Recipe: Make some Bala Baya magic in your Native kitchen

You’ll find everything you need right round the corner at Borough Market, with all the delicious fresh produce along Stoney Street. So, don your apron, raid the kitchen cupboards and get cooking. Here’s the recipe:

Native Bankside might be surrounded by mouth-watering restaurants, but sometimes all you fancy is a home cooked meal. Luckily, all our apartments have fully equipped kitchens, so you can whip up some culinary magic any time you like.

If you’re seeking a spot of inspiration, look no further. Our friends at Bala Baya (less than ten minutes from your apartment) have been bringing the cool creativity of Tel Aviv’s all-day eateries to London since 2017. You won’t want to miss the sleek, Bauhaus-inspired décor and vibrant dishes from their fabulous ex-Ottolenghi chef, but between visits you can recreate one of his favourites right in your own kitchen.

Bala Baya’s Fish with Fennel

Serves 2


  • 1 whole sea bass, sea bream or red snapper (roughly 800g), preferably left whole on the bone or with the back bone removed
  • 2 red chillies (thinly sliced)
  • 4 cloves of garlic (thinly sliced)
  • Vegetable oil
  • 50ml Arak, Ouzo or Pastis
  • 50ml water
  • 50g butter
  • A bunch of chopped parsley, dill and mint
  • 12 cherry tomatoes
  • 3 sprigs of sage
  • 1 fennel bulb (thinly sliced into shavings)
  • 1 teaspoon of sumac
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 lemon


  1. Preheat oven to 2200C.
  2. Fry the fish in some oil on both sides until golden brown. At the same time, burn the sage over an open flame. If you don’t have a gas hob, fry the sage with the fish.
  3. Put the sage into the belly of the fish.
  4. Transfer the fish to a roasting tray and put it in the preheated oven for 5 minutes.
  5. In the same pan you used to fry the fish, throw in the tomatoes, garlic and chilli and fry until golden brown. Add the alcohol and cook for 30 more seconds.
  6. Add the water, then the butter.
  7. Whisk everything in the pan so the tomatoes are crushed and mixed with the other ingredients, and the butter is emulsified.
  8. Take the pan off the heat and season.
  9. Add 1 tablespoon of the chopped herbs and a squeeze of lemon.
  10. In a separate bowl, mix the fennel shavings with the rest of the herbs and the lemon, then add a dash of olive oil and season.

Plate up and serve

  1. When the fish is tender, remove it from the oven. Make sure it’s cooked by checking the belly – the flesh should be white and not transparent.
  2. Put the fish on a serving plate.
  3. Pour all the sauce in the saucepan over the fish.
  4. Pile the fennel salad on the side.
  5. Sprinkle sumac all over the dish.

And dinner is served. Bon appetit!

Head to Bankside for a taste of Bala Baya.

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