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Crazy Bear (Bar, Restaurant)

Picture of Crazy Bear in Fitzrovia, London

26-28 Whitfield Street, Fitzrovia, London, W1T 2RG
Cuisine: Pan Asian
Tel: 02076310088 | Email to Crazy Bear | Transport: Goodge Street | Write review

Crazy Bear Review

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Best for: Thai food; Cabaret; Burlesque; Fitzrovia; dark and decadent decor.

Great: Live music; Wine; service; atmosphere.

If the Crazy Bear were actually a vampire death-den, as the decor at times suggests, it’d make a killing thanks to the “vertical integration” (i.e. supply chain domination) enmeshed in its business plan. Having watched, in an expressionless stupor, seasons (yes, seasons) of Glitter Barbie Vampire Series, plus having taken a short module on business management a few years back, I possess a solid foundation from which to base my analysis. I shall explain.
 
Upon entering this dimly lit, dark panelled, Fitzrovian bar-cum-restaurant, I found myself face-to-nipple-tassle with a very tall, lithe and mostly naked woman. Was this one of the vampires’ hapless victims? Before questions could be asked, my companion and I were swiftly ushered to our table and introduced to the waiters, all devilishly good looking and draped in black (i.e. probably vampires). We were seduced. A bottle of 2010 Domaine de la Madone Fleurie was suggested and obligingly we set ourselves to the task of drinking it.

For starters: a bamboo bin of assorted dim sum; deliciously crispy Peking duck all rolled up with nuts and dipped in Hoi Sin sauce; and a plate of fried baby squid with a mayonnaise-wasabi sauce that was mild enough to keep my companion from spontaneously combusting.
 
A high proportion of the other diners (vampire fodder) were pretty, young and blonde, and screeched excitedly when big events happened at their table (such as wine-sipping or fork-lifting). In the vampiric TV show, True Blood, all the “Fang Bangers” were pretty, young and blonde, so blondes frighten me. To shield ourselves from their shrill glee, my friend and I built an impenetrable fortress from giant menus. Our dreadlocked waiter materialised from the dark walls, peered over and dazzled us with his sparkly eyes, causing the menus to drop. Good thing too, because our ten-plate tasting menu had just arrived.

The kitchen vampires had infused some sort of hallucinogen into the Thai green chicken curry. I found myself swimming deliriously in a vast ocean of spicy, coconutty ecstasy. I emerged only to smack myself repeatedly on the forehead with a menu for not sampling this particular plate before gorging myself on the other decent, but ultimately not as spectacular, dishes.

The sea bream ran (swam?) a close second to the curry. Peeking out of the seaweed dressing were fiery, perilous chillies that, this time, did cause my companion disquiet. His eyes bulged, his face reddened and twitched, sweat trickled from his hairline, his hair actually burst into flame. I briefly considered pouring the wine over him to douse the fire but stopped, remembering the delightful way it tickled my tongue. In any case, he was already reaching for another serving of fish. The other dishes that we feasted on included a flawlessly seasoned beef sirloin steak in oyster sauce, tasty steamed choi sum, and somewhat bland garlic tiger prawns with black pepper and spring onions.

We had ventured into this inconspicuous night spot on a Monday, which meant that throughout the meal an ensemble of tweed-clad musicians in poor-boy caps were taping away at their instruments, adding to the old-school vibe of this seemingly converted gentleman’s club-cum-vampire den. Seemingly converted, but not entirely. Throughout the evening the vamps sent out fatal distractions. Burlesque babes: sequined, tasselled, feathered and playful. Considering the space restraints, these two jiggling queens gave an impressive, and indeed, intimate performance. The leggy Bouncy Hunter, and an unconventionally tattooed Alice, took us on rather unusual trips down the twisted rabbit hole.
 
We were happy and unstressed; ideal for the vampires. Stressed blood, I hear, tastes rather gamey.
 
Charmed, well-fed, a little tipsy and rather distracted, we had one final vampiric trick to encounter: disorientation, due to the dappled-mirror bathrooms, concealed behind mirrored panels, down near the basement bar. Vertical integration; it’s genius! Staggering out of the loos, hand outstretched to steady myself, I noticed arched, velvet lined, coffin enclaves waiting on standby for my drained arrival. These little scarlet booths would also work for clandestine conversations, for anyone seeking some privacy. Here the crowd was quieter, slightly older, and swankier. I’m certain they were refilling themselves, after offering their necks in gratitude, to the proprietors of the dangerous, dark and deliciously decadent Crazy Bear. I ran a finger down my neck, realising that I could hardly blame them.

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Customer Reviews for Crazy Bear

Average (based on 5 votes): 5 Atmosphere: Value: Quality:

The following customer reviews are not endorsed by Fluid London and are simply those of users who wish to publish their independent experiences of Crazy Bear.

“A fantastic wine and cocktail list, a decent Asian menu, dark and sultry decor, a great place to hide in central London.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
The Restaurant Hunter, London (6 years 3 months 23 days ago)

“Visited on Sat 08/03/09. A mixed and disappointed experience. We were a group of 12 celebrating a birthday. They were very accommodating in providing us a table. The decor is fantastic. The drinks were good, although for the same price we've had better at numerous venues. The waitress we had was the real downfall. The service was slow and we had to chase them on drinks after waiting 15-20 mins after the order was taken. This resulted in one drink being brought over twice. The waitress then decided to have a go at us for their mistake. After which we received no service at all. When we'd had enough and wanted the bill she seemed to intentionally ignore our looks and gestures and even when I walked over to speak to her she turned and walked away and I had to ask another waiter to bring the bill. Definitely not one that I'll go back to.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
[ Unknown ], London (8 years 10 months 12 days ago)

“A gem of a hideaway in Fitzrovia. Behind the shabby entrance Crazy Bear awaits you with some delicious cocktails. If you want something a little different and if you can find it, this bar is worth checking out.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Jessica, London (10 years 10 months 23 days ago)

Show all user reviews for Crazy Bear

“We went there last night for my partner's birthday. We had reserved an area and were requested to give our credit card details in advance. In case we would have not showed up we would have been charged £100, fair enough. On our arrival we are sat in our allocated area, only for 15 minutes later being moved to another one with no explanation. This is when we get to meet our little Australian waitress from hell. We are about to place our order for a bottle of white wine and when asking for advice we only get one standard answer in a rather charming Kat and Kimesque accent for whichever one we enquiry about: "Oh yeah that one is very nice" but what is, is it a Savignon Blanc or a Riesling? and the answer again: ""Oh yeah that one is very nice, certainly very popular" . We are soon joined by our friends, which want to order different things, only to find out that we are not allowed to run individual tabs, one big bill or nothing. So the evening goes on rathe smoothly, until the bill comes, they have added four more beers to the bill. Little australian girl will not have any of it, and angrily refuse to take the bill off the bill. The only good thing about the bar is the interiors (although they have un-originally copied the mirror bathrooms form Sketch). One word of advice to the managers: Train your staff about the wines on the list and send them to anger management classes.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Luca de salvia, London (11 years 3 months 21 days ago)

“this place is terribly overpriced... you have to book your seats here, a bit of a queue to get in while the were checking all the party guests in. We had a leather clad booth that kind of resembled a padded cell that we had to step into. The table service assistant had no customer service patience at all - slamming down change trays on the table and eyes rolling when one of our party of 12 wanted another drink - no tips for her then - apart from maybe get another job love! Other then that - not a bad venue to drink a glass of wine at an over inflated price... great toilets those - best part of the place - having a wee was like an alice in wonderland moment....”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
skki [Kay Daniell], London (12 years 9 months 10 days ago)

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Additional Information

Crazy Bear Food & Drinks

Crazy Bear Food Menu

Crazy Bear has a delicious choice of hot and cold dishes. A restaurant, where fine dining embraces unspeakable elegance.

Updated 26/03/2012

Item Description Price
Main Courses WHOLE CRISPY SEA BREAM chopped shallots, capsicum, garlic, chilli, sauce sam lod. £ 15.00
Main Courses PAD THAI CRAZY BEAR NOODLES stir fried rice noodles, tiger prawn, bean sprouts, shallots, pickled white radish. £ 8.50
Salad TIGER PRAWN SALAD kiwi fruit, apple, orange, grapes, spring onion, exotic leaf, chilli, lime juice. £ 7.00

Crazy Bear Drinks Menu

Crazy Bear offers gorgeous cocktail. Add to this only premium spirits, bottled beers and the finest wines and champagnes.

Updated 06/04/2005

Item Description Price
Cocktails CRAZY MARY Chilli Infused Vodka, Fresh Tomatoes Blended with Basil, Spices & Lemon Juice £ 7.50
Bottled Beer Cruz Campo £ 3.50
Red Wine (glass) DOMAINE DES MOULINES MERLOT Vin de Pays de LíHÈrault, 2002, France £ 3.75
Champagne Cocktails BELLINI Fresh White Peach & Peach Schnapps with Champagne £ 8.50

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Venue ID: 4520

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