I visited on Saturday 9th March.
My experience was good, I bought a living social voucher for the Dim Sum high tea for two.
We were seated as soon as we arrived and almost immediately given our cocktails.The Raspberry Ripple cocktail came in a tea pot and tasted divine! Quite strong but lovely and so different!
The Dim Sum was also really lovely. Probably best to eat lunch before you arrive, or sitting was late afternoon and I could have eaten twice the amount I ate but that was my oversight.
The environment was cosy and the staff were attentive. Tea was served downstairs in the bar great marketing ploy it means you have the drinks menu in front of you and the cocktails all sound so good it would be rude not to buy one or two! I tried the Singapore Sling, my friend tried something else. The cocktails were great but for the amount of ice in them, I don't feel there was massive value for money.
The toilets are a bit trippy, having been here before I knew where to find the door, they aren't marked and are flush against the wall. My friend was prepared by me so he knew the door was difficult to find but didn't bank on them not being marked so had a 50/50 change of finding the male toilets he guessed the right one though. Don't be shocked when you wash your hands and find a hand of the opposite sex next to yours just a warning very funny experience!
I loved my experience but it helped that I didn't pay full price, if I had, I might have been a little bit disappointed, this is the only reason I couldn't give it full marks. It's a great experience and an excellent idea for a date!
Now I must confess I went to this particular Fitzrovia eaterie on a client lunch so I could let my hair as much as I would have liked, but the dimly lit interior (bejewelled myriadic bathrooms and cowprint chairs) drowning the winter sunshine gave me the illusion of velvety nighttime sensuality.
Very much a 'date place' must, the staff are attentive, the booths intimate with a table breadth far enough apart to prevent feet clattering and close enough to encourage intimate discourse. For starters I would recommend the sumptuous hand-dived scallops, its the visualisation of robust divers cherry picking these plump swimming treasures that adds to the garnish. Be warned, the mixed dim sum can lead to some strategic chop stick warfare, and the ribs...oh the ribs, the meat just falls off the bone without getting lost in any unwanted canine crevasses.
For mains, go for any flavour curry as they are extraordinarily good, with jasmine rice to soothe any hot palates. Sip on a green tea delivered in an ornate Oriental teapot, and to finish sip on a double espresso, even I couldn't quite manage dessert!
I've only been here for drinks and starters so far, but was not very impressed. It's quite overpriced, portions are ridiculously tiny and service is very very slow.
I honestly think the Ping Pong down the street does just as good cocktails and nibbles.
I suppose it's worth a trip for the toilets. They are pretty cool :)
Sorry Northern Boy.. I'm also a mixed bag on the Crazy Bear. If your taking a girl for the first time to impress her, then yes it has the wow factor - No Doubt.
I have had 2 dinners, 1 lunch and a cocktail experience at this joint and it's been good (lunch) bad (both dinners) and ugly the cocktails are actually ok.. but the service was a little slack like it was my fault I wanted a drink.
Take out the random service and enjoy the surroundings and the style. It's worth a visit.
Crazy bear is a cool cocktail bar and restaurant just around the corner from Goodge street tube. It is pretty funky and the bar stools look like zebra skin poofs (don't know what they are made of...)
The cocktails are really different and most of them taste great - especially the strawberry champagne one. Have to admit they are not cheap though.
The bar food is pretty nice - posh Thai and apparently the restaurant is excellent. If you do go you MUST check out the loos before you have had too many cocktails - that's if you can actually find it..they are quite something! They also have a couple of small hotels out of town that look great fun.
The downstairs bar is a hidden treasure you'll need to book (I'd suggest booking for both pre and post dinner drinks!).
The restaurant is great good Thai food in a setting which works well for business and pleasure (groups and couples/dates).
My favourite dish there? The salted butter caramel, pistachios, peanuts, chocolate sorbet. You'll want your own portion so don't agree to share.
Ideal intimate dining/date experience. Start in the cocktail bar where you sit at eye level to the barman thanks to the differing floor levels on either side of the bar, a little bit of novelty but not too tacky. That said, the presentation of some of the cocktails would make Del Boy blush, when in Rome though as they say.
Then moving to the restaurant upstairs there is an almost cabaret feel to the tables, a little on the small side with individual lights on each table, but somehow still enough room for all the food you want and drinks too.
We must have been lucky on the night we went as we had the perfect waitress, friendly and attentive without interrupting or overdoing the service.
A thoroughly enjoyable evening, and didn't dent the wallet too badly.
I think I must have been to a different place from the other reviewers. This place is a pretentious overpriced trap.
Let's start with the menu. If you turn up in a group of 10, the restaurant will insist you have the 12 round tasting menu of 45 quid or up. Dare you suggest that maybe some of your group of 10 may actually like to eat (and god forbid) spend less than 45 quid, and you will receive a look from the waiter as if you had asked his underage daughter on a date.
Once you've stood your ground and finally gained access to the real menu, the next battle is over water. Here's a real tip for management. If I'm paying 45 quid for a meal, I have the right to ask for whatever water I want. And if it comes from a tap, I should not be made to feel like I am committing a crime. And any manager who instructs a waiter to explicitly refuse a customer request to leave the jug of water on the table whilst maintaining a restaurant temperature of above 25C should be locked up for sheer stupidity. The service was shoddy on the whole, but when it comes to topping up your glass with tap water it was simply rude - every single time we had to ask three times before said water was delivered. Excusable in a cheap eaterie, which this is not.
Now, if you can stomach the water and menu travesties and get to actually eating some food (a real challenge), you will find that the food is good. Not truly mindblowingly excellent, but certainly above average. And when you do look at the surroundings, they're stylishly done, with a slight nod to Art Deco. Which, if this was the only restaurant in town would make it OK. However, this is London, and it's not. I for one will not be returning for the shoddy service alone.
PS. I didn't make it to the downstairs bar - maybe that would have redeemed it.
I came for the cocktails. I had no idea about the food.
Easily missed, the tiny menu sits behind the gaping cocktail list when you reach your table in this elaborately designed grotto. And what treats there are upon it. The prices are a little steep, but the quality, particularly the dim sum, is high. Just like the cocktails. The delicate flavours and presentation have been tweaked to perfection and every taste has been accommodated.
Now for the piece de resistance. I can't believe this will inhabit a paragraph of its own, but you just have to go to the toilets here. Especially after a few cocktails, this is less a room of convenience and more a perceptual headf*. Behind hidden doors and mirrored from floor to ceiling, upon first entering, I almost climbed into the urinals. I had difficulty finding the toilets, difficulty getting out of the toilets, difficulty finding the exit, and when washing my hands managed to be scared to death when I found myself clutching the hands of a woman doing the same in the adjacent ladies. I have never had so much of an experience in a toilet on my own - read into that what you will
This place should concentrate on doing one thing well, which seems to be operating as a cocktail bar. As for the dining experience, I was not impressed in any sense. On arriving, one of the waiters took a few minutes to decipher where we should sit amongst the long side by side bench seating. We squeezed ourselves in to our position (I've had more room on the tube in rush hour) to find that we also had the addition of the cold air blasting from the air conditioning unit just above our heads. We asked the waitress politely if the cold air could be turned down a little, just to be told that there was nothing she could do, but we could move to a smaller table at the front of the restaurant if we wanted. As it seemed slightly cooler outside and our table was already postage stamp size, we decided to stay put and take our chances.
Our wine arrived almost 30 minutes after we'd ordered it. Again it seems that due to the lack of space in the place, if you're drinking white wine, the wine is poured for you at your table and then removed to be chilled elsewhere, as no room for ice-buckets on or beside your table. What an awful set up!
The choice of food on the menu looked OK, but totally overpriced and when it arrived, it didn't live up to the description. I ordered the Tiger prawn and vegetable spring rolls to start, which were prawns wrapped in batter sat on a sauce which had tiny cubes of carrot (I think that was the vegetable??). The spring rolls were tasteless and oily. I'd gone for a fish dish for my main - fillets of sea breem with Jasmine rice and side of vegetables. When it arrived, the fish was tougher that the soul of my shoe (a cliche, but very true on this occasion). When I was asked if I'd enjoyed the meal, I demonstrated the toughness of the fish, by holding the rubbery flesh and bending it at a 95 degree angle to prove my point. To her credit, the head waitress apologised and said that the course would be removed from the bill.
However, when receiving the final total, a statutory service charge had been added and when we refused to pay, we were told that we had to. It wasn't paid!!!
As for toilets - yes, certainly worth checking out.but caution should be taken, make sure you use the loo well in time. It took me some time to find them, almost walking into the mens and then when I was shown the 'secret' door to the ladies - it was mirrors everywhere and I felt like a Parisian mime artist searching for a toilet booth.
The place is totally pretentious and overpriced. I won't be going back.
The Crazy Bear Fitzrovia is one of my favourite local cocktails
bars. The service is fantastic from arrival to departure, with attractive door
staff greeting you with a warm smile. I have to give special credit to one
person there I think he is called Jason, he always goes that extra step that
makes me and every guest I have ever introduced to the place feel very special
(including taking my phone number when the bar is full and offering to phone me
at another venue when room became available rather than having to stand and
wait we ran along to The Charlotte Street Hotel for a Dirty Martini which was
Cocktails are simply delicious, but be warned they have a real
kick and several mornings after have been spend with friends and I wondering
how anything that tastes so good could make our heads pound quiet so much!
have a very good restaurant on the ground floor but it's the basement cocktail
bar that keeps me coming back and bar food is available, I am a real sushi fan
and for about £24 you can order a mixed platter that is great to pick at while
the clever bar staff happily suggest drinks to try (all suggestions have been
great and they are not fazed if you walk in and mention tastes you fancy or
crave- they will rustle up exactly what your taste buds wanted!)
The opulent surrounding
remind me of a carriage on the Orient Express and its little twists and flashes
of more modern design like the white leather bar stools make it feel like
The alcove booths
are fun if you're on a date but I like sitting at the bar which is busy and
chatty. It's not cheap but where is in
the centre of London is? Definitely worth a visit, do call or book if you don't
live locally as the place is very small and can get busy.
I am always dressed
for dinner so not sure if there is a dress code, though I have left and seen people
not being allowed in due to their dress (I think someone was in trainers) but
maybe it's more about style and attitude than rigid door policies as my date on
that night was in trainers though still well dressed and the man being refused
was pretty loud so good call on the doors part as this place is too intimate
to have the relaxed atmosphere shattered.
Some time before the Crazy bear won a Evening Standard award this place was a must for pre cocktail dinnner drink. It really was a gem. Post the award as is the norm with anything that finds its way into Timeout or the Standard it all went down hill a little (reviewers stop killing are hidden gems!). Dont get me wrong the food is consistent, drinks are ok nothing wrong there is just not special anymore. Crowd has changed and the toilets (all mirrored and hidden doors) lose there appeal. Great for quick drink if you can get a seat, bad for the night and can be heavy on the wallet
The food t crazy bear was good but not great. Good food, great service but it could do with a little more light - is so dark in there! Have to admit it has a romantic atmosphere but would be good to be able to read the menu! Great staff and excellent service. Would definately go again.
I LOVE how this place is decorated! Cow print seats, mad mirrors in the bathroom, & nice booths if you can get them. Sometimes they ask you to book inadvance, even to sit at the bar, but I've always managed to avoid this.
The cocktails are great, but expensive, same goes for the dim sum. I've eaten in the restaurant upstairs, which wasn't nearly as good as the bar, but I'd definitely recommend the bar as somewhere a bit different to go.
Nice place although not quite up to the hype. Food and drinks were of a reasonable price. A little quiet for a Friday night.
I went here recently for my birthday so we were a group, and groups of 6 or more have to have the 10 or 12 plate "tasting menu". The menu is a little pricey but the food is absolutely delicious and the portions generous so I didn't feel short changed at all.
I met my friends downstairs in the bar where we had an alcove reserved for us. The atmosphere was super-cool and we loved it. I guess because of the limited entry policy, the staff on the door were rather officious, and then they got grumpy about the fact that I was meeting a few more friends in the bar who were not coming for dinner. But considering the size of my bar bill, they really shouldn't have been so discourteous!
All in all, though, I will be going here again. It's centrally located and they serve great food. And the loos are something to behold as other reviewers have mentioned.
Quirky, fun and yes it does border on pretentious. But hey, i wouldn't expect anything less from the Crazy Bear establishments. When you get past the pricing, which is on the high side, it's worth heading for a treat. I prefer the downstairs bar as long as it's not too packed. Worth a visit to take in the beautiful art décor furnishings and the inspired but deliberate confusing toilet. I had trouble finding my way out. Mind, i did have a bit too much to drink.
The ideal venue for a media lunch off the beaten track of Roka, Gaucho and the likes. Secluded location means you have to know where you're going, and it's open at 12, so don't try before, but a truly memorable place, exquisite asian-inspired dishes, a comprehensive wine list and attentive service. Comes highly recommended and you can always get a table! And you MUST visit the bathrooms! Like Alice through the Looking-Glass!
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