Categories Food&DrinkPosted on

Bringing Tel Aviv To Southwark: Bala Baya

SEEN was positively salivating when she learned that this January coming, Bala Baya will be bringing a day in the life of Tel Aviv to Southwark’s Union Street Arches! Bala Baya will bring the raw creativity of Tel Aviv’s hip, all-day eateries to London. A sleek Bauhaus-inspired restaurant, this is the first standalone project from Israeli-born Head Chef Eran Tibi, formerly of Ottolenghi, Made in Camden and the critically acclaimed Zest@JW3.

Eran, whose vibrantly progressive cuisine is rooted in his mother’s Middle Eastern home cooking and generations of baking expertise, met co-founder and former creator of When Mac Met Cheese, Sammy Shonn, through a mutual fascination with the dynamic ‘White City’ from which Bala Baya derives inspiration. The restaurant is a poem to Tel Aviv, its countless cultures meeting in the city’s buzzing, bustling street life. This atmosphere and aesthetic is reproduced in Bala Baya’s interior architecture and design by multi-award winning designer, Afroditi Krassa, reflecting the particular Desert Bauhaus of the city – an urban, sun-drenched, modernist masterpiece.

Bala Baya’s downstairs, reminiscent of Tel Aviv’s cafe culture, will be a fast-paced, grab-and-go setting, including an open kitchen and bar, reminiscent of the world famous Bauhaus balcony of Tel Aviv’s Cinema Hotel. Upstairs will demonstrate finer finishes reflective of the more refined dinner menu, encompassing a 76 cover restaurant, allowing for tables of up to 16, fostering the convivial spirit at the heart of Bala Baya’s ethos.

A design-led project, the restaurant’s interiors have been carefully considered and perfectly planned to emulate Tel Aviv’s heady, sun-soaked early evenings. As the day cools, the palm shadows lengthen, and the city comes alive. Bala Baya have especially imported traditional breeze blocks from Israel as well as plants from the region to recreate these dusk-lit shapes and dancing shadows. As the afternoon draws to a close and the light of the setting sun shines through the glass-fronted restaurant, the space will slowly transform to an evening setting.

Bala Baya’s innovative daytime menu will be focused around a custom-made pitta oven, designed by Eran’s father. Transported from Tel Aviv, the oven will fill the restaurant with the aroma of freshly baked bread. The menu will range from in-house made breakfast pastries, to original and contemporary takes on the classic pitta pockets at lunch. Containing Eran’s stews and slow-cooked meats or his take on a fish finger sandwich, accompanied by the crunchiest of salads and homemade sauces, the pittas will demonstrate the honest balance of fine dining and informal eating at the heart of Tel Aviv’s gastronomy – where every meal features the soft and fluffy flat breads. A bespoke balance of flavours, Eran’s pittas are formed to create the perfect mouthful from start to finish. Fillings on offer will include Braised Lamb Neck Fillets with Quince, Shaved Pecorino, Lamb Jus and Fresh Salad. For those wishing to recreate Bala Baya’s cuisine at home, all downstairs items can be wrapped, boxed and bagged to take away.

bbyellow-tail-snapper-and-arak

bbmix-1-chicken-swiss-chard-crushed-potatoes-lamb-neck-hummus-with-ox-tail

Bala Baya’s evening menu will encapsulate sharing in its true form; this is a hands-on, hands-in approach to family-style dining focusing on the pure enjoyment of the best seasonal, organic ingredients. The evening menu will include dishes such as Salmon and Tahini (Salt Baked Blackened Salmon with Tahini, Picked Chilli, Tomato Pulp and Herb Oil) and Aubergine and Harissa Date Glaze (Tea Smoked Aubergine with Harissa and Date Glaze, Spicy Nut Crumb, Lime and Goats Curd). Desserts will include Chocolate and Hazelnut Babka (Babka with Smeared Chocolate and Hazelnut Spread, Plums, Pecan Praline and Crème Anglaise).

salmon-and-tahinibb

Ali Reynolds, winner of 2015’s Diageo Reserve World Class UK Bartender of the Year, has curated Bala Baya’s innovative cocktail list, using unique produce from Israel’s singular landscape and Mediterranean climate, signature serves will include a Tomato and Cucumber Negroni(Tomato and Cucumber Gin, Cocchi Torino, Campari with a Feta Garnish), the Truffle Sour (Johnnie Walker Black, Honey Syrup, Lemon and Truffle Oil) and a Pink Grapefruit Julep (Cynar Pink Grapefruit Juice, Grapefruit Sherbert, Mint).

The restaurant will also feature London’s very first Gazoz Bar. Serving daily blends of this refreshing, homemade, fruit-filled sparkling botanical drink, [that has been a firm favourite of Tel Aviv’s residents since the 1920’s and is now praised as the West’s answer to Kombucha], flavours will include Plum with Fig and Lemon Thyme, Clementine and Lemongrass and Watermelon and Red Basil.

bbplum-with-fig-and-lemon-thyme-gazoz

SEEN looks forward to this innovative addition to London’s diverse restaurant scene. Definitely something to look forward to after Christmas.

balabaya.co.uk

Bala Baya
Arch 25
Old Union Yard Arches
229 Union Street
London
SE1 OLR

Seen this week

Categories FashionPosted on

AVANTgarden: Be You, Be Proud

SEEN is intrigued to hear about AVANTgarden from FKA Twigs, a new digizine dedicated to self-care, beauty and the art of braids within the black community. Certainly on my voyaging around London, I’m struck, as an observer, by the beauty and complexity of the braids I see.

Categories Food&DrinkPosted on

Halloween at Sexy Fish

In London, you don’t go on a night out so much as partake of a new experience. Leave it to the gloriously named Sexy Fish in Mayfair to add a unique event to this year’s Halloween calendar.

Categories ArtPosted on

Ladies of the Press at Sluice Biennial

SEEN headed up to Hackney recently, there to peruse this year’s Sluice Biennial. A large and airy building at Morning Lane housed fascinating creative projects by artists and creators who have come together under the Sluice banner. What SEEN particularly liked was the variety of work on display and the informal atmosphere in which it …

Categories EntertainmentPosted on

The Castle at the Space: SEEN Reviews

SEEN was not that familiar with the work of Howard Barker prior to seeing ‘The Castle’ but feels she must rectify that situation. A powerful piece on the nature of masculinity, war, gender roles and the essential unreliability of religious faith, ‘The Castle’ benefits from a powerhouse cast and a stripped-back set, making the most of the Space’s environment.

Categories MusicPosted on

Original Swimming Party Release ‘Biggest Curse’

Electronic experimental duo Original Swimming Party, have announced the release of their new single  ‘Biggest Curse’ featuring vocalist Moonchild Sanelly. Taken from their forthcoming remix EP, the single is now available to stream from October 6th.

Categories Food&DrinkPosted on

Heist Bank Beer Festival

Beer connoisseurs would do well to get themselves along to the Heist Bank Beer Festival this weekend, the 14th and 15th October. The bar in Paddington will be celebrating the finest keg and cask beers known to humanity, from UK brewers, Fourpure, Beavertown, Thornbridge and Wild Beer Co., who will headline, launching special seasonal releases …