Bala Baya

4.4
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832 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

London restaurant Festival: 7 Course taster menu £42pp

Dishes are designed to be shared and are served when ready, please let your waiter know about any allergy or dietary requirements. Please be aware 12.5% service charge will be applied to your bill on the night. The whole table must dine from the menu.

Terms and Conditions: Maximum of 7 diners. Includes Tax, excludes service.

Valid For: 2 - 7 people

Starts: 1 October 2019

Ends: 31 October 2019

Availability: Mon-Sat 17:00-23:00

Celebrate New Year's Eve with a fantastic meal!

Please note we will only be offering New Years Eve Tasting Menu and will be in touch closer to the date with all the information regarding our party.

Tuesday, 31 December, 2019

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 832 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
4.4
service
4.2
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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M
London
168 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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

M
London
10 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

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

SE
London
11 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

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 3 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

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

LJ
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 3

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 3 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

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

J
London
8 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

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

F
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 1

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
Yorkshire
1 review
Dined on 13 October 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

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
8 reviews
Dined on 12 October 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

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
5 reviews
Dined on 12 October 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

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 12 October 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

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

OT
London
5 reviews
Dined on 12 October 2019
Overall 1food 4service 1ambience 2

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 11 October 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 3

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 10 October 2019
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 3

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 7 October 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

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 5 October 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

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

FD
London
5 reviews
Dined on 4 October 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 3

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 11 October 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 2 October 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

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
2 reviews
Dined on 1 October 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

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 11 October 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 1 October 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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 28 September 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

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 7 October 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
184 reviews
Dined on 27 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

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!

N
London
1 review
Dined on 27 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Perfect evening, perfect place, perfect food, cannot wait to go back!

MK
London
5 reviews
Dined on 26 September 2019
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 2

Great food but so loud we couldn’t hear the waiter or have a conversation!

Bala Baya
Responded on 7 October 2019

Hi MrsKnitting, Thank you for visiting and for taking the time to leave a review. It's great to hear that you loved our food! We change the type and volume of the music to be suited to the time and day of the week. During weekday lunch and brunch, for example, it's more relaxed and mellow, but come on Thursday/Friday night we like to put on something more upbeat and turn it up! We do hope our party atmosphere will not deter you from coming again. Much love, Bala Baya Xx

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B
Gloucestershire
1 review
Dined on 26 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Amazing restaurant, great food. A lovely experience

Bala Baya
Responded on 30 September 2019

Hi Basil, Thank you for your love and support - It means the world to us! We hope you pop in again soon. Much Love, Bala Baya Xx

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OT
Dubai
6 reviews
Dined on 25 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One word for this place: incredible!

KC
Frankfurt Area
2 reviews
Dined on 22 September 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 1

The service was terrible. It took over an hour for lunch to arrive and our waiter disappeared. The food was mediocre.

BG
1 review
Dined on 20 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Probably the tastiest food we have had for a while. We all agreed that every single dish was exceptional. And the service was attentive but not overly in your face and for what we got it was really good value for money. This place has a relaxed but fun vibe. Simply cannot wait to go back (but hoping not too many people read this and cotton on so we can't get a table....!!)

Bala Baya
Responded on 30 September 2019

Hi BridgetG, Thank you very much for taking the time out to send us your feedback. We are very happy to hear that you enjoyed the flavours and that our team looked after you! We have passed your feedback on to the team and we hope to see you again soon. Much Love, Bala Baya Xx

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MT
1 review
Dined on 20 September 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

An interesting venue; very welcoming staff and excellent service throughout. Food was inventive and very tasty. The Israeli Rose wine we had was excellent.
A useful venue for an early dinner before seeing something at the Union Theatre in the same complex.

Bala Baya
Responded on 30 September 2019

Hi MichaeIT, Thank you so much for your faboulous feedback! We are so glad to hear that you enjoyed your time with us on your last visit ☺️ We hope to catch you again soon. Much Love, Bala Baya Xx

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MS
Berkshire
1 review
Dined on 19 September 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

Great atmosphere and buzz. Beautiful food although definitely order several dishes as some are quite small. Hummus exceptional and the taste and presentation of everything we had was great. Service very informal and friendly; but did take a while at the busiest part of the evening. However, the taste, buzz and hummus definitely mean I’d return and recommend.

OT
London
2 reviews
Dined on 19 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Amazing food. We were upstairs, which had a good atmosphere. Took a while to get served but once it happened they were much more attentive. Highly recommend

Bala Baya
Responded on 23 September 2019

Thanks so much for your review - apologies for the delay on service, but 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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SM
London
3 reviews
Dined on 18 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful meal at Bala Baya, where I hosted my senior management team. Great food, vibe and service. Vegetarian and vegan options were well catered for (& delicious), and the cheesecake desert is out of this world. Head of our Dubai office noted it was "the best hummus I have ever eaten, and I eat a lot of hummus".

JK
London
76 reviews
Dined on 18 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Exceptional lunch. The aubergine salad delicious, the octopus extraordinary, and the cheesecake divine.

What more is there to say?

Bala Baya
Responded on 23 September 2019

Hi JenniferK, We are so glad you enjoyed our dishes and had a fab lunch with us! Your review means the world to us and we don't think we would add anything ourselves - thanks so much! We hope to have you over again very soon. Much love, Bala Baya Xx

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F
New England
16 reviews
Dined on 17 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We ate a delicious meal and cannot wait to go back.

Bala Baya
Responded on 7 October 2019

Hi MOMMYfoodies, Thank you for stopping in and leaving a review. Your support means the world to us and we cant wait to see you again soon! Much Love, Bala Baya Xx

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SG
London
5 reviews
Dined on 15 September 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Bala Baya is a good restaurant - food, setting and service is great. My only reservation is that I think it is a little expensive for what it is. I do recommend it though!

Bala Baya
Responded on 23 September 2019

Hi SarahG, Thanks so much for visiting and leaving a review! You're too kind, we're so glad you enjoyed your time with us. We value your feedback and have passed this onto the team. We hope to see you again soon. Much love, Bala Baya Xx

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JR
1 review
Dined on 15 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely amazing food and service!!! Just the best!

Bala Baya
Responded on 23 September 2019

Hi JessicaR, Thank you 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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RH
London
5 reviews
Dined on 14 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Could not recommend this more highly. Fantastic food and friendly service. Just a gorgeous restaurant.

Bala Baya
Responded on 23 September 2019

Hi RchaelH, Thank you so much for dropping in and leaving such gorgeous comments, we are glad to hear you enjoyed your visit. We hope to see catch you again soon! Much Love, Bala Baya Xx

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S
London
2 reviews
Dined on 14 September 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 3

I was familiar with the work of chef Eran Tibi so was curious to see how it played out in this environment. We went on a sunny weekend for brunch, and were able to sit outside, which was lovely. The menu offered a number of vegetarian and fish choices but am not keen on the stipulation that the small plates have to be ordered by everyone at the table. I think some of the dishes in the small plates section could usefully be offered as mains, to give more variety. The cocktails were nice and a bit different. The acid test is whether I would go back — my friends would, but I don't think I would make the journey — two tubes and two buses for me — as I thought it was pleasant but didn't really have the necessary wow factor. Sorry, Eran!

OT
London
2 reviews
Dined on 13 September 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Food was excellent as always! The staff very friendly but professional. Also very accommodating as we needed bigger table at the last minute. The only downside is that it’s a bit noisy.

Bala Baya
Responded on 23 September 2019

Thank you so much for your faboulous feedback! We are so glad to hear that you enjoyed your time with us on your last visit ☺️ We hope to catch you again soon! Much Love, Bala Baya Xx

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