Baltic

Restaurants , Eastern European Southwark
Recommended
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(14 user reviews)
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Baltic Restaurant. Press handout.
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Baltic Restaurant. Press handout.
 (Sara Elin Nilsson)
4/4
Sara Elin Nilsson
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Come here for proper Polish food, with a modern take, in a regularly heaving and understatedly glamorous Blackfriars venue - and bring along a thirst for vodka.

On Friday nights, most Southwark bars are full of colleagues toasting each other’s successes. The Polish-themed Baltic’s atmosphere is much more low-key. City-slicker duos, out for dates and business drinks, chat quietly across the tables venue. We spotted the star of a current Old Vic production having a cigarette outside, as well as a man swapping his sandals for smart shoes before entering. The front section of Baltic looks like an uber-modern hotel lobby, with floor-sweeping velvet curtains and a glass bar filled with amber crystals.

There are more than 50 cocktails on the lengthy list, but the speciality is vodka – it’s served by the shot or three sizes of carafe, and includes everything from the standard Finlandia to the luxe likes of Chopin and Snow Leopard. A word of warning though; by around 9pm most of Baltic’s customers disappear into the expansive bare-bricked restaurant round the back to tuck into a menu of blinis and dumplings. We recommend following them.

Venue name: Baltic
Contact:
Address: 74 Blackfriars Road
London
SE1 8HA
Opening hours: Lunch served noon-3pm Tues-Sat; noon-4.30pm Sun. Dinner served 5.30pm-10.30pm Mon-Sat; 5.30pm-10pm Sun.
Transport: Tube: Southwark
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Average User Rating

3.9 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:5
  • 4 star:6
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:2
LiveReviews|14
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Alex PD
tastemaker

Some of the best cocktails around! The atmosphere in here is lovely and pictures don't quite do it justice, it's all vaulted ceilings and airy spaces. The food is on the expensive side so I've never eaten, though they do have a lunch or pre-theatre menu. The cocktails though are something else, all fresh flavours with healthy glugs of vodka. The staff are also very friendly and happy to recommend new drinks to try!

Thomas H

It's hard to define what makes a place special: the atmosphere, the staff, the venue, the produce. In the case of Baltic, it's all of these things coming together in exceptional fashion. Everything from Manhanttens at the bar (with a Polish twist), to herring in the charmingly warm yet large dining area, is extremely well considered. The service is fantastic, adapting in a fully booked restaurant when you turn up with three people rather than the promised two seemed perhaps a challenge too far but, as if by magic, the ideal table appeared before the aperitif had been finished.

I couldn't recommend this absolute gem of a restaurant highly enough.

mangolisa
tastemaker

My friend Alicia has been raving about this restaurant for years and finally I got to experience it myself yesterday, in the sweltering 32C degrees of heatwaved London!


It's very easy to find as it is located just across Southwark underground station. It's also a short walk away from Tate Modern which makes it an excellent place to head to if you want something different after an exhibition. 

There were excellent choices for cocktails, I decided on Potocki Cumin Sour which promised egg white and Gomme. There was a spicy undercurrent but the cumin didn't shine. It's not something I will order again. Alicia's choice of Beetroot Martini tasted much better and looks very vibrant.


The menu is filled with Baltic offerings and there were special sections dedicated to blinis and dumplings. The selection for starters and meat are long and I was tempted by a lot of things. 


In the end, my stomach decided. I ordered the assorted blinis - which came with 3  buckwheat blinis, smoked salmon, caviar, herring and aubergine caviar. The smoked salmon tasted home made which was thick and flavouful and fresh. the aubergine caviar was excellent too and the caviar was outstanding. Paired with blinis and sour cream, they indeed set your palate right for a Baltic adventure. I ordered a second round of blinis. 


Alicia had the steak tartare which was served with raw egg and toast. She mixed the egg into the tartare herself and it was an excellent dish.


I ordered my rump of lamb medium but it arrived well - still tender and delicious so I have no complains. I ordered a side dish of hand cut chips. The aubergine that came with it was excellent and smokey. Alicia had Bitki - which was veal escalope and Kopytka dumplings in creamy Girolles sauce. 


Because it was hot and sticky and I usually don't eat that much in summer, my stomach felt properly assaulted by the amount of food I consumed. The portions are generous. I thought I shouldn't have ordered the second roung of blinis. If I come back in summer, I woudl definitely order one of the cold soups and just a salad or a main course of blinis.


After dinner, we were too full for desserts but decided to have a few rounds of vodka shots. I had the delicious pepper/chili vodka for my first round. Alicia had blackberry. My chili vodka was excellent and actually manage to make my body warmer than it already it.


We both had the rose petal vodka as our next choice and it was syrupy and sweet and punchy. And excellent end to the meal.


On the way out I spotted the jars of fruits and the small barrel and copper distillery equipment. One of the waiters told us that they made their vodkas themselves and explained the process.


Service was quick, friendly, helpful and non intrusive.

Shona R
Tastemaker

I was not a fan.  The food was relatively inexpensive, but compared to food from Poland I found it to be bland.  We went as a group for a reunion and if this is what you are planning on doing, note: don't.

Ilze H

I was very disappointed. I booked my birthday party at the restaurant and I'm shocked the way we were served. Not to mention that our party was the biggest at the time in the restaurant we got very little attention from the staff. We constantly had to look for someone to serve us. Having such a big group, we were expecting to have at least one person dedicated to our table. Staff attitude was unbelievable too.

Food was very basic and simple, although from speaking to the receptionist I was given an impression that it is a high end food and high end restaurant. I'm sorry to say, but it was neither. It was very far from high end and I was devastated how disappointed I was and how disappointed my friends were left after disaster birthday party at Baltic. I would not suggest this restaurant to anyone.

Joss B
Tastemaker

on of the first high end balitc/nordic cuisine restaurants and still one of the very best in London. The food is great and the restaurant opens into a light spacious open room, its quite a surprise given the narrow area at the front that houses the bar, its almost like the tardis.

GT
Staff Writer

Doesn't look like much from the outside but step through the doors and you find yourself in a gorgeous space: light and airy with just the right amount of buzz. First up: order one of their signature vodka martinis. A word of warning: they are divine but seriously strong. This is a particularly great place for vodka fans - they have an extensive vodka list and the Kazakh organic number we tried was as smooth as they come. Then dive into the menu of Polish blinis, dumplings and warming stews. This is the perfect place for winter eating and everything we ate was top notch.  

Alanna S
Tastemaker

Gorgeous setting, and equally gorgeous food. Great place for large groups or events. I went on a work event and ate set menu 3 - which for the quality and amount of food is a great deal. 

polish

Haha hey Lisa i suggest you to buy a map so maybe you will find out why its called Baltic!Great restaurant btw

Dorothy White

My daughter had her wedding at Baltic. It was fantastic! Great service, food was outstanding, warm atmosphere and the spiced pear cocktails delicious. Really worth a visit.

lisa

Why's it called Baltic if it's a Polish restaurant? Otherwise great food, nothing to complain about :)

Sebastian

I've been here many times over the past 10 years and I have to say I've never had anything but a great time. The menu's E European but with a very light touch and there doesn't seem to be anywhere else like it in London. Plus I sometimes find placed open so long to kind of rest on their laurels a bit but whenever I go it still feels very fresh.