Crazy Bear 1

26-28 Whitfield Street , London, W1T 2RG

Crazy Bear

Offers available

SquareMeal Review of Crazy Bear

Unfailing lively, Crazy Bear has been transporting fans of chintzy glamour “to another world” since 2004. Gleaming dark wood, floors in reflective black, a velveteen staircase and leather booths padded in striking red are as unashamedly over the top as a vast pan-Asian menu plundering every corner of the Far East. From reliable sushi (the dragon roll of Alaskan king crab is a pure-luxury winner) and dim sum (venison puffs are our pick) to honey-roasted Old Spot pork reared on the group’s own Oxfordshire farm, exotic ostrich fillet with long beans and chilli paste or budget-busting chateaubriand with bak choi and XO sauce, the food seldom disappoints. Prices can seem steep, but bargain-hunting fan’s report that “meals deals” are “definitely worth it” – provided you resist the lure of Asian-themed cocktails in the plush basement bar. Service by assorted beautiful people mirrors the super-glam vibe, sometimes at the expense of efficiency.

Special offers

OpenTable exclusive: Wagyu beef, half a native lobster & champagne £27

100g Australian Wagyu Beef Sirloin, Half a Native Lobster & Champagne £27. Set menu dishes cannot be swapped or changed. Dietary requirements cannot be catered for including gluten-free, vegan, etc. Dishes may vary subject to availability. Minimum age requirement for Champagne is 18 years.

From: 20 July 2017

To: 30 November 2017

Max: 5

Maximum of 5 diners. Includes VAT, excludes service.

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8.1

Food & Drink: 8.4

Service: 7.5

Atmosphere: 7.6

Value: 7.5

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

Tim H. gold reviewer 20 November 2015

Took a party of 9 along and had the banquet menu which was excellent. Good variety of dishes all of which were very tasty. Only disappointment was the use of MSG. I do believe that if you are using great ingredients you don't need it...

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 2.0

James C. gold reviewer 02 October 2015

A bit out of the way careful searching is necessary at the quiet end of Whitfield Street. After careful study of the well lit outside menu displayed (ah Hem who said there was a light problem?) The initial approach is greeted with a tad on the heavy club door bouncer style but I appreciate this as it keeps riff raff out-needed in this part of Fitzrovia. The décor IS dark inside but very plush throughout faux leather studded wallpaper. Plenty of spare space .Downstairs is very glitzy the toilet doors were so hidden & it was soooo dark it took several minutes to figure them all out.Ended up nearly walking into full length wall mirrors! Reminded me of 1970s BIBA! Service was fine if a bit assertive.A tad gruff. Place seemed to be hosting numerous Office expense Account type 20/30 something groups on this occasion so felt a bit out of place but hey ho. Food was very good.Really professional and portions quite generous.Served fairly speedily and all correctly. Hours of labour in that. Its like A thai or Chinatown but on a much higher quality/skilled level not run of the mill. Would visit again for different dishes. Not for the easily intimidated or timid as having 5 or six service folks attending can be a bit of a burden. I hear they have a farm shop out in Stadhampton Oxfordshire that is renowned -out there. Things might be different though in a rural as opposed to W1 setting. Who knows.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 4.0

Bertie O. 10 February 2014

Had a great time. Restaurant very busy, great atmosphere, excellent food!! Will be back soon.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

Square M. bronze reviewer 19 February 2013

Lovely sushi, extensive menu, excellent wine list. Fit for SLT groups and team lunches / dinners. The downside is total lack of light, hence reading the menu is a challenge!

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 4.0

Broome F. bronze reviewer 12 December 2012

A very wet and windy Thursday evening brought us to The Crazy Bear. Having not been here for a number of years, I didn't know whether the decor had changed, but once entering, it still had that louche, slightly subversive feeling of the Orient, of the past. Three of us decided to stick to fish dishes, thinking about our waistlines. Started with Yellowfin Sashimi, which was ok, not the best I've tasted. Followed by Sea Bream with ginger and cashew nuts, which was excellent. Perfectly cooked fish, with finely chopped lime, the whole dish fresh and light. Friends decided on Black Cod and the Red Snapper in banana leaves- all delicious. Sides of duck spring rolls and Pad Thai wrapped in an omelette, both well made. The restaurant was half full in our section, which for 9.30pm, was surprising, downstairs the place was packed. Service was fine, with little interaction with the staff, but alert when additional drinks were required. Overall a good evening, with smiles all around, until we stepped out into the cold and wet.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

The Cheese platinum reviewer 02 October 2012

‘Unlimited Champagne’. Mmmm. It speaks to the latent Hooray Henry (and perhaps the lush) in me. So when a sub-£40 tasting menu promises endless bubbles and eight courses, my squeals of joy are audible. Hello, Crazy Bear! Recent reviews paint this place as an institution with a flailing cult rep. Service is hailed as super-slick or mean-spirited and sloppy, with more regard for a mean cocktail than a decent feed. In contrast we received a v.warm welcome for lunch, with jolly staff as happy to take our coats as to top up our glasses well before they were dry. We had to request a peek at the promotional menu which was swiftly offered – just as well, as the alternative looks mighty steep in price – but the Brut was already flowing, so we didn’t quibble. Chefs were happy to mix and match dishes for a pescatarian, which is a doozie in my books. Dim Sum from the vegetarian menu was less varied in texture and type than the meat-eater’s menu, with so-so flavours among the sticky, steamed buns. But if the starters were lacklustre, then the mains were triumphant. Okay, so I ended up with a trio of tofu dishes, but each was distinctive: a pokey and aromatic curry, a simple stir fry where each skinny green bean had a satisfying snap, and more than a tickle of kaffir lime among the noodles. (I was completely overwhelmed by the sheer quantity in the latter stages, so my advice is to save yourself. That curry’s goooood). And so to a trip through the moody bar downstairs, to simply spend a penny. I turned to my left as directed, but saw an impenetrable labyrinth of mirrored walls and proceeded to style it out as I pawed each surface. I had half a mind to take a run-up and CHARGE! as I searched. What exactly did the decor set out to achieve by squirreling away the lavs? I didn’t notice any locals slapping each other on the back, madly chortling at my misadventure, and it must’ve proved downright tiresome for the long-suffering barman. To this day, I can but pray that the neon trough in which I washed my hands was – gulp – a sink, and not a urinal… This ‘member’s only’ trickery is extended to the anonymous facade, and it really gets my goat. I pitter-pattered back and fourth across the same stretch of pavement in a state of bewilderment before entering the joint, feeling like an ultra-spod. (The camera phone never lies, right? I must be here)?! Indeed, the darkened doorway was the right spot, but I’d missed the paw logo on the doormat in the absence of an actual sign. These piddly irritations might sum the place up. There’s a lot going on to impress, but there’s a fair bit of style over substance too; I suspect it lures a crowd keen to see and be seen after hours (but this is a foundless assumption). Lovely though the service was throughout – with no hidden extras sneaked in, unlimited mineral water thrown in and a real effort to please – we did feel slightly shoehorned out the door when we’d paid. It’s understandable given that the wine flowed so freely and we were fore-warned of 90-minute slots; but we were welcome to slink to the bar for more reveling, at the mercy of our own pockets. Our lunch was a stolen treasure on a week-day off work, and I’m glad to have popped along. I can’t lie that the wealth of neighbouring tapas joints aren’t top-notch because they might offer a more consistent treat for the soul and the tummy. They might not be as flash or as fancy (and their hours not quite so permissive), but they’re a sound bet when it comes to a lunch that lasts way into the evening.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Massimo O. 02 October 2012

Visited the Crazy Bear last Thursday (27th September) and had a wonderful evening. Drinks in the bar downstairs as the DJ was playing great music. The place was full and the atmosphire was buzzing. Had two different cocktails, both well presented and tasted special. Moved to the upstairs restaurant and had a fantastic meal (You must try their Sushi, best ever!). The staff were polite, friendly and the service was very attentive. I will be back soon!!

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 4.0

Kaylee D. 12 August 2012

I went to the Crazy Bear on Whitfield Street for lunch this week and was very very impressed. I had been for drinks in the bar before, so I knew how unusual and cool the place is but had never eaten there before. I had seen their website advertising a ‘Champagne Lunch’ deal, which looked incredible, and I am pleased to say that it really was! We had a selection of 8 different dishes of sushi and Thai food, and through the whole meal our glasses were continuously topped up with Champagne. Seriously, it was unlimited Champagne the whole way through our meal. I love Thai and Japanese food anyway, and the Dim Sum was beautiful, and I loved the Ostrich! Our waiter was really friendly and attentive, and made sure we were enjoying ourselves the whole time we were there. I think the lunch was just under £40 each, which for all the Champagne and the quality of food we had, was really great. I can't wait to get all the girls together to go back and take advantage of the offer again!

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

Dionne S. 23 January 2012

Being seated at the bar ( on cute snake skined chairs) on arrival for Cocktails was a luxury not normally observed at so many bars on a Friday night..the numbers politely controlled so you could fully take in this weird and wonderful setting! Mellow but up lifting music is delivered by the Dj but seems to go un noticed as the lively crowd hum under the bass! The lighting dark but comfortable…giving you a chance to take in all the weird and wonderful decor! We ordered cocktails which were delivered by bar staff that clearly knew what they were doing and I have to say that the service was execptional. This Bar really has an Alice in Wonderland feel and it took some direction from staff and a moment to take in my surroundings when attempting to visit the ladies room…which is mirrored almost to the point your not quite sure where you are…! It was a bit freaky to say the least !! But on the whole I would recommend this bar for drinks, and would say that in the case of The Crazy Bear you do get exactly what you pay for!!

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 1.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

Marcus H. bronze reviewer 28 March 2011

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

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Special offers

OpenTable exclusive: Wagyu beef, half a native lobster & champagne £27

From: 20 July 2017

To: 30 November 2017

Max: 5

Maximum of 5 diners. Includes VAT, excludes service.

Crazy Bear is included in the following SquareMeal lists