, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Delightful experience. Love the small plates.

DM
London
3 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Excellent food, wonderful flavours, much creativity. And very good value for money. Highly recommended

Bala Baya
Responded on November 25, 2019

Hi DimitraM, Thanks so much for your review, it's so good to hear you had a great time! We can't wait to welcome you back soon. Much love, Bala Baya Xx

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GP
Surrey
2 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Excellent service, very pleasant staff. Food was very good.

MC
1 review
Dined on November 19, 2019
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).

PB
London
2 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

I was in a group of 4 on a Monday night and the restaurant was buzzing. The location is great in a rail bridge archway. I've never been to Tel Aviv so don't know about the cuisine, we all thought it was sweet and were perhaps looking for more spice. Unless you're a big eater, after the hummus starter, two plates per person were enough.

C
London
1 review
Dined on November 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

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

Bala Baya
Responded on November 25, 2019

Hi Clahar, Thanks for popping by and leaving us a review. We are so glad you enjoyed your time with us and the team were delighted to read your review. We hope to have you over again very soon. Much love, Bala Baya Xx

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