Crazy Bear Fitzrovia, is a cocktail bar and restaurant from the famed Crazy Bear group and, true to form, their Fitzrovia site wasn’t the easiest place to find. Devotees will notice that this seems to be something of a theme with venues I visit (perhaps I need to update Google Maps) but those that have visited will back me up, I’m sure. Upon locating this elusive haunt, appropriately pleased with myself, I entered the Crazy Bear...
The Venue & Atmosphere:
The site comprises of two main areas – a dining area on the ground floor and a downstairs basement cocktail bar down below. Though somewhat ostentatious in design, the bar still manages to maintain a warm and intimate vibe. Private alcoves, made entirely of red leather, line the perimeter of the space with a quite remarkable bar set-up towards the back of the room. Comfy seats are in themselves a rarity in London, as venues tend to provide tall lanky bar stools that can be the cause of some seriously embarrassing falls. But what really sets Crazy Bar apart is that the area in which the bartenders operate is slightly lowered - this allows guests to maintain eye contact with the staff without compromising on comfort and negates the need for the aforementioned stools. The rest of the bar is lavishly designed in a way that would resemble the love child of a 18th century French palace and Japanese-Zen style design.
The Food & Drink:
The cocktails at Crazy Bear Fitzrovia were all made perfectly, efficiently and served by extremely polite and friendly bar staff. There is a catalogue of cocktails on offer, but ones not to be overlooked are the Fairy: Ketel one vodka, rose liqueur, vanilla syrup and laurent perrier rose champagne and the Old Fashioned: Woodford Reserve, bitters soaked sugar and orange peel. The cocktails start at around £10 and there is a brilliant selection of wine and beer should you be that way inclined.
The restaurant at Crazy Bear is on the ground floor and focuses on a sharing style menu, consisting of Thai cuisine. Once again the service was fast and efficient, and they managed to unlock one of the most important features of tapas style dining – never keep your guests wanting. The menu at Crazy Bear takes a while to get through but if you're an avid broadsheet reader, you'll be used to handling the enormous pages the food options are printed on. The food was delivered in a constant flow that meant you were never faced with an empty table or stomach – though still maintaining freshness and not defaulting on flavour. Each dish was brilliantly made and they did not skimp on portion size. Particular favourites included the Barbecued Pork Buns and the Ostrich Stir Fry.
Crazy Bear, Fitzrovia, is a sure winner. The staff were superb, the food was delicious, the cocktails were made perfectly, and the clientele was friendly and chatty. And though it's relatively pricey, you won't feel cheated - such is the high quality of everything on offer. Make Crazy Bear Fitzrovia your next night out... you'll have a GRRRReat time (bear pun, sorry).