Bala Baya

4.6
1000 reviews
£26 to £40
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!

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitising
  • Surfaces sanitised between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitised menu provided
  • Contactless payment available
Physical distancing
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
What 1000 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.5
service
4.5
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Energetic
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JE
vipJEFoodie
London
82 reviews
Dined on 8 December 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience4

I met a friend for dinner on a Wednesday night. The restaurant was busy and a bit tight. We were advised we had the table for 1 3/4 hours but managed to stay a bit longer. We had the cauliflower head which was delicious, hummus, baklava prawns and tempura monkfish. All were very good. I have been before and would come again.

LP
LeahP
London
1 review
Dined on 7 December 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Never been before but can’t wait to go back! Food was delish! Service also very good

LM
LaurenM
London
1 review
Dined on 28 November 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Unbelievably tasty. All vegetarian options could be made vegan which meant there were plenty of options for vegan guests, and the staff were so helpful and friendly :)

PB
PBear
London
1 review
Dined on 25 November 2021
Overall3food1service4ambience5

Very disappointing food - everything was overly sweet and the chicken and plum salad was almost inedible it was so sour. A favourite pre-pandemic the new menu does not meet the previously impeccable standards!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
London
49 reviews
Dined on 21 November 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Very nice experience. The food was varied and interesting and the staff very welcoming. It is always good to see that there are dining options - inside and out for when the weather improves.

AN
AlexandraN
London
3 reviews
Dined on 20 November 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

From the utterly heavenly food (monkfish and cauliflower were standouts for us) to the exuberant super friendly and joyous staff, it couldn’t have been better.

DS
DanSome
London
2 reviews
Dined on 12 November 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Generally good food. Some dishes outstanding, some average.

PH
PaulH
London
18 reviews
Dined on 11 November 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience3

Amazing food, we had the tasting menu and, like most tasting menus, there were outstanding dishes and some average ones... the tempura monkfish, aubergine dish and the beef Diane were the standout dishes of the day.
Basically delicious, full flavoured and taste-bud tantalising. The restaurant itself is a little packed in and all hard-surfaces and marble which a) doesn't make for the most comfortable, luxuriant dining experience but also b) means the noise level was v high. Overall, it was brilliant and exciting flavours and I've already recommended it to other people - that alone probably says more than my review.

OT
OpenTable Diner
London
1 review
Dined on 8 November 2021
Overall3food3service4ambience3

Casual dining, good service.

OT
OpenTable Diner
London
7 reviews
Dined on 16 October 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A great find! Welcoming service and delicious food.

OT
OpenTable Diner
London
23 reviews
Dined on 14 October 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food, great vibe. Thanks

JA
JojoA
1 review
Dined on 6 September 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food never fails to disappoint -- the menu is updated frequently with vibrant, new dishes. The staff are kind and attentive; don't miss out on this hidden treasure of London's food scene.

B
Balabayalover
London
8 reviews
Dined on 7 July 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Incredible layering of flavours. Professional attentive but fun service. Highly recommended.

OT
OpenTable Diner
London
1 review
Dined on 30 October 2020
Overall3food4service5ambience1

We enjoyed the food and the service. But the one thing that disappointed us is that there were very little COVID-19 safety measures taken. The only thing they did was have a sanitiser station, track and trace and have all the servers were a mask. There were no safety measures taken for seating, despite it being extremely busy! I could have easily taken the food off my neighbours table without getting up. Very disappointed considering it was extremely busy and were in the middle of a pandemic.

JJ
vipJJH8
London
19 reviews
Dined on 29 October 2020
Overall3food5service2ambience3

Incredible food – pillowy pita and spicy hummus, crispy and sweet calamari, enticing flavours and a mix of textures – but the service left a lot to be desired.

One dish (potatoes) arrived half an hour after the other four with no apology or explanation. We sat with a table of empty plates and empty wine glasses for 20 minutes and weren’t asked once whether we needed anything. It could just be teething problems.

RH
RonH
London
10 reviews
Dined on 27 October 2020
Overall2food2service3ambience2

Nothing special

TH
TomH
London
3 reviews
Dined on 24 October 2020
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
9 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
vipStephanieP
London
11 reviews
Dined on 3 October 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food and great location! Staff were attentive too

MM
MatM
London
2 reviews
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
9 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
7 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
38 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
24 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
London
14 reviews
Dined on 31 August 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Very good flavours . Unexpected but good.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
London
9 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
19 reviews
Dined on 25 August 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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

r
viprozzy
London
17 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

FAQs

Bala Baya is rated 4.6 stars by 1000 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.