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All Star Lanes (Bar, Restaurant)

Picture of All Star Lanes in Notting Hill, London

Whiteleys, 6 Porchester Gardens, Bayswater, Notting Hill, London, W2 4DB
Cuisine: American Average Price: £18.00
Tel: 020 7313 8363 | Email to All Star Lanes | Transport: Bayswater | Write review

All Star Lanes Review

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If I’m honest, bowling, for me, has always conjured up horrible images of lukewarm hot dogs, fluorescent coloured ‘slush puppies’ and malfunctioning scoreboards. Of an evening, my local bowling alley is full of kids who are too young to get in anywhere else, dressed as if they’re about to hit the trashiest nightclub in town. Suffice to say, it’s a fairly hideous scene. The only thing I ever really liked about it was those cute retro shoes, and even then, that was always spoilt by the attendant squeaking my request back at me in disbelief at the size of my giant clown-feet.

All Star Lanes was a relief, to say the least. From the doorman greeting us at the entrance, to the dimly lit lanes and extensive cocktail menu, this place has undoubtedly embraced the concept of ‘boutique bowling’. Everything I loved about the shoes had been embodied in the theme of the Bayswater branch: it’s decked out in old-fashioned American-diner decor, with gingham napkins, check flooring, and 1950s pin-up prints lining the walls. The old-school bowling shirts worn by the staff and the waitresses’ pale pink uniforms are straight out of ‘The Frosty Palace’ in Grease, and the service is as fast as you’d take for granted on the other side of the Atlantic.

We started with the bowling – an activity that I’m pretty sure I hadn’t indulged in since I myself was too young to go elsewhere. The lanes were relatively basic – but then, how fancy can throwing a ball at ten pins be? All six lanes were full the whole time we were there - booking is a must - so it certainly kept the atmosphere lively. Around 8ish they turned the music up, playing an odd mix of everything from Motown, to jazz, to chart tunes – which didn’t seem as bizarre as it should have.

A couple of ‘spares’ later and I was smugly enjoying my win over a cocktail. We dined on the ‘Eat Drink Bowl’ menu, which includes one cocktail from a choice of six, of which I would certainly recommend the ‘All Star Julep’ on the basis that it tastes a lot like childhood favourite ‘Um Bungo’, albeit with a bit of a kick.

The menu also includes two courses from a varied and unabashedly American assortment: I opted for the Blackened Catfish (delicious), with a (ridiculously vinegary) potato salad, followed by the Sin City Chocolate Mousse, which I ate until I felt sick, and then ate some more. Aubergine is always referred to as eggplant, chips are only ever fries, and in true American style, the portions are all huge. After sampling the superb selection of food on offer, it quickly became apparent that the bowling element of this venue is, for many, a relatively small part of the evening.

Although the majority of the patrons were probably in their late twenties, there was certainly a ‘first date’ vibe to the venue – at least, there was if you have a tendency to over-indulge in nostalgic American films. The waitress should have been chewing gum and serving milkshake, but she wasn’t - she was checking if our meal was ok and topping up our table water. I wouldn’t have been surprised to see a jukebox, though.

The whole set-up is a slightly peculiar, yet thoroughly enjoyable, merging first-class service and food with ketchup bottles and padded booths. More importantly, however, All Star Lanes offers something which is hard to come by in the way of an evening’s entertainment in central London: good clean fun, and at a reasonable price. This place definitely challenged my previous notions about bowling and, if I’m honest, I had a great time. Or should I make that ‘a blast’.
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Customer Reviews for All Star Lanes

Average (based on 4 votes): 4 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 All Star Lanes.

“Came here the other night for the first time and had a really great night. The bowling was way better than any other place I have been before, we had a meal in the restaurant afterwards -I had the Ribs and my friend had the burger...both were excellent! I must also commend the bartender on some fantastic cocktails. Overall a great night out, the place looks great too, will certainly be back.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
John Gladwell, London (6 years 5 days ago)

“Disgraceful establishment. Hired a private room for friend's joint birthday, we placed £750 on the food expenses n had 60 people turn up. What we got were about 13 plates of canapes n a lot of hungry disgruntled people. Apparently those 13 plates equates to 3/4 of a grand. An additional £500 service charge was added on top of the extortionate markup on food prices, despite the fact there was little to no service, plus we could hardly hear our own music playlist due to the low volume sound system that unfortunately they can't turn up. Avoid this place at all costs. We ended up out of pocket n hungry at the end of the evening with a rather foul distaste of being only "slightly" ripped off for the £2 per canapé. Seriously, an average food serving to satisfy an average customer would be around £10-15. So how does 5-7 canapes make a meal? Marking up for premium service is not uncommon, but this is robbery, it's a shame I can't give zero stars as 1 star is not a fair and just representation of my opinion.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Mr C Lau, London (7 years 9 months 26 days ago)

“I recently visited All Star Lanes in Bayswater and was thoroughly impressed. When being told that I was going to a bowling alley for a night out I initially shuddered at the thought, but this is no usual bowling joint. It has a very '50s bowling/diner feel to it, very authentic. The game was fun, but the food was great. I had the veggie burger (don't worry fellow vegetarians, there are many veggie-friendly meals here) which was HUGE, which was very tasty. The cocktails were good too, which is why my memory of the end of the evening is a little hazy!”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Jamal Petrucci, Brixton, London (8 years 1 months 24 days ago)

Show all user reviews for All Star Lanes

“Went to All Star Lanes the other night for the first time, really enjoyed the bowling, it was so different to most bowling alleys! The food and service were great, and the menu's got loads to choose from. We also sat in the bar for drinks afterwards, which a bit quieter and more relaxing than the main restaurant area. I'll definitely be going back again!”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Rhiannon Wilding, Stratford (8 years 1 months 24 days ago)

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Food

The menu at All Star Lanes pays tribute to the classic American diner, recreating dishes how they were always intended with no fanfair, just good honestly cooked food using the best possible ingredients all sourced within the British Isles.

Updated 20/07/2008

All Star Lanes Opening Hours

Monday: 4:00pm - 11:30pm Friday: 12:00pm - 12:00am
Tuesday: 4:00pm - 11:30pm Saturday: 11:00am - 12:00am
Wednesday: 4:00pm - 11:30pm Sunday: 11:00am - 10:30pm
Thursday: 4:00pm - 11:30pm    

Additional Information

  • Cuisine Type: American
  • Average Price: £18.00
  • Dress Code: Not Specified
  • Group: All Star Lanes

All Star Lanes Hire Details

The All Star Lanes private bowling room is available for exclusive hire whether it be a team night out, entertaining clients or just a great party on any occasion. It has 2 bowling lanes and a full cocktail bar with an ideal capacity of between 30 - 80 people. The room has the unique feel of an old western and native American hunting lodge. You can bowl in the privacy of your own room with your own personal bar tender and mixologist for £300 per hour (which includes bowling & shoe hire). If you want your own tunes, bring a DJ or your ipod and connect to our ipod docking station which is connected to the sound infrastructure of the private room (and the whole venue if required).

Updated 20/07/2008

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Venue ID: 19586

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Loved

"Great experience, anyone who has memories of old London will get this, be prepared to be fleeced, by girls who are in fairness trying to earn a living, that involves showing you their fanny." Which venue is this?

Hated

"Great experience, anyone who has memories of old London will get this, be prepared to be fleeced, by girls who are in fairness trying to earn a living, that involves showing you their fanny." Which venue is this?

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