Crazy Bear reviews
Love Crazy Bear. came here Saturday night early doors and sat at the bar, the interior is gorgeous, very plush and the toilets are lovely too all mirrored and glitzy. We ordered some of the sushi, dim sum and duck spring rolls and they were out of this world, definitely some of the best I've had in London. the cocktails were delicious too, the thai flavoured one in particular had the best chilli hit to it. Would definitely return.
I remember Crazy Bear from its early days – great food, epic bar and a cool crowd partying away downstairs knocking back cocktails.
Roll forward a few years to last month, and the cocktails are still good, not quite great as they were before, but much better than the norm in London. The atmosphere was really terrific – buzzy, noisy without being noisy, with a more office-orientated crowd. Not as cool as it used to be, but still a nice place to get a drink.
If only the same could be said for the service. Apart from the front door which is friendly and professional, the service in the rest of the restaurant is average, with occasional variation to utterly dreadful. It took four attempts to get cutlery to eat with, for instance, and when it came it was almost thrown onto the table in a manner of disdain. Wasn't happy at all with the attitude of the staff.
Fortunately the food made up for the spiteful service. The slow roasted pork belly was as good as ever, tender, moist, meaty, with little fat and delightfully balanced in flavour. Seared beef was also good although it did lack that little spark that elevates a dish from being merely good to absolutely stonking. The red duck curry is still brilliant, full of flavour, sweetness and spice without the over-bearing stickiness and cloying feel that lesser curries can impart. The bitter chocolate soup was brilliant and still one of my favourite ever pudding choices.
In terms of value for money, considering just the food, I have to say that it is decent value. It is more expensive than your regular local Thai restaurant, but the food does a good job of justifying the prices. What isn't acceptable is the level of service, although credit is due to the front of house manager who agreed that she has a problem with the staff and that the service aspect is something she is actively looking into fixing.
A qualified recommendation – great food and a lovely environment if you don't mind putting up with dodgy service
I was treated to a birthday meal here and had a thoroughly great time. It was a Monday night but the restaurant had a nice atmosphere to it. The staff were really attentive but not overbearing. The food was delicious if a bit expensive. Couldn't figure out the toilet but it was very impressive... Cocktails were great. Overall we really enjoyed ourselves.
It was my wife's birthday, so I looked at Crazybear for a nice sushi. That was a mistake! I had emailed the restaurant on a Monday, 4 days prior to our event, for a table/booth and I requested to visit the restaurant. They replied that should be fine and that they had availability. I then called on the Tuesday to let them know that I was going to visit in the afternoon. That was also fine. While at the restaurant I pointed to the gentleman in charge the booth I wanted. He checked the system and he said it was available and that our booking would be ok for Thursday evening, the time slot I requested. On Thursday I received a call from Crazybear to confirm my booking. I did confirm with them. Back with wife on the Thursday, a quarter of an hour earlier than my reservation. They took us in, I said I have a reservation, and guess what. The booth I had chosen was not available! The staff were clueless what was going on. They all refused to take responsibility. The person I had met and spoken to the previous day "had a day off". The Manager was nowhere to be seen (hiding maybe?) They offered us another noisy table which we said we didn't like. I explained that I had emailed, phoned, visited and confirmed my booking in the past 4 days. Someone with more responsibility said he "understands, but unfortunately the booth I wanted was not available". He did not show that he cared much either. Did not even try to put on an 'i'm sorry' face. We tried another table, but it was terribly noisy. We did not want to spoil further our birthday evening, so we left. Appalling experience. Stay away.
Simply stunning. Crazy Bear is one of those rare central London finds that you want to keep to yourself. Damn, the secret’s out now.
Crazy Bear is a beautiful venue. Situated on relatively quiet Whitfield Street, the location of this venue is discernible mainly by the simple red rope and burly bouncer on the door. Don’t be put off, though, as long as you’re smartly dressed you can get in. If you have a booking in the restaurant or bar it does increase your chances of being ushered in. Upon entering, you’ll see a small reception area with the restaurant to the right on the ground floor and a small stairway leading to the more decadent separate bar downstairs.
Upon entering the bar you can’t fail to be impressed. A low ceiling keeps it cosy but everything about this space is pure glamour. An assault on the senses, the space comprises of shiny surfaces everywhere you look, beautiful plants and flowers, warm orange hues and a handful of low tables and chairs. However, for the real Crazy Bear experience reserve a chair by the centrepiece of the room – the gleaming, pristine bar. The furry cow-print seats are a world apart from your usual bar stools and it offers you a chance to talk to the bar staff about the craft of making cocktails. The most social and appealing spot in the room, the handful of chairs on offer fill up quickly. Oh, and make sure you visit the world’s most impractical toilets before you go. Made entirely of darkened mirrors, once you get in you’ll spend hours trying to find the door out again.
As long as you can get in to begin with, you’ll find the service in the Crazy Bear bar is first rate. You’ll be shown downstairs and to a seat either in the main bar area where you’ll have table service throughout the evening or straight to the bar. If you do manage to get a bar seat then you’ll be treated to the intriguing world of the expert cocktail makers who will happily talk to you about their trade for the rest of the evening. They’ll also get to know what you like and offer up off-menu selections. It’s the kind of service that only a small discerning bar can provide, especially in the always-hectic central London. The crowd is glamorous but in that ‘What do you mean? I just rolled out of bed like this’ way.
The drinks at Crazy Bear revolve entirely around the exquisite cocktail list although you will have to pay a premium of £9-£9.50 a drink. Still, when some pubs charge £7 for far inferior cocktails it’s a price that’s worth stretching to for a special occasion. With a menu that covers everything from strong shorts to fruity long drinks alongside a range of creamy and bubbly concoctions you’ll be hard pushed not to find something you like.
The absolute must-try of the menu is their own Bloody Mary (£9.50) made from fiery red chillies infused with Karlsson’s gold vodka, merlot, fresh cherry tomatoes, basil leaves and their homemade seasoning mix. It will be the best Bloody Mary you’ve ever tasted with a strong heat tempered by the sweetness of the tomato. More like a meal in itself, it’s substantial, served in a large, long glass and worth every penny of its price tag. And for ‘dessert’? Try the Tiramisu (£9.50) comprising of Courvoisier shaken with mascarpone cream cheese, Mozart white liqueur, Fair Trade coffee liqueur and a shot of espresso. Decadent, creamy, rich and joyfully sinful, you’ll gulp it down and it will be gone before you realise. Who said you can’t live on an entirely liquid diet?
The Last Word
Crazy Bear is luxuriously decadent. Although it’s not cheap, it’s not so expensive that it’s entirely exclusive for those on a budget. If you’re watching the pennies then head along for just one – it’s so worth it.
Really lovely, accommodating staff and excellent drinks.
staff knew their cocktails and the wine list. Will be back again. Good times.
Pete - Islington
By Rav A.
Posted on 26/01/2009
OK food, but over priced for what it is, you can get a better tasting Thai in soho for half the price. Decor and cocktails are cool though and served with style. The loos are a lot of fun, especially after a few drinks... its worth going just to see those!
Posted on 23/03/2007
I can't rave enough about the Crazy Bear! They have wonderfully attentive staff, the best cocktails in the City and a great atmosphere. I moved on to Annex 3 to try the cocktails there - and went straight back to the Crazy Bear!
Posted on 10/05/2006
The bar at the Crazy Bear is just excellent -it's just a shame that it's so small that you have to get there as early as possible to avoid it being overly full.
Crazy Bear has amazing cocktails, sexy lighting, and delicious food. The only trouble I had was navigating the completely mirrored loos after a few of the cocktails! Highly recommended.