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Beach Blanket Babylon (Bar, Restaurant)

Picture of Beach Blanket Babylon in Shoreditch, London

19-23 Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch, London, E1 6LA
Cuisine: British
Tel: 020 7749 3540 | Email to Beach Blanket Babylon | Transport: Liverpool Street | Write review

Beach Blanket Babylon Review

If you're not beautiful then don't even think about walking into BBB for either drinks, food or a job. The advert in the toilet, which I'm not sure complies with employment regulations, states clearly that if you're beautiful, talented and experienced then this is the place for your next career move. I instantly slap on the lip gloss and a layer of touch éclat...and head to the perfectly manicured bar to taste the extensive cocktail menu. First up is the porn star martini, a mix of vanilla vodka and passion fruit, served along with a shot of champagne. As I gaze around the bar I see clones all indulging in the porn star lifestyle. Boys don't even think about coming in here if you have any sort of insecurities. The guys who work in BBB are primed to have the ladies gazing into their eyes and hopefully ordering the most expensive cocktail at £250 a pop. Steve, the very handsome bartender, tells me that if he sells 4 in a night then he's happy. I wonder how he gets anyone to hand over 250 shiny pounds for a liquid sensation...then I work it our pretty quickly.

I'm interrupted from gazing at the beautiful things adorning the bar, the sweet smelling lilies, the bowls of fruit, and of course the bar tenders, to be told my table is ready. My date for the evening, wisely chosen, is Jessica, she's a vegetarian. So is Steve. I wonder if we'll ever make it to the table as they begin to chat about their shared love for lettuce and tofu. This place is Harry's Bar, 1940s chic and crude decadence all in one. We're seated in a corner booth type table, with a view of all the restaurant and bar. On top of our napkins is a small picture of a male model and the address details on the back. A talking point to go in my wallet I think. We order a bottle of the New Zealand Sauvignon, at £25 it's reasonable and it's good quality, a change from the sweet cocktails. I have trouble choosing what to order, but Jessica although impressed with the vegetarian starters is not engaged with the two mains, risotto and vegetable patties.

I race through the crab and avocado starter, which is delicious and pretty filling and help Jessica out with the pan fried wild mushrooms, which are sweet, the egg is pickled perfectly and the mushrooms flavoursome. My fillet of beef for main is cooked to perfection and tender and rich. We discuss the plates. They don't fit in, they're not elaborate and beautiful and because they're too small some of the food falls off. Jess isn't mad about the vegetable patty; she says it's dry and clumsy. She wishes the starter had been her main. The desserts make up for it in a huge way. We're so excited by the choice we order three and lie to the handsome French waiter about another friend coming to join us. The brandy crème brulee is laced with alcohol, the blueberry cheesecake is light and fluffy, adorned with big plump blackberries and the chocolate brownie is rich and accompanied perfectly with pistachio ice cream. We only then notice the famous look-alikes in the bar - there's Woody Allen, the cheeky girls (although gladly there's no Lembit Opik) and I'm sure I can see one of the guys from Razorlight. As we leave, full of cocktails and delicious food, we step outside to the cold Shoreditch air and we decide that Super Tuesday should be renamed tempting Tuesday and agree that we'll be back...tomorrow night. more

Customer Reviews for Beach Blanket Babylon

Average (based on 14 votes): 14 Atmosphere: Value: Quality:

The following customer reviews are not endorsed by Fluid London and are simply those of users who wish to publish their independent experiences of Beach Blanket Babylon.

“The worst restaurant experience I have ever had. Spend your money elsewhere - they don't know what 'service delivery' means.”
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Sabrina, London (11 years 17 days ago)

“Extremely disappointed with the service and food. Waited almost 2.5 hours for a meal as the waiter forgot to put our order through to the kitchen. Although the manager apologised I did get the impression that we were not the first ones complaining that evening nor the last.”
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Anjani P, London (12 years 5 months 21 days ago)

“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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Scott Pearson, london (12 years 6 months 29 days ago)

Show all user reviews for Beach Blanket Babylon

“Very disappointing evening at Beach Blanket. The food is over priced for the standard and portion. The staff are ok but not knowledgeable about products. Cocktails too sugary and diluted. Not very busy but took ages to be served. Lacking in style and substance. Give it a miss unless you are very patient and don't have high standards and like to mingle with out of towners that have taken British Rail into Liverpool Street.”
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Howard Montes, London (12 years 8 months 24 days ago)

“I have never been so annoyed with a restaurant before. Firstly i was charged 12.5% to drink at the bar while 'waiting' for our table to be ready. It was a ploy for us to have drinks as our table was already available as we could see that there weren't many people there from the bar. The service was incredibly rude and slow. The staff looked liked they did not want to be there. We later found out that most of them have not been long as they have a huge turnover of staff. The food when it finally arrived was disgusting. All four if us could barely bring ourselves to take a second bite. All our complaints are responded by shrugs of what do you want us to do about it. It was so hot and sticky in there and the only cooling system was a standing fan and two open windows with the stench of rotting fish wafting through. The staff told us the air conditioning was out of order but one of my observant friend pointed out there aren't any ducting for air con. To make matters worse, another friend told me the chef is Rex from Big Brother. I cannot bear this arrogant bully and i really felt like throwing up after that information. The clientele here has no class and are real wannabes. Will tell all my friends to avoid Beach Blanket Babylon.”
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Really Upset, london (12 years 8 months 27 days ago)

“Beach Blanket is incredible bad. Went there by chance as everywhere else was full. The odd girl on the podium was not exactly welcoming. After waitng an eternity we managed to get a waiter's attention. There seem to be many around in ratio to the customers but they are the type that avoid your eye contact. You literally have to get off your seat to get their attention. Don't you just hate that. Our drinks order did not materialize for 20 minutes and the food took even longer. Thankfully we were not hungry by then as the food is extremely bad eventhough its a basic pub menu at a gastronomic price. Will not be going back.”
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Suzanne Ashton, London (12 years 10 months ago)

“I think the [place must have improved since the last early reviews were left. I went there and found the staff really polite and helpful. Cocktails were great too!”
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Tom Wright, London (12 years 10 months 8 days ago)

“The service at BBB in Notting Hill has always been really lovely and i've always had nice nights out there. I went for dinner to the Shoreditch one with four girlfriends and was astounded at how completely appalling the service was. They messed up our orders. It took them about 20min to bring us the bottle of wine we'd ordered as we sat down, about an hour to bring out our starters which were mostly scallops and oysters so shouldn't take a huge amount of time to cook. They forgot to cook one of the mains so that came about 40min after the rest of us had been served our mains. None of the waiters apologised and each of them seemed to blame the other for the crap service. Once it finally arrive, the food was ok but bland and far from spectacular and certainly not worth the price given I've had better fare served at my local.”
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Soph, London (13 years 2 months 18 days ago)

“Possibly the worst night out of my life, mind you i am not that old. The service is incredibly rude and arrogant. They staff are not even that good looking as others make it out to be. May be its just to justify the inefficiency mustered by the staff. The food is way overpriced for pub grub, although i have been to many gastropubs with superior food. Cocktails are a let down too. Overall, not a place i will recommend to my friends.”
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tanya payne, london (13 years 3 months 9 days ago)

“Possibly the most arrogant and aloof place i have been. The staff thinks the world revolves around them. They are completely unattentive even though there were hardly anyone there. The only people are from outside London. You can tell because they think wearing all black is trendy. Hello! be a little adventurous! Weird vibe in there, the staff are confrontational at times as if to say its not their fault. I don´t think anyone knows who is responsible what. The drinks take forever and aren´t great at all.”
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Stevie , london (13 years 3 months 16 days ago)

“Not good at all. Went last weekend with friends and managed to get a table really easily as it was very quiet. The pricing was very high for the standard of food, cocktails and staff. We were happy to pay as long as it was good value which BB does not offer.”
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cathy, london (13 years 3 months 18 days ago)

“Very disappointing. All hype and no substance. They are trying so hard to be trendy but not suceeding. Service was terrible, abrupt and rude. The restaurant was almost empty due to the many bad reviews according to the waiters. The bar in the basement was really stuffy and the drinks took an eternity to arrive even though it was not busy. Experienced staff who spoke english would be helpful. Won't be rushing back there.”
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danny, london (13 years 3 months 20 days ago)

“Utterly horrible! Staff all over the place, not an idea about service. The clientele are wannabe Shoreditch cool but not succeeding. In fact there are more staff than clients and I know why. Getting understood by the staff seems to be the major problem. I don't know about you but I don't go out with my friends to spend my time trying to make head or tails out of my meal and cocktails.Especially after the third attempt. Shoreditch definitely does not need a venue such as this when there are far better ones there already.”
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Jennifer Tyson, london (13 years 4 months 8 days ago)

“The new BBB is simply Fabulous!! The restaurant is stunning and so stylish, just like Notting Hill but 10 times the size and very cosmo. The downstairs bar is breathtakingly seductive with sumptuous seating and a red glow all round, this will be the new place to be in Shoreditch for quite some time I'm sure, and I will back next weekend for more!”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Eric, London (13 years 5 months 4 days ago)

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Additional Information

Special offers, discounts and deals at Beach Blanket Babylon

Enjoy the sumptuous surrounds at BBB Shoreditch for the most opulent of luncheons! With an extensive Wine list and Vintage Champagnes BBB can be a Grand or Relaxed affair. It’s the perfect spot for Power Lunches or even a relaxed quick meal with friends. To make a reservation please call us via the site or just pop in!

With a Brasserie Style Menu of Continental Favorites BBB offers a delicious range of Couture Style Food!

If you have any special requirements, or would like a private affair, please contact us to discuss further.

B bold B beautiful B bbb

Updated 10/06/2008

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