Bala Baya

4.4
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938 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!

Special Offers

1,000-Point Tables

See availability for 1,000 point tables

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

What 938 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
86% of people would recommend it to a friend
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PW
London
11 reviews
Dined on 16 March 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Most amazing food in London.

Good luck to you guys during the crisis. We need you back!

B
London
3 reviews
Dined on 14 March 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Regularly recommend to friends. My fave restaurant in London. Amazing creative food, beautiful setting and great staff.

TF
London
2 reviews
Dined on 11 March 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I came at lunchtime so the restaurant was relatively quiet which was perfect for a business conversation. Food is fantastic. Wonderful fresh salads, vegetables and fruits and great tasting meat dishes. Something different to your usual English/European/Asian fusion offering of so many eateries. Great value power lunch option too! Give it a try...

s
London
12 reviews
Dined on 7 March 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

What super service and food. Unique and delicious.

Bala Baya
Responded on 13 March 2020

Hello Stephenodonnell, Thank you so much for your kind feedback. We will be looking forward to hosting you every time :) Much love Bala Baya team

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H
London
10 reviews
Dined on 7 March 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

fab place with super food and cocktails (food is a little on the pricey side for the quantity)

c
London
3 reviews
Dined on 7 March 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Superb food, great service & fun ambiance. Everything we tasted was delicious, with unusual but really perfect ingredient blends. This is top Mediterranean cooking with a twist

Bala Baya
Responded on 13 March 2020

Hello Caroline666, Thank you so much for such a lovely review. Whenever you happen to be around please remember... we are here to accommodate and make sure that you will have even a better experience than the last visit :). Much love, Bala Baya team

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E
London
1 review
Dined on 6 March 2020
Overall2food2service3ambience3

Average food for a massively inflated price. Most of the dishes just okay. One of our dishes was inedible - the meat fatty, tough, bland and over cooked (the manager did exchange it for something else but not before commenting that it was ‘meant to be like that’...?!) Huge ‘discretionary’ service charge added at the end, and made to feel quite uncomfortable when we didn’t want to pay it. Went away with the overall feeling of being ripped off.

Bala Baya
Responded on 13 March 2020

Hello Earlsfieldgirl, We are very sorry to hear that you did not have a good experience on your last visit. If you could please have the kindness to email us at michael@balabaya.co.uk more details we would really appreciate it. Much love, Bala Baya team

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KM
1 review
Dined on 6 March 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely fantastic!
We came across Bala Baya online by chance and would recommend to anyone looking for something a little different.
Food was outstanding, service great and a good location.

Bala Baya
Responded on 13 March 2020

Hello Katrina, We are very happy to hear that you gambled on us and we proved you right :). We would be thrilled to see you returning in the near future and meet up the same standards that made you give us such a lovely review. Much love, Bala Baya team

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OT
London
1 review
Dined on 4 March 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My favourite London restaurant ❤️

Bala Baya
Responded on 7 March 2020

Hello Anonymous, Would it be cheeky to say that you are our favourite London guest :) Much love, Bala Baya team

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WR
London
4 reviews
Dined on 4 March 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A regular at this restaurant - if you have not discovered this restaurant yet, you should do!! It’s a great c evening out.

Bala Baya
Responded on 13 March 2020

Thank you WilliamR, Always happy to hear from you :). Looking forward to host you again. Much love, Bala Baya team

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C
London
2 reviews
Dined on 4 March 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Very good food, atmosphere and service. We had 8 plates between 4 of us which was enough and they were all very good with some unusual dishes. We will definitely return.

Bala Baya
Responded on 13 March 2020

Hello Chiora, Thank you so much for such good words . We will be waiting for your return and try our best to get the same or even better feed back :) Much love Bala Baya Team

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AR
1 review
Dined on 3 March 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Enjoyable evening. Service very good as was the food. Enjoyed the wine as well. I would go back.

Bala Baya
Responded on 13 March 2020

Hello AshleyR, Thank you for your kind words. We will be looking forward to your return :) Much love, Bala Baya team

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l
London
1 review
Dined on 3 March 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great israelli food ! Lots of gluten free options

VO
London
1 review
Dined on 1 March 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding food and exceptionally attentive service. Have already recommended to anyone who will listen

Bala Baya
Responded on 7 March 2020

Hello VictoriaO, Thank you so much for a lovely review!! We are looking forward to seeing you here soon:). Much love, Bala Baya team

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LY
London
6 reviews
Dined on 29 February 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

I’ve been three times and not been disappointed. I’ll be visiting again soon

YS
London
1 review
Dined on 29 February 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

As always, delicious food! Great and kind service. The only thing: too loud music, especially upstairs.

A
London
1 review
Dined on 28 February 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Delicious food and wine, would go back for sure. The only downside is that we felt a bit rushed at the end and couldn’t enjoy our desert - as you can only have the table for a max of 2h if a party of 3-4

Bala Baya
Responded on 1 March 2020

Hello Alex, Thank you so much for finding the time to review us and especially for your kind words. Unfortunately on Weekends our table demands are quite higher than other days so it is very hard for us to provide our guests with extra time. Please give us a try on Weekdays and we are sure that we can provide you with a better experience. Please drop us an email at michael@balabaya.co.uk and we will make sure that you will be well taken care of.

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h
London
187 reviews
Dined on 26 February 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Limited but very original food menu packed with flavour. Everything we tried was delicious - recommend the cauliflower, hummus and mackerel. Not cheap but will be back !

Bala Baya
Responded on 28 February 2020

Hello hmmm, First things first, we absolutely love your nick name. Second, thank you so much for a lovely review and we are very sorry to hear that you found us limited. We are investing a lot of labour and material cost to our complex dishes so we are still trying our best to get everything we have right. We are developing as a team though, so next time you visit we might have even more options to our menus. We are looking forward to surprise you :) Much love, Bala Baya team

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j
London
1 review
Dined on 22 February 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

brilliant service, table of 8 in the end no issues in squeezing up. amazing food flavours and Israeli wine.

Bala Baya
Responded on 28 February 2020

Hello Jayg, Thank you so much for a lovely review and we are thrilled to see that you had a nice time with us. We do remember you and your amazing group and let me tell you that we are looking forward to have you back the soonest possible :). Much love, Bala Baya team

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L
1 review
Dined on 22 February 2020
Overall4food5service3ambience5

The food was fantastic. Such a delicious meal, with many more things on the menu I would want to try. It’s 100% worth a visit for the food, but the service was quite poor. I usually never say anything about bad service, but this was pretty insane. We received our food over ten minutes before our coffees arrived, which were ordered first and after asking several times. We also asked for a few snacks, some honey for tea etc and it took upwards of three times asking for them to finally come each time. I think it was slightly more frustrating because the restaurant was quite empty. The waiters were all very friendly, but it was just a bit infuriating that we were left waiting for things for extended periods of time. However, the food and atmosphere still makes this wonderful place worth it. Maybe just allow at least 2 hours to sit, order and pay for one course.

Bala Baya
Responded on 28 February 2020

Hello Levanah, Thank you so much for finding the time to review us. We have already passed your feedback to the team and we hope that this visit did not let you believe that this is our standard of service. Please email us at bookings@balabaya.co.uk and we will make sure that we will make up to you about this experience. Much love, Balabaya team

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LS
1 review
Dined on 22 February 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

It was a lovely, kid of hidden, place. Went there for brunch and food was great, recommend ordering shakshuka. Within time it got busier and the atmosphere is lively. Definitely recommend.

s
London
1 review
Dined on 19 February 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always fun to go back to this restaurant. Nice, non pretentious staff & very accomodating. Food was delicious, especially their new Labaneh & greens and aubergine mess. Drinks were delicious and service was efficient and smooth like always. We usually sit upstairs but we sat on the counter this time and enjoyed watching the chefs in action.
We always recommend it to everyone we know as it has a different & more creative take than any other modern Israeli restaurant we tried in London. Thanks again to all the chefs who entertained us while we were there. We shall be back very soon!

L
London
1 review
Dined on 18 February 2020
Overall2food3service1ambience3

Food was tasty, but very small 'sharing' portions at high prices. We were brought the bill at 9:45pm without asking for it (or being offered dessert). After dessert the waiting staff did everything they could to get us to leave as quickly as possible. Not a relaxed dining experience. Plenty of better options out there!

Bala Baya
Responded on 21 February 2020

Hello Londondiner, Thank you for taking the time for a review. We are very sorry for your experience and surprised to hear that the bill ended up on your table without being asked. This is not up to our standards and we will make sure that the team will get briefed about it. If you would be so kind to get in touch with us at bookings@balabaya.co.uk so we can discuss this further, we would like to hear more about your experience. Bala Baya team

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DO
London
13 reviews
Dined on 17 February 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A great Israeli restaurant in a very suggestive location. Service was superb though the restaurant seemed a bit cramped. The value was excellent.

GK
London
1 review
Dined on 15 February 2020
Overall3food2service3ambience4

A beautiful setting for a nice evening meal, however very disappointed with the food. With the menu being limited, we had presumed the quality of the food would be exceptional, but in reality it was flavorless and quite frankly not very nice. The staff were pleasant and gave us a free dessert as they split wine over the table, however the dessert was so disgusting, we didn't even eat it.
If you want good quality, tasty food, I would not recommend.

Bala Baya
Responded on 18 February 2020

Hello GraceK, Thank you so much for the review and the feedback. We are very sorry that we failed to impress you and for the wine that we spilt on you. Your feedback has already been given to the chef and we can only imagine that something must have not been up to our standards. If by any chance you decide to give us another try please email us on bookings@balabaya.co.uk and we will make sure that you will leave with a completely different experience. Much love Bala Baya team

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EF
London
2 reviews
Dined on 15 February 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Really good, fun and innovative food. Generous portions and great atmosphere. We went for the tasting menus and they were able to accommodate different preferences (e.g. cheese on the side). Highly recommend!

Bala Baya
Responded on 28 February 2020

Hello EmilieF, Thank you so much for a lovely review. We are looking forward to accommodate you again and you can put us on the test with as many dietary requirement you want :). Much love, Balabaya team

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JO
1 review
Dined on 14 February 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Tried the Valentine’s Day set menu, a good way to sample of the menu highlights. Service was amazing - despite it being a busy night for the staff it felt like everyone got individual attention!

Bala Baya
Responded on 18 February 2020

Hello JoannaO, Thank you for being so kind and we would like to ensure you that in your next visit you would get the same attention, if not even more :) Much love Bala Baya team

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SV
Northampton
1 review
Dined on 14 February 2020
Overall1food1service4ambience1

Every time I looked at the chefs they were licking their fingers. Made me not want to eat the food. They were completely unaware of kitchen standards which is surprising as they are in an open kitchen. The portions were small and we, along with other tables sent back food. They covered everything in flower petals which were both tasteless and textually unpleasant. The only plus was the Lithuanian who saved us. Massive waste of money and the worst Israeli restaurant I have been to. Very disappointed and others were too

Bala Baya
Responded on 16 February 2020

Hello SVP84, We will pass this feedback to the Kitchen and we do apologize if you were given the wrong impression about our standards. We are surprised to hear about food going back though. We have been receiving very positive feedback about the Valentine's day and emails thanking us for the lovely night, so we are not sure where did you find the rest of unsatisfied diners. As for the portions, unfortunately we cannot compete with American standards. We are an Israeli restaurant after all.

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R
London
3 reviews
Dined on 13 February 2020
Overall4food4service2ambience5

The food was incredible, and we loved our experience. The only thing I would like to add is that the waitress was far too pushy with trying to get us to order more food, wine, basically interrupting us constantly. It almost tarnished our experience, so perhaps it could be fed back?

e
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on 13 February 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was delicious, creative, and beautifully plated. Food came quickly and service was fantastic as well. Restaurant was nicely decorated and a great place for friends to hang out. It was buzzing on a Thursday night. It is a bit pricy, though. Expect 40-50 per person.

Bala Baya
Responded on 18 February 2020

Hello eatinginvermont, Thank you so much for a lovely feedback and we are thrilled to hear that everything went well in you visit. We hope to see you soon on another buzzy day :) Much love Bala Baya team

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WR
London
5 reviews
Dined on 13 February 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This must be my tenth visit to Bala Baya and, frankly, it’s always good! The team is great, food is bold in colour and flavour and the ambience relaxed and casual. Highly recommended

KR
London
1 review
Dined on 8 February 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Charming restaurant on Union Street, hidden away - squid and black was delicious, service was attentive and they let us change tables to the one that I preferred.

MG
London
3 reviews
Dined on 8 February 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Unusual tasty food. Wonderful flavours. We had the Vegetarian Tasting menu and enjoyed every mouthful of each dish. Every plate was wiped clean!

SK
London
2 reviews
Dined on 7 February 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely food. Delightful service. Highly recommended.

CM
London
1 review
Dined on 6 February 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience3

Explosive flavours (which I enjoy) but perhaps not as well balanced as it could be. Would have a higher rating, but the incredibly high noise levels make the experience somewhat uncomfortable and the entire party were somewhat anxious to leave.

Also, the desserts were somewhat disappointing in comparison with the rest of the menu.

R
London
7 reviews
Dined on 4 February 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We went as a group of four and shared about 9 dishes, they are fairly small plates but we were all full by the end of our meal. So many great flavours, we loved everything - especially the chicken thighs and hummus! The restaurant is nicely designed inside and there was a good atmosphere. I will definitely be returning!

FM
London
1 review
Dined on 1 February 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience4

We tried most of the small plates and they went from wow ( the humous) to average ((the tomato salad) to not great (the mackerel). Dessert was really poor. Cheesecake really dry. Service however really good. Reason for not recommending is because I think it’s too expensive for what it is.

RZ
London
4 reviews
Dined on 1 February 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience3

There were hits and misses.

The hummus and baba ghanouj were delicious! and the sea bass excellent.

The vegan lamb was very odd, the cauliflower ordinary, desserts were terrible, non edible!

MG
London
1 review
Dined on 31 January 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding Fresh Food with Huge Variety pf tastes and Flavors

LC
London
1 review
Dined on 31 January 2020
Overall3food2service4ambience3

Pleasant venue. Friendly and helpful staff. Good service. Very average good, and definitely too expensive for what we ate. You will certainly find better places to eat around that area.