Ming Tang Evans / Time Out
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Posted: Thu Oct 20 2011
Crazy Bear is perfectly positioned to appeal to the flashier, cash-rich segment of Fitzrovia’s media crowd. Smartly black-clad staff whisk you to restaurant tables, or downstairs to the dimly lit bar, with an appropriate hint of froideur. Decor, like the menu, is all about surface sheen – dig deeper and you’ll find those romantic tables for two are, in fact, highly uncomfortable, and the cooking, while pleasant enough, doesn’t justify its high prices.
Chefs are drawn from Thailand, Japan and China to produce a menu that ranges from familiar maki rolls and shrimp crackers to inventive chargrilled lamb cutlets with French beans, XO sauce, mango and mint. Impressively, the Crazy Bear Group’s own farm in Oxfordshire provides Gloucestershire Old Spot pork and Welsh Badger Face lamb.
The basement has pretty much everything you want from a cocktail bar, including dim sum and sushi from the restaurant kitchen. Its booze list is well thought out, and the cocktails are elegantly constructed and served with care. They range from traditional – try the sazerac (rye, Peychaud’s and Angostura, proper absinthe rinse for the tumbler) – to the likes of ‘after dinner’ passionfruit brûlée (cognac, honey vodka, passionfruit). On the whole, for a night out we prefer it to the restaurant.
Still, it’s best to make sure your wallet is full: Crazy Bear charges luxury-hotel prices but misses out the free luxury-hotel nibbles, and ordering two rounds of drinks with small-plate eats can make for an expensive hour.
The bar’s heavily mirrored toilets can be difficult to find, but don’t worry: male staff and customers are quite used to ladies accidentally opening the wrong door.
Accepts Time Out CardSee great offers available to all the Time Out Card holders
Dim Sum Afternoon Tea and Cocktails for Two-save 25% or more
12 plate tasting menu £29.50
Get 12 plate tasting menu for £29.50. from a set menu, classic or vegetarian option available. Dishes cannot be changed and other dietary requirements cannot be met.
Offer valid until May 19 2014
Dim Sum Afternoon Tea & Bellini £24.50
12 piece afternoon tea with Bellini £24.50person from a set menu, either classic or vegetarian option available. Dishes cannot be changed and other dietary requirements cannot be met. Dim Sum Afternoon Tea is served in the Bar lounge area.
Offer valid until May 19 2014
Sushi Sashimi Combination Platter & Bellini £24.50
11 piece Sushi Sashimi Combination Platter with a Bellini for £24.50 from a set menu, either classic or vegetarian option available. Dishes cannot be changed and other dietary requirements cannot be met. Combination Platter is served the bar/lounge.
Offer valid until May 19 2014
Crazy Bear 26-28 Whitfield Street
- Venue phone:
020 7631 0088
- Venue website:
- 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
Tube: Goodge Street or Tottenham Court Road tube
Dim sum £4-£9. Main courses £12-£32. Set meal £39-£47 tasting menu
- 26-28 Whitfield Street
- 020 7631 0088
- 26-28 Whitfield Street
- Crazy Bear
Average User Rating
2.3 / 5
- 5 star:1
- 4 star:1
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:2
- 1 star:3
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.