Crazy Bear

Restaurants Fitzrovia
  • 3 out of 5 stars
(26 user reviews)
8 Love It
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Crazy Bear (Ming Tang Evans / Time Out)
1/5
Ming Tang Evans / Time Out
Crazy Bear (Ming Tang Evans / Time Out)
2/5
Ming Tang Evans / Time Out
Crazy Bear (Ming Tang Evans / Time Out)
3/5
Ming Tang Evans / Time Out
Crazy Bear (Ming Tang Evans / Time Out)
4/5
Ming Tang Evans / Time Out
Crazy Bear (Ming Tang Evans / Time Out)
5/5
Ming Tang Evans / Time Out

This glam Fitzrovia venue opened back in 2004, and was the first London venture from a group with two other UK venues - including the original in Stadhampton, with 80 acres of working farmland. 

Many of the ingredients on the menu here come from that farm. There's a pan-Asian slant to most of the dishes, with options ranging from dim sum, sushi and Thai soups to crispy Peking duck, lobster spring rolls, soft shell crab tempura and crispy belly of Gloucestershire old spot pork belly served on bacai with pickled ginger and soy chilli dipping sauce.

The cocktail bar also proves popular. Expect classic martinis, Champagne cocktails, a number of mojitos and Crazy Bear 'classics' such as a ginger bear (Koko Kanu coconut rum, Mozart white chocolate liqueur, fresh ginger, cream and lemongrass) or a Crazyberry (Tanqueray, raspberries, fresh chillies, framboise and lime juice). Small plates are available here, too.

Venue name: Crazy Bear
Contact:
Address: 26-28 Whitfield Street
London
W1T 2RG
Opening hours: Bar Open noon-midnight Mon-Thur; noon-1am Fri; 6pm-1am Sat. Dim sum served noon-10.45pm Mon-Fri; 6-10.45pm Sat.Restaurant Meals/dim sum served noon-10.45pm Mon-Fri; 6-10.45pm Sat
Transport: Tube: Goodge Street or Tottenham Court Road tube
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Average User Rating

2.9 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:6
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:4
  • 2 star:9
  • 1 star:5
LiveReviews|26
2 people listening
Allegra H
2 of 2 found helpful

Had the 12 course tasting menu.  The food was mediocre.  They start with all the deep fried food at once, which was greasy and too bready.  The other dishes, while passable, lacked authenticity.  I found them all a bit too sweet and greasy.  The decor is interesting and fun.  However, the menu to table size ratio is ridiculous, and the fixed lamp in the center of the table is difficult to maneuver around when the dishes were all family style.

Clare G
1 of 1 found helpful

Terrible food. The chefs should be ashamed of themselves - I've had better meals at 2am in Chicken Cottage.

Christina Rosetti
1 of 1 found helpful

I've been a big fan of Crazy Bear since it opened over TEN years ago, and have been around ten times. However, I hadn't been over the past two years since I met my (now) husband so it was on my shortlist of places I wanted to take him. I bought a Groupon voucher for the 12-course tasting menu + Bellini for £30 per person (supposedly 50% off) and we used it for our Valentine's dinner (on the night before Valentine's Day). WOW, were we disappointed! The tasting menu was AWFUL, it wasn't the one on the menu (which is/was amazing) but a "special" tasting menu which consisted of TINY portions of: prawn crackers (I can't believe they considered this a "course"!), super-overcooked chicken satay, greasy prawn toast, greasier fried spring rolls, 2 tiny pieces of styrofoam dim-sum, tasteless pad thai, bland thai green curry, a semi-decent duck salad and a mediocre dessert. The kind of food I would never order, and certainly not at these prices. The service was hysterically bad. We ended up spending £130 on 1 1/2 bottles of wine plus service (including service on the "theoretical" value of £120 for the meal plus service on the wine). So all together £190 for an absolutely TERRIBLE meal. I was gutted and we will certainly NEVER go here again. AVOID AT ALL COSTS!

MooseInLondon
Tastemaker

Came here for the afternoon tea. Not really the right venue  for afternoon tea, but I would strike it up as an 'alternative venue for a traditional afternoon tea'. It is quite dark and a bit loud, and as mentioned earlier, the seating situation is a bit ridiculous. We were sat at the bar and luckily there was a free seat next to me to store items. 


Food was good and staff were attentive (refilling our Pimms glasses/pitcher, clearing plates) however they did mess up our order a couple of times. The first was in the sandwich order and the second was my tea choice. Again maybe if it was a bit quieter it would not have been an issue. 


The venue itself it pretty fun, with an awesome bar setup that I would have no issues coming to for a good cocktail in the evening. I even noticed little snugs on the side which would make a good intimate setting for a date or a group of friends. However as an afternoon tea spot I think I would give this place a miss!

Deon Pillay (theindependentfoodie)
tastemaker

For the best crispy squid in town head on down to this sexy little venue form the crazy bear group. I had the pleasure of celebrating my friends graduation with a set 3 course meal £35 per head which was faultless. We start the afternoon with a complimentary glass of premium fizz, Louis Roederer to be precise. First up was the duck spring rolls, stick baby back ribs and my favourite the salt and pepper squid. The word moorish springs to mind. For the mains we all opted for the chargrilled lamb cutlets served with long beans, garlic, chilli and black pepper sauce. Being a Wednesday and half champagne being half price we throw the boat out a bit a treat Ourselves to another bottle of the champagne. After two fantastic courses I am stuffed but dessert sounds irresistible, Champagne, rhubarb and madagascan vanilla cheesecake with a ginger jelly. Fantastic service, great food and the most creative urinal in London, think tropical forest and waterfalls .

Sam B
tastemaker

A venue of two halves - fabulous bar downstairs with great service, decadent decor and delicious bespoke cocktails. And then there's the restaurant on the ground floor.... equally decadent decor, but alas, staff that don't give a damn and substandard food. 


We had the dim sum afternoon tea, which was light on food to say the least. I asked for a top-up of tea (which was a task in itself!) and the waitress moodily topped up my pot with lukewarm water and then tried to charge for a new pot. You get better service in the local greasy spoon cafe. 


We left feeling rather unsatisfied and still hungry, promising never to return. Such a shame as Crazy Bear used to be one of my faves... not anymore. 

Andrew M

Disappointing, over-rated, rude and unprofessional staff. Would never stay again and certainly wouldn't recommend.

Laura B
Tastemaker

All low lighting, sleek staff, dark and sexy vibe here. Feels a bit like an exclusive nightclub but is a decent restaurant even if prices are a touch high for the quality and location. Would expect this from Mayfair but not Goodge St! Dined on a Bookatable steak and lobster deal. Food was well cooked and well seasoned if a little on the small side- but maybe the full priced dishes are better value? Starters were as expected but mains were a little lacking in portion size and we went elsewhere for dessert. The place has a sort of flash ambiance about it but doesn't feel as exclusive as it seems to be pitching for. I have been here a few times but doubt I'll go again. The toilets are quite an experience- good luck finding your way in and then out again.

Adrian H
Tastemaker

This pan-Asian venue really tries hard to deliver an up market dining experience. With a variety of 'tasting' menus available featuring up to 12 dishes, there should be something for everyone. 


The wine menu is extensive and there are a wide range of cocktails available too. 


The only downside experienced is that on our last visit we felt very crammed into a small corner, as if they were trying to squeeze too many people into the restaurant to maximise profits. Given the prices charged they certainly could allow for more space per diner, especially when the 12 course tasting menu calls for multiple dishes to be on the table at the same time.


The toilets are also highly confusing as many other reviews have stated.


I wouldn't recommend paying full price to visit the Crazy Bear. However if you can pick up a deal for a 12 course menu with a drink for under £50 it is well worth it.

k-chis

If you ask people about the Crazy Bear they always talk about the confusing toilets. That probably should have been a big clue that the food is not wonderful. The menu is extensive but good luck reading it in the dark! The food tasted no better than some take aways I have had but with a premium price. Wouldn't be rushing back any time soon sadly. 

Sonny C
Tastemaker

I came here for the Dim Sum afternoon tea. Loved the super swish decor with over the top bling & the toilets were a standout highlight! Our waiter was really friendly & attentive. The portions were large with a generous serving of winter Pimms Royale as our cocktail included in the deal. However at the end of the day it was dim sum & not a new twist on afternoon tea. There were no cakes or pastries to finish off. The food was nice but not wow. I've had better dim sum in China town. However it was a nice venue & a pleasant way to while away a wet & windy afternoon. If I came back I'd either try the traditional afternoon tea or eat a la carte.

Gordon
Staff Writer

Yes, the food is great -it's on high rotation for work lunches- but this place is all about the downstairs bar... and its famous bathrooms. (Not like that, you weirdos. They're just really cool. Like 'Elton John meets Narnia'.)

Noel
Staff Writer

always great food, not cheap and some tables you feel a bit squashed. That said very consistent. Lunchtimes in the week are clearly the media and advertising crowds. Bar downstairs always a nice hideaway from the busier places.

Fred R

I really enjoyed the restaurant atmosphere and thought the various array of dishes were very good. I would recommend to others but beware its not cheap. 

Charly Lester
Staff Writer

I've been on three occasions.  The first time I got the 12 course tasting menu via Groupon, which was reasonable value, however I wouldn't have paid full price.  The second time was with a Christmas group, and service was appalling.  The lights on our table also blew twice during the meal, and several dishes were forgotten.  The third time, I went for cocktails, and the drinks were poorly made and the staff were rather rude.  It's a shame because the decor is beautiful. 


Charly Lester

Time Out Head of Dating

girl v

I never review restaurants but congratulations Crazy Bear Fitzrovia you pushed my keyboard of dismay. I agree with allegra h’s review of Crazy Bear Fitzrovia> ridiculous one could not move the fixed lamp in the center of the table as I was trying to share dishes with my gourmet partner in crime to experience more Crazy Bear culinary tastes. And further agree with regard to the comment of sweetness… the Tom Yam Kung Yai was overtly sweet as indicated by my thai partner in crime and, to be honest, the dishes in general were under-whelming. Moreover, hilarious - thank goodness for my magnalite to view the menu in such subdued light! But those experiences would have not driven me to write a review as our Crazy Bear Fitzrovia waiter was truly patient, charming, helpful and so politely fun (full gold stars to him) as was the bar man downstairs . 


What twisted my mellow at Crazy Bear Fitzrovia was that I was entertaining a friend as my post birthday dinner but also commemorating sadly the birthday that night, of my mother. Respect, it was past 11 but there were still dinners when our dessert arrived (with the wrong name decorated on the dessert – my friend had booked the table for my post birthday dinner but again that added to the comedy of the dinner) but also her boyfriend arrived as he was going to drive her home. When I ordered a beer for him… to my shock, I was told that he could not sip it there beside us but he would have to sit downstairs by himself while we ate our dessert. Seriously? Yes indeed! No way could we let him sit downstairs by himself nor did we wish to move the desert downstairs when the restaurant still had dinners eating, so we left our uneaten dessert (circa four small spoonfuls had been eaten) and joined him downstairs. Regardless that I was paying full whack for the dinner (no deals) I think this type of customer service sucks. Days before hand I had the most wonderful birthday dinner at Yauatcha … Crazy Bear Fitzrovia vs Yauatcha… Yauatcha wins a trillions times over!

I give my waiter, bar man & my dining partner in crime 5 stars but Crazy Bear Fitzrovia I award you 2 stars and will not be having a rematch nor recommend to a friend

george

The Crazy Bear in Fitzrovia is one of a kind, the cocktails are out of this world.

Grace

Was in with a group of friends for drinks last Friday. I had never been before, it was absolutely fantastic, from the cocktails, to the toilets. Will be back.

Rob

Ate at the restaurant on the bookatable star deal. The menu was the same as the menu on the deal, if it had not I would certainly have said something. The food was good, as was the service, and the food. We had cocktails in the bar afterwards which were amazing.

Berta

Well i booked the 12 plate menu on toptable, which was exactly the same menu as what was on the website. Not sure why people are getting confused. It was very good value for money, and the service was spot on.

Ali Valenzuela

I wasn't feeling this place at all. I'm sure it was 'cool' in its time, but to me, it felt out-dated, seedy and pretentious for no good reason. With over-priced booze, mis-matched decor and a DJ pumping out overly- loud music (yet no space to dance), it gives an unsettling vibe, which, in a place where the functionality and orientation of its visitors is likely to decrease, doesn't really help. We are spoilt for choice with places to drink, so don't waste time on one that has passed its sell-by-date. For a nearby alternative, visit Dabbous' basement bar, Oskar's, for a quality experience, graceful ease to the atmosphere and impressive drink selection. Ali

Nadia A

Amy on the phone, created a bad taste in my mouth from the beginning. The dim sum made me leave with it still there. I had bought the black label Groupon voucher for the Crazy Bear Dim Sum Tea Party, with high hopes; the restaurant website certainly looked appealing and at the time I was very much looking forward to it. I called the restaurant to book a table and was greeted by a young lady named Amy whose attitude changed very quickly once she learned I had a voucher to redeem. I would call her pretentious but she is nowhere near worthy of that level of importance, so let's just say that, among other things, she was rude and arrogant. Because I had only a few specific dates I could book for, Miss Amy questioned me as to why I had not used the voucher months ago as, in her words, "Most Groupon users book as soon as they get it". I told her that I had been unable to book before due to my work, which meant I could only commit to a booking that fell on any of the dates I had given her (not that it was any of her business, but her attitude had really taken me by surprise) hence I was trying to use the voucher now, to which she replied "that's not my problem". Indeed, with a place like Crazy Bear, where (as per their small print) if you book a date and then try to reschedule means you automatically lose your voucher, it is definitely my problem not hers, so perhaps she might have understood why I was trying to find a day that was suitable instead of being a complete..... (enter word of your choice here). Had it not been for the fact I did not want to waste a voucher that was still valid, I would have put the phone down there and then. To say I was disgusted would be an understatement. When we actually went for the dim sum tea, the service of the waiters was courteous, albeit a bit on the patronizing side - they look at and speak to you as though you've never been to a fancy restaurant before. We were seated upstairs in a corner. I liked the ambiance but wondered why they had squashed all the tea party goers into this one corner when they had ample space both downstairs and in the more open part of upstairs. You get a sense of them trying to hide or separate all the voucher users from the full paying customers (of which there were very few). The feeling we got at Crazy Bear was as though they have a strong disliking for people that dine there using Groupon vouchers. They seem to have alot of people going there who are clearly attracted by the deals that they have put on Groupon; if the staff there feel too high and mighty to just treat everyone the same perhaps they should stick to catering to their £550 annual fee paying members only (clearly not raking in enough members if they need to rely on Groupon). The 'tea party' starts with a strong, but pleasantly sweet and fruity, raspberry and cream cocktail - I had told the waiter I wanted mine alcohol free but he had not listened as was too busy spouting off the names of teas, of which they have many. Serving the alcohol first is clever since the dim sum themselves are rubbish: Dense, doughy, chewy balls of tasteless mush. The venison puff was reminiscent of a Cornish pasty and not the worst thing served. The lobster siu mai was, like Amy, rather unpleasant and something I'd rather not experience again. A fellow diner described hers as tough and strongly fishy. The dipping sauce was overly sweet and not something you would want to douse your dim sum in, especially if they had actually been delicious. If you know what dim sum is meant to be like, do not go to Crazy Bear, it will ruin it for you as it did for us. I did like the brewed tea, the Vintage Puerh was very nice and the pot was generous. The toilets are somewhat of a joke, I get that it may appeal to some, but I personally just found it ridiculous. Do not expect anyone to help you find them unless you ask, even when they can clearly see that you are lost. When you do ask where they are you are looked at like a moron and sighed at; no doubt they are asked this question repeatedly throughout the day, 3 people right after me asked exactly the same thing. And trust me, if you attempt to find it on your own, you'll only join the others who are wandering around downstairs aimlessly and pushing all the wall fixtures wandering if they'll open up a secret door, or you might get lucky and find yourself in the wrong one. Once you do finally make your way in, it looks like the inside of a disco ball, housing a yucky airplane style toilet. Expect to wait a while with soapy hands before the stupid water feature dispenses any water for you; you might even shake hands with someone on the other side...the one hundred mirrors will keep you entertained while you wait though. I'm so glad I went to Crazy Bear through Groupon and not off my own back because there is no way in hell that I'd have paid the full price of £79 for that nonsense.

Bob Golhar

We went to Crazy Bear Fiztrovia on Saturday the 17th November the service wasn't too bad but we still had to wait for the hostess. The food was awful. for starters we had a mixed plate of Dim Sum which was stuck to the leaf it was served on and there was only 4 small pieces, the chicken warped in banana leaf was dry and hard , so the starters was a complete disaster. main course thai green curry was green curry sauce with a grilled chicken placed on top no flavor in it what so ever, noodles were just boiled whit steamed veg thrown in, aubergine was half an aubergine smothered with some red sauce and grapes thrown in for some taste. We didn't even stay for desert all this and a few drinks cost us £113.00, I wasn.t going to complain because I'm not in to complaining but when I was asked what the meal was like I told the hostess what I thought, she did take it up with the manager and got me £12.00 off the bill ( wow ) . Will I go back I don't think so. Thank you Crazy Bear for an awful night out with my wife.

Kate

We went to Crazy Bear Fiztrovia on Saturday with a booking and a (relatively) large group of people, prepared to spend lots of money to celebrate the occasion at hand. Never in my life have I encountered such awful service. The hostess was rude, not at all trying to accomodate our group (even though we had a booking!) and speaking to us like we were more trouble than it was worth. After 10 years in the events industry, I have never experienced a hostess (or other staff for that matter), like this. I genuinely don't know how she has a job as a hostess. Needless to say, after 10 minutes of really poor treatment and downright rudeness, we left and spent our money elsewhere - your loss, Crazy Bear! What a pretentious, overrated, tasteless club. STAY AWAY at all costs.

Arry

Another overrated, overpriced, pretentious London restaurant. Non Alcoholic cocktail was around ten pounds, tasteless, hardly had any ginger or mint, had to ask for a replacement as it tasted of water and lime. Service was poor, we were told we only had a two hour slot and we had better get on with our order, as we were settling in. Food was cold, small quantities, no real should, just average. Menus were huge. No light source except the fixed light in the middle. It is a club really, a playground for the young and rich, not a place for food lovers. A major disappointment.

Nicola Cosmin

Crazy Bear Fitzrovia is a perfect drinking establishment where you can relax and socialize after a long day of work or during the week end. I particularly liked the iCrazy Bear Fitzrovia is a perfect drinking establishment where you can relax and socialize after a long day of work or during the week end. I particularly liked the interior of the cocktail bar area which gives you a warm and relaxing feeling, the professionalism of staff, and the quality of the cocktails .The waitress service was also great. Very friendly and well-informed staff. I wouldl strongly recommend it to my friends and I would myself definitely visit it more often.