Beach Blanket Babylon

19-23 Bethnal Green Road , London, E1 6LA

Beach Blanket Babylon London bar restaurant

SquareMeal Review of Beach Blanket Babylon

Set in a converted warehouse, this East End sibling of the much-vaunted Notting Hill original ‘encapsulates the bohemian decadence of Cool Britannia’, according to the blurb. Ms Moss wannabes apply within. BBB’s maximalist décor is a well put-together fusion of funky château & old New Orleans maison close, while the mixology is similarly outré. Best bet is the speakeasy, juke-joint basement where you can sip a well-mixed pornstar martini or vanilla screw (an Eristoff vodka Collins) at £8.90 a go. Wines range from everyday Gascon gluggers at under £20 a bottle to gold tops such as Krug & 2002 Cristal (£400).

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3.2

Food & Drink: 4.8

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 2.7

Food & Drink: 0.0

Service: 0.0

Atmosphere: 0.0

Value: 0.0

Vanessa b. 15 February 2013

Went to the venue in Notting Hill. Worst place! Do not recommend. We went last night for Valentine’s day. What an amazing venue and the cocktails are lovely, that’s probably the only positives I can say about the night. Waiting staff were incompetent. We waited 40 minutes to be served. Our starters then took another 40 minutes to arrive and were cold. The mains were just as bad, again with another long wait and cold as if they had been left on a table outside. When we ordered desserts they never showed, and at about 11.15pm, after arriving at 8pm we decided to call it a night. However they still had the audacity to leave the desserts on the menu. The waiting staff were incompetent. And the place wasn’t even that busy! I left feeling like the whole romance of the night had been sucked out, it was overpriced for what we got and left feeling hungry.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 3.0

scarlet v. 12 October 2011

I visited the resaturant on Saturday evening with a group of friends for dinner followed by drinks in the cocktail lounge, it was my first time to BBB Shoreditch and i was amazed on arrival by the beautiful decor and buzzing feel to the place. The venue was very busy so we were expecting to have a bit of a wait for our food, but this was not too bad at all, what you would expect from a very busy buzzing East London venue. I had the steak and scallops which i have to say was great and very tasty! After dinner we headed to the lounge where we had reserved a small booth area for our party, the bar was very busy and we did at times have to wait a few minutes to get served, but the lounge had such a great trendy feel, with great music we didnt really think about the small waits for drinks. All in all i was really happy with the venue, and will definatly be returning very soon for another evening of great food, cockatils and fun :)

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 0.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 1.0

Sabrina A. 24 May 2010

Unfortunately Saturday night was quite possibly the worst ‘service’ experience I have ever had to go through and put 14 of my closest friends through. It was a very important night for me as I was celebrating my 30th Birthday and assumed that such an establishment would have no issues when it comes to catering to a large group. The evening started well. We were given the private area on the front left hand side of the restaurant. There was nothing marked on the tables in the area saying it was reserved for a party so whilst I was waiting for my 14 guests to arrive, a man and woman from another ‘birthday’ party group came and sat down. Logically and logistically speaking – that area cannot comfortably seat more than 1 big group so in eventuality – once everyone turned our – our party of 15 had to share this tiny space with 6 other people! So half of my group had to stand. If you could have informed me ahead of time that we were going to be sharing this space, I could have possibly advised the group – but they kept asking me who the strangers were. Then at 9pm, we went up to the manager and asked if we could proceed to our table – which he replied would be ready in 15 mins. That's fine. The table still wasn't ready at 9.15pm and the Manager who I must say is the rudest, most arrogant person I have ever met (a discredit to your restaurant i'm sorry to say) – had the cheek to tell me that the reservation was for 9:30pm and not 9pm!! I have in writing the booking confirmation which VERY Clearly states, 7.30pm for drinks followed by 9pm for dinner. And he tells me that he took the reservation himself and it was for 9.30pm?? And he says somebody called after to change it for 9.30pm? which really is ridiculous as i'm the only one involved with this booking aside for yourself and no such phonecall took place. I really am disappointed at his complete lack of any kind of apology for the mistake and his unability to take responsibility for the mistake that took and instead he blames me, the customer? And it only got worse – 9.30pm got pushed to 9.45pm which got pushed to 10pm and my group actually sat down to the table at 10.30pm!!! which I think is incredibly ridiculous (we even had a pregnant person in the group!) And what was given for the 1.5 hrs we had to wait ? – a round of free bellini's – which i think is really ridiculous – i work in the industry and am a corporate event planner as well as having worked in various establishment of higher standing and I know what the ‘cost’ of a bellini really is. Then once we were seated, no one came to take our drink orders – there was no water or beverage menu on the table – we had to speak to the Manager again! My fiancee told him we were not offered any beverages and he spoke back saying ‘did you order any drinks?!’ i'm sorry but in a service establishment at your level – i believe you have to ‘serve’ and ask if we would like some beverages and try to sell as opposed to customers trying to track you down and order. And to top it all off, the waiter comes to me and asks me to sort out the main course numbers as there is an overcount! – this isn't my job!! – my friend had to go around the table and individually get everyone's main course order again – this was really terrible. Now we had to serve and take orders ourselves??? At the end of the night, they took service off the bill which was definitely something that needed to be done cause i wasnt going to pay for service when there was none. And they threw in 2 free desserts – wow, stop the press. I'm not looking for anything to get anything from the team at Beach Blanket Babylon Shoreditch – I was hoping to have a great enjoyable night which was completely ruined by the Manager of that night and just everything that happened.

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 1.0

Atmosphere: 1.0

Value: 0.0

Abbegail L. 13 January 2010

We ate here on New Year's Eve and it was the worst dining experience I have had in a long time. Our table was booked for 8pm and by 11.30 we had not yet had our deserts. Starters were fine although a bit slow; main course took over an hour to arrive and was cold when it did appear. We were lucky to have received 2 courses – many people in the restaurant did not get anything at all to eat. Staff were disinterested, unapologetic and to be frank, pretty useless (even before the problems were eveident). Tthe manager on duty also didn't seem bothered although we did, thankfully, get our money back. To top it off, the NYE promotions included burlesque and entertainments which didn't happen. Don't eat here – a real nightmare

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 1.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 2.0

Kate B. bronze reviewer 04 January 2010

The waiter brought the wrong bottle of wine althought the right grape choice, and we were therefore siginifcantly overcharged on the final bill against expectations. Service was very slow and very lacklustre. We have had better evenings there, but on this experience, the place would not be recommended for a return event.

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 0.0

Atmosphere: 0.0

Value: 0.0

Sonal D. 10 December 2009

I have been dining out in London for a very long time with varying degrees of spare cash in my wallet but never have I left a place feeling so unbelievably ripped off. I went to BBB with around 30 of my colleagues for our Xmas do. It started badly with service at the bar ranging from indifferent to bad. Sure they mix a nice cocktail but you'll be spitting feathers by the time you get it and wondering what the hell the 12.5% automatic service charge buys you. Having been ordered to take our seats we then waited 20-30 minutes for our starters. I think we were so grateful for our food we barely noticed if it tasted any good. Main dishes took another hour or so to arrive starting with sides and vegetables that were cold by the time the rest of the food arrived, good but lukewarm monkfish and beef but inedible stuffed turkey. Desserts were another mixed bag but note to the chef – a trifle does not constitute sponge fingers, the odd raspberry and your body weight in whipped cream. Needless to say we didn't pay our service charge but I feel like they still had the last laugh as by then we wanted to salvage what was left of the evening, didn't fancy wandering around in the cold so stayed and enjoyed a few more drinks. What we managed to prove is that it's not the venue, it's the people you go out with who make the night. You might think I'm being overly harsh but frankly I should not need to substitute my dinner with toast and marmite when I get home after a three course meal and no it wasn't drunken munchies, at their prices I only managed three drinks! On a final note, toilets are unisex – fine, I'm not shy but at least make it clear and given the target market, make sure the loo roll doesn't run out at 9 o'clock.

Food & Drink: 0.0

Service: 1.0

Atmosphere: 1.0

Value: 0.0

Louise O. 30 September 2009

It was second time unlucky for this “trendy” Shoreditch establishment. There is very little positive I can say about my second trip to this bar and restaurant…having had a bad experience first time around (when my visit to the bar was marked by awful bar service and overpriced cocktails), I decided to give it the benefit of the doubt and returned hoping for a better result. Sadly BBB lived up to my very low expectations. All was going to plan until we wanted to order – our drinks took longer than expected to arrive and it was all downhill from there. We waited over half an hour for our starters to arrive and when the food finally showed up it was tasty if underwhelming. The worst was yet to come as we waited an unbelievable hour and half for our main courses to arrive…and waited…and waited… When we enquired with the manager as to what the delay was we were given numerous reasons such as the understaffed kitchen and the fact that the restaurant was very busy (although I hasten to add that it was at most 60% full) but at no point did the manager so much as feign being apologetic. After several more attempts to track the location of our food we decided to cut our losses and cancel our order. Upon informing the manager of our decision he proceeded in being unnecessarily rude to us, gave us our bill (which was inordinately expensive given our lack of food!) and stormed off! Needless to say we were shocked at the lack of professionalism shown by the manager although simultaneously relieved to finally be getting out of the restaurant! If your idea of a good dining experience consists of overpriced and elusive food coupled with glacial pace service and indiscriminate rudeness then this place ticks all the boxes. If not then BBB is best avoided.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 0.0

Ola E. 23 September 2009

I went to BBB last weekend for a friends birthday. The atmosphere was pretty good as it was very busy. The service of the food was very slow. We waitied for a very long time between courses. They didnt bring out any bread which a lot of restaurants do. The food was very very average and not very tasty. Maybe it was because we had the set menu, but still I was expecting much better. I know that they have a 2 hour turn around which is fair enough but the service was slow and I took exception to being asked to leave our tabe before the celebrant even had his desert served. On the upside the cocktails were superb . I would not advise anyone to have dinner there as the food is pretty average and not good value for money. If I returned and I would as the atmosphere is cool, and the decor is great then it would be to sit at the bar for cocktails. 22.09.09

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 2.0

Scot P. 12 October 2008

H&M chic, over styled décor and ok food describes this venue best. It certainly isn’t the buzz that has been made of this new Shoreditch ’fashion’ venue. Under staffed and poorly planned menus – led to a disappointing evening which was suppose to be ‘fabulous’ Even the manager with his charm couldn’t fix a failing combination of dim witted staff, poor kitchen preparation and OK food. No amount of charm could have save this train wreck

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