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|Address:||26-28 Whitfield Street, London W1T 2RG|
|Tel:||020 3544 0837|
|Price: £61.00||Wine: £23.00||Champagne: £49.95|
|Opening Hours:||Mon 5pm-12M Tues-Sat 12N-12M (Thurs-Sat -1am)|
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
I remember Crazy Bear from its early days – great food, epic bar and a cool, slightly kooky 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.
On that basis then, a qualified recommendation – great food and a lovely environment if you don't mind putting up with haphazard service