This restaurant added safety precaution details

This includes info about cleaning, sanitising, social distancing, and usage of personal protective equipment. Learn more.

Bala Baya

4.3
982 reviews
£26 to £40
Israeli

Top tags:

Good Vegetarian Options
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!

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitising
  • Surfaces sanitised between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitised menu provided
  • Contactless payment available
Social Distancing
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace

Offers

London Restaurant Festival: 6 sharing plates with a dessert £45pp

Oct 1-31, 2020·Daily 17:00-19:45

The tasting menus are served sharing style for a minimum of 2 people.
The whole table must dine from the same menu.

What 982 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.3
service
4.3
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
85% of people would recommend it to a friend
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TH
TomH
London
3 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience4

When we visited it was very busy, with tables quite close together (so if you're very worried about covid you might want to look elsewhere), lowish lighting, and a buzzy atmosphere. The food is great, particularly the hummus with short rib, and we enjoyed our Israeli wine too.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
London
8 reviews
Dined on 12 October 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fabulous as always

MM
MMAXXX
London
2 reviews
Dined on 12 October 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Food was very good, served fresh and piping hot. Service was excellent, very friendly chatty Waiter. Would recommend. Just a shame that London was so quiet and the number of Customers in the restaurant was so small, which is a real shame as it does detract somewhat from the ambience sitting in an empty restaurant but, of course, this cannot be helped in these dreadful times. It is such a shame for the restaurant industry as a whole. We only hope they can all survive this!

E
Eye1
London
1 review
Dined on 4 October 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience3

We enjoyed the shared plates experience. The food was good although some dishes were better than others. We particularly enjoyed the tomato salad. The waiting staff were friendly and we didn't feel rushed.

AF
AF10
London
1 review
Dined on 3 October 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great atmosphere and great food - would highly recommend!

SP
StephanieP
London
7 reviews
Dined on 3 October 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food and great location! Staff were attentive too

MM
MatM
1 review
Dined on 29 September 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Veggie Sharer... copious for two, nicest I’ve ever had.

I didn’t like tomatoes... until now, there is photo evidence of me cramming them in.

Israeli Cabernet Sauvignon... genuinely good.

C
Catarina
1 review
Dined on 29 September 2020
Overall3food3service2ambience4

They forgot 2 of our dishes. We waited more than 1h for the food. When the bill arrived they forgot to include the eat out help out discount. I asked if they were still doing it, and then they changed the total price.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
London
6 reviews
Dined on 22 September 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Incredible food. We had the lamb chop, chicken thighs, prawn baklava, potatoes, houmous. All were outstanding as usual. My favourite restaurant in London.

AG
AnnabelG
London
6 reviews
Dined on 16 September 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience4

wonderful food, really enjoyed this experience. Lots of outdoors tables too in good weather.

WE
WENDYP
London
2 reviews
Dined on 12 September 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A delicious menu, unusual dishes that you can’t find in the average restaurant. Chosen as we were visiting Tate Modern so a short walk away.
The ambience was good, an outside dining area in Union Arches was laid out in keeping with covid guidelines but there were enough carefully spaced tables to make for a good atmosphere. Service was really good and the food really diverse, the cauliflower in pomegranate molasses Is a must. Would definitely recommend and go back.

D
vipDinastar
London
37 reviews
Dined on 10 September 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Wonderful and surprising dishes of food for sharing. A real fusion of Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Oriental flavours that really worked. The intriguing Prawn Baklava was a real winner.

GK
GeeK
London
4 reviews
Dined on 9 September 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious dinner.

OT
OpenTable Diner
London
1 review
Dined on 9 September 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious food and great atmosphere. This was my third visit and it was as good as the first time.

H
Hope
London
1 review
Dined on 7 September 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and service, sat outside and had a lovely lunch.

B
vipBarun
London
18 reviews
Dined on 3 September 2020
Overall2food3service1ambience4

I was quite disappointed with the place, wasnt as I had expected. The offer that I booked through Open Table was discontinued and we were informed about it when we reached at the table. The service was too slow, got an order for 2 dishes after 45 mins when we reminded the waiter. Disappointed.

JS
JuliaS
London
3 reviews
Dined on 31 August 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic meal at Bala Baya. Wonderful food (Cauliflower dish was amazing) which had some great new flavours! Look forward to my next trip there.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Sydney / NSW
8 reviews
Dined on 31 August 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Very good flavours . Unexpected but good.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
London
6 reviews
Dined on 31 August 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My favourite restaurant in London!

Report
C
Cassi
London
11 reviews
Dined on 25 August 2020
Overall4food5service3ambience3

Not enough social distancing, which in Covid times is quite unsettling. Food was incredible, but service was hit-and-miss. I understand it was a busy night, but a bit more attention — especially at front of the house — would've been welcome!

n
neet
London
17 reviews
Dined on 25 August 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic food - seasoning is amazing and flavoursome. Will definitely be going back!

r
viprozzy
London
16 reviews
Dined on 25 August 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Excellent dishes, good portion sizes great service

OT
OpenTable Diner
London
1 review
Dined on 22 August 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience4

The meal was fine. Nothing overly exciting to be honest, I’ve definitely had better shakshuka elsewhere. Our meals all came out at different times and one person was left waiting quite a while. The service was hit and miss. The head waiter was great but one of the others got our order of sides wrong and another was just a bit blunt really. We had to wait twenty minutes for our table to be ready and they didn’t have the mixer for the cocktail I ordered. Individually none of these things are a big deal but collectively it’s given me enough reason not to bother going back.

OT
OpenTable Diner
London
1 review
Dined on 19 August 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience2

Very basic food, not great service and you still pay the hefty london price! Not worth it unfortunately

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
London
52 reviews
Dined on 19 August 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Great food and very good options for vegetarians and vegans. Love the flavours and how simple ingredients shine!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
London
1 review
Dined on 19 August 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Nice but still prefer Asian cuisine

E
Eveningmeal
1 review
Dined on 16 August 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

A lovely venue tucked away under the railway arches. Excellent food. Very creative food with excellent combinations. A little on the pricier side. I had 3 "tapas" like dishes a drink and desert. A friend had the same and it came to £53 each. Excellent service though. Knowledgable staff and very kind. I would recommend this place all the same. The food is excellent

B
Basil
Gloucestershire
2 reviews
Dined on 15 August 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Have been several times and always enjoy this wonderful restaurant. A hidden gem in Southwark.

KC
KieranC
London
1 review
Dined on 15 August 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Not as good as I thought it would be definitely overpriced and slightly overrated. Food was OK for some things, less so for others. The service was good, as was the atmosphere, but the value for money really took away from the enjoyment in the end.

OT
OpenTable Diner
London
1 review
Dined on 14 August 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful evening, food amazing and felt really safe in these strange times

GB
GeorgeB
London
1 review
Dined on 11 August 2020
Overall3food4service3ambience3

If you like Ottolenghi you will like Baya Bala. However I must say that service and price does not match up. First of all the wine choices by the glass were poor, the wine served although was a hot day should have been chilled. The waitors were nice, but it did take a while to get our food and desert so the whole experience dragged out. The dishes could have been served with more pita bread or some table sides included.

The key point is that it is very overpriced food like this should cost much less. Go to Ottolenghi instead.

EB
vipEB2012
London
29 reviews
Dined on 11 August 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

So nice to be back after lockdown. Forgot how good the food is and lovely staff.

n
newfoodie
London
5 reviews
Dined on 11 August 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Went with our little one year old and it is always fab!

OT
OpenTable Diner
London
2 reviews
Dined on 5 August 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very yummy food. Will visit again.

GB
vipGB81
London
54 reviews
Dined on 4 August 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience4

We had a great time at Bala Baya. My friends and I were meeting out for a post-lock down reunion. We had a table outside, which was perfect. The staff were excellent. They were all following correct social distancing procedures, but that didn't stop them from also offering fun and friendly service. The food and wine were all delicious! We ended up staying much longer than we had originally intended, which thankfully wasn't a problem. I'd definitely recommend anyone to head to Bala Baya!

JD
JDisME
London
30 reviews
Dined on 1 August 2020
Overall4food3service4ambience4

Often a great place to eat, this time just didn't feel AS great. I'm sure with reopening after lockdown there are sure to be some kinks to iron out. I will be back, hopefully when I do it will be back up to it's previous greatness

B
vipBalabayalover
London
7 reviews
Dined on 27 July 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It's so good to have you back. Amazing as usual. The staff were wearing masks and there was many hand sanitiser dispensers to be seen. Friendly service and great vibe even with the masks. See you soon.

P
Pete
London
51 reviews
Dined on 25 July 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent Israeli restaurant. We come here every few months are and never disappointed.

C
Conners
1 review
Dined on 18 July 2020
Overall2food3service3ambience2

My wife and I had different opinions. She loved it but it was not for me. Firstly i felt that the decor was a bit underwhelming. I assumed it would be much trendier but it was a bit bland inside and did not have that classy or trendy feel to it. Secondly i felt the menu was a bit limited- there was only about 12 dishes. I felt these dishes were around 40% too expensive but i fully accept that may be Covid related as these places need to survive and recoup lost revenue. A 12.5% service included annoyed me but that may also be the post Covid norm. The lamb in laffa was the biggest disappointment- it was so tiny and cost £15- this price is absurd. £9 max. There was only one beer option and nothing on draught so the drinks menu wasnt that good either. There was nothing really on the dessert menu and even though i called ahead because it was my wifes birthday they didnt do anything for it at all bar giving us a small Rasberry shot at the end. The restaurant was not busy. I felt that it would have been easy for all the staff to make the tinniest of fusses by say singing happy birthday or providing a cupcake with a candle in it. They said they would only do this if we ordered a dessert (which we did not) which i feel was bordering on rude. I do feel that the waitress was upselling all the time ("have another drink") or by suggesting we order more which we didnt need and predictably a big push for their most expensive dish on the menu (some fish dish cant remember what it was), but again maybe this is the norm post Covid- she did eventually see that this was annoying me and then stopped doing it. The positives however cannot be overlooked. The Hummous dish was delicious as was the cauliflower. It was all nicely presented. The service (bar upselling) was quick and attentive. My wife loved the prawns and aubergine. The restaurant is in a cosy side street which has bars and live music. It is in a great location.

JD
JakeD
London
2 reviews
Dined on 11 July 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing hosts, friendly staff and incredible food ✅

FAQs

Bala Baya does offer delivery in partnership with Deliveroo.

Bala Baya is rated 4.3 stars by 982 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting bookings at the moment.