Bala Baya

4.4
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797 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

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 797 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
4.6
food
4.4
service
4.2
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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JK
London
75 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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

What more is there to say?

SG
London
5 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
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!

JR
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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

RH
London
5 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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

S
London
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
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 7 days ago
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.

JP
London
2 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Tucked away by railway arches, this is a really good Middle Eastern restaurant. The food is inventive, interesting and superb. The choice for vegetarians is excellent. The ambience is cool and relaxed with outside dining. The service is excellent. Overall one of the better dining experiences in London today.

V
Berlin
4 reviews
Dined on 12 September 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Great location and food, fresh ideas of presentation. Value for money just ok though.

DL
Hawaii
5 reviews
Dined on 11 September 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

The food was very nice with the exception of the Green Tel - which contained whole thyme sprigs which were too woody to eat. We ordered 6 dishes (as recommended) which was about the right quantity for 2. The food service was too prompt for our liking, with food appearing before our first drink and all 6 dishes delivered to the table within 10 minutes. It was a early(ish) sitting at 6:45pm (on a Wednesday) and they were not particularly busy. We could have been in and out of this restaurant in less than 45 minutes if we had not chosen to order dessert. I would return but would ask that they stagger the service, perhaps 2 dishes at a time. Prawn Baklava and Brick Potato were standout dishes.

RL
London
8 reviews
Dined on 10 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Brilliant. The food, service and atmosphere were all fantasticnw had an amazing table and were thoroughly looked after, especially as one of us required advice on gluten free options which was no problem at all. The great service turned a casual evening into a really special night.

Bala Baya
Responded 3 days ago

Hi RebL, Thank you for stopping by and leaving a review. It is a real pleasure to hear our staff took fantastic care of you and your friend. We pride ourselves on giving our guests magical moments and from your feedback, it sounds like our team is doing just that! . We hope to catch you again very soon! Much Love, Bala Baya Xx

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AT
London
7 reviews
Dined on 7 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great restaurant. Really interesting food very well prepared and rich in interesting flavours and textures.

Service was good (fast, non-hassling but attentive).

It's not the cheapest (£51 each for 5 shared plates and a bottle of wine) but for that price range it's really good value as I've definitely spent more on meals I've enjoyed a lot less.

My one note would be wine choices we're pricy and offering a bottle or 2 in the £25-£32 bracket (or a carafe option for a couple of selected wines in that region ) would likely be popular.

Bala Baya
Responded on 12 September 2019

Hi Amy, Thank you so much for stopping by and writing your review, we are glad to hear you enjoyed the food and our team took good care of you :) On a side note, our wine list starts at £27 and works it way up, we have a few delicious bottles in that price range :) Please on your next visit ask your server and they will be happy to talk you through the offerings. We cant wait to see you again soon! Much Love, Bala Baya Xx

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GW
London
2 reviews
Dined on 6 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Really delicious and unusual flavours & textures. The cauliflower & aubergine dishes were out of this world!

R
1 review
Dined on 6 September 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic staff and service and the food is to die for. Constantly updating their menu. And cocktails are amazing.

Bala Baya
Responded on 12 September 2019

Hi Ricardp73, Thank you so much for your continued love and support, it means the world to us! We can't wait to see you again soon! Much Love, Bala Baya Xx

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ML
London
6 reviews
Dined on 6 September 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

This is my 3rd visit to Bala Baya so as you can imagine I used to love this place but I’m afraid this time I was disappointed. The service was not as friendly as before. Quite off-hand. The lovely Lithuanian girl is your star but she seems to serve downstairs.
But the main thing was the last dish we were served, Laffa Couture. The most expensive item on menu but basically a few grains of minced lamb in two slices of thick pita bread. Not at all what I expected at that price. And is it really necessary to charge extra for more pitta bread with the hummus? After all your prices are not low. You must be able to incorporate that cost. Just leaves you with the feeling that you are being ripped off. Not sure if I’ll be back. Are you getting a bit complacent? You’ll lose customers if you carry on like this.

Bala Baya
Responded on 12 September 2019

Hi MariaL, We are sorry to hear that as a returning guest you found your last visit disappointing. You have raised some points that cause us concern and we would love to discuss this in more detail with you - if you could please drop an email to Natalia@balabaya.co.uk? We hope to hear from you! Much Love, Bala Baya Xx

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

Great food! But some plates are a bit on the small side for the price ...but it’s good!

EP
Hampshire
1 review
Dined on 3 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

LOVED this place. We found if recommended on Trip Advisor. Food was so delicious, staff super friendly and helpful and loved the setting in one of the old railway arches. We chose to sit outside which was fab but inside looked good too. Will definitely be going back.

SC
London
1 review
Dined on 1 September 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 2

We booked for lunch because some of us had been before and loved some specific dishes on the dinner and lunch menus, but had eaten in the evening and found the restaurant (like so many unfortunately) had become very noisy by the end of the meal. The website shows the brunch menu, but doesn't make it clear that ONLY the brunch menu is served on a Saturday at lunchtime. The food was good but we had gone for dishes which weren't being served. The other very odd thing is that there was only downstairs seating - most of which was outside, in fact the whole front of the place was open, upstairs was not being used, and our booking was for a table outside. On a cloudy and quite breezy day in London in September this is not what I want and certainly would expect to be told this in advance. We finally were seated perched on stools, not relaxing to me, but the staff were lovely all round, I will go back as I love the style of food but will go in the evening.

Bala Baya
Responded on 12 September 2019

Thanks for popping by & leaving a review. We are sorry you didn't enjoy our terrace & have passed your comments to our management team, who will address this internally. We have checked our website & our menus do have the time and days they are served listed at the top. Apologies if you found this difficult to spot. It's fab to hear that despite the issues you encountered, our team took great care of you & that you will come back for the dishes you missed out on at brunch. Much Love, Bala Bay

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OT
London
2 reviews
Dined on 31 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We really enjoyed our experience here! The ambience and decoration was brilliant. The service great. The food Devine with so many amazing flavours to anticipate not to mention beautifully decorated. The only one negative point was that it was a tad chilly and although it’s nice have the doors open maybe heaters or blankets would be a good idea. Otherwise would definitely go back. Also for those interested in pricing we got 4 dishes, 2 soft drinks and 2 deserts for a total of £70.00.

N
London
7 reviews
Dined on 31 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

One of the best meals I’ve had in London recently. We had theatre tickets, and the staff was incredibly helpful accommodating us.

Bala Baya
Responded on 2 September 2019

Hi Nydiner, Thank you do much for your review, we are so pleased to hear that you enjoyed our food and that our team looked after you. We hope to see you again soon! Much Love, Bala Baya Xx

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OT
London
61 reviews
Dined on 29 August 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Fantastic food and perfect for a group of friends, I love the sharing concept which means you get to try a bit of everything! Highly recommended!

GH
London
1 review
Dined on 29 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We loved it food was fantastic great service even done a takeaway for my wife, can’t wait to go again.

M
London
165 reviews
Dined on 28 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great and original food, friendly service, lovely cocktails. An authentic Israeli menu, well prepared and nicely served up.

OT
London
2 reviews
Dined on 27 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a special place. Fantastic service; friendly, knowledgeable and non intrusive. Big bold flavours and fun music.

OT
London
1 review
Dined on 25 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious food, very friendly service. Brunch on Saturday was an uncrowned experience/ a bit on the pricy side, but worth it. Would return for sure.

Bala Baya
Responded on 2 September 2019

Thanks so much 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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T
London
3 reviews
Dined on 24 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Perfect outdoor seating
Delicious food
Brilliant service

Bala Baya
Responded on 29 August 2019

Hi Tomatina12, Thank you so much for your fab feedback! We are so glad to hear that you had a great time with us. We hope to catch you again soon! Much Love, Bala Baya Xx

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BT
1 review
Dined on 16 August 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Great food at an affordable price. The waiters were very attentive and looked after us very well

TH
London
4 reviews
Dined on 16 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was great - great food, good quality. Perfect service.

J
London
2 reviews
Dined on 16 August 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 2

We met to catch up over lunch. The combination of background music + chatter + resonant acoustic made conversation difficult and we went elsewhere for our coffee.

K
London
3 reviews
Dined on 15 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food, every dish was a treat. Lovely staff who helped make a great evening. Highly recommended.

Bala Baya
Responded on 29 August 2019

Hi Kilotango, 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 really do hope to see you again soon. Much Love, Bala Baya Xx

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J
London
4 reviews
Dined on 15 August 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Outside the fumes from other restaurants would be on top of us everytime the train moves on the tracks above.
Expensive for the size of portions and location, but good food

c
Manchester
16 reviews
Dined on 14 August 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

I have no idea how much this restaurant reflects the food of Tel Aviv or Israel. The food was fresh, colourful, beautifully presented and full of flavour. I loved their freshly baked pitta breads - extraordinary taste and texture. I feel I never want to buy a supermarket pack again. Only one Israeli beer on the menu but reasonable wine list.

Bala Baya
Responded on 19 August 2019

Hi cyberdoctor, Thank you for the amazing review and we are glad to hear you enjoyed our homemade pita! We are inspired by the buzz of Tel Aviv and aim to give our guests a taste of that famous Telavivian hospitality! With waves of plates to share, a warm welcome, loud atmosphere and a few glasses of our Israeli wines - you are on the streets of Jaffa. We hope to catch you again soon. Much Love Bala Baya Xx

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JK
London
75 reviews
Dined on 13 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a delicious dinner here and tried dishes that I have never experienced before. The venison carpaccio was absolutely glorious, as was the tomato and cheese salad (you have to try it to understand this is no ordinary cheese salad). Staff were friendly, knowledgeable and full of joy - a bit like Bala Baya.

Have booked again for next week. So much I didn't try!

Bala Baya
Responded on 19 August 2019

Hi JenniferK, Wow, what a fantastic review, it is a real pleasure to read your comments - We pride ourselves in offering fresh and vibrant dishes, and your feedback tells us we are doing it right! We hope to see you again very soon. Much Love, Bala Baya Xx

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F
New Orleans
1 review
Dined on 10 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food with interesting flavour combinations. Great value with unlimited brunch plates and opportunity to sample different dishes. Highly recommend and will visit again soon!

Bala Baya
Responded on 19 August 2019

Hi Fbaf, Thank you so much for your review! It's great to hear you enjoyed our brunch offering. We aim to offer a delicious spread Israeli inspired dishes packed full of flavor, and from your comments, it sounds like we are getting it right! We can't wait to see you again soon! Much Love, Bala Baya Xx

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WL
London
2 reviews
Dined on 8 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and great service! Will definitely be back and recommend to anyone!

Bala Baya
Responded on 19 August 2019

Hi WaiL, Thank you so much for your continued love and support, it means the world to us! We are glad to hear you enjoyed your visit and we can't wait to see you again soon. Much Love, Bala Baya Xx

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SJ
London
1 review
Dined on 7 August 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 3

The food was absolutely outstanding but i was disappointed with the service, we had to catch someones eye to order wine when we had finished our drinks a while before. I would definitely go back but a bit more attention to detail on this would make it outstanding.

Bala Baya
Responded on 19 August 2019

Hi SarahJ, Thanks so much for your review and it is fantastic to hear that you enjoyed our food! We are sorry to hear that our service had left you feeling a little dispositioned, we aim to deliver an effortless experience for all our guests. Your feedback has been passed over to our management team, who have addressed these points with our staff. We can't wait for you to come back in and see what changes we have made based on your comments! Much love, Much love, Bala Baya Xx

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VJ
Norfolk
1 review
Dined on 7 August 2019
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 4

The food was lovely, however the service was extremely slow and unorganised (although the waiters were very friendly and apologetic) the food servings were very very small for their pricing also, but lovely quality of dinner once we ordered more!

Bala Baya
Responded on 19 August 2019

Hi VickyJ, Thank you for your review, we are glad to hear you enjoyed our food! Our experience is based on sharing, we would suggest 6-7 plates between 2 guests to ensure everyone is well-fed. We are sorry to hear that our service was a tad haphazard on your visit, we aim to deliver a seamless experience for our guests. Your comments have been addressed by our team internally. We hope you'll swing by soon to see the changes we have made! Much Love, Bala Baya Xx

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AD
London
1 review
Dined on 7 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely, welcoming staff and attentive from the minute we walked in. The menu was so interesting - I wanted to order everything on it, which I never want to do! I loved the restaurant’s location down a little alley - felt like you were entering a secret place off the beaten track.

Bala Baya
Responded on 19 August 2019

Hi AmyD, Thank you so much for popping in and leaving a review! We are so happy to hear you had a fab time with us and enjoyed our flavors. We pride ourselves on making our guests feel at home and we are so pleased our staff are doing just that! We hope you will come back soon to sample the rest of our dishes! Much Love, Bala Baya Xx

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R
London
4 reviews
Dined on 6 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Absolutely amazing food.
We had the tasting menu with one item swapped for something we preferred and every course was mind blowing. The Israeli red wine was luscious. The waiter (who was new that week was lovely, friendly and attentive). The atmosphere was chilled informal and welcoming. We had a great evening. To emphasise though it was the food that was the best part.

Bala Baya
Responded on 15 August 2019

Hi Redearth, Thank you got taking the time out to review! It is so great to hear that our staff are doing a fab job & that you enjoyed our tasting menu! We cant wait to catch you again soon! Much Love, Bala Baya Xx

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NT
1 review
Dined on 3 August 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Food and service were excellent.
The music was way too loud and too fast for a restaurant.

Bala Baya
Responded on 15 August 2019

Hi NeilT, Thanks for stopping by, we are so glad to hear you enjoyed our food and service. We have noted your comment on our music levels and will address this with the team. We cant wait to see you again soon! Much Love, Bala Baya Xx

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OT
London
1 review
Dined on 3 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Phenomenal food and cocktails.

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