What could possibly improve a good ol’ game of bowling? Then it hit us like a pin to the temple: booze and burgers. Now that’s a sure fire way to spice up bowling, and it just so happens that All Star Lanes: Bayswater has both in abundance.
Tucked away in Whiteley’s Shopping Center in the heart of Bayswater, All Star Lanes boasts an eye-catching neon entrance to pull you in from the busy London Streets. Follow the steps and you’re welcomed to the lanes: an underground vintage homage to American culture and confectionary.
Collect your bowling shoes, pick your player names - obviously making sure they’re as eccentric and silly as possible - and follow the low lighting and excellent retro-rock tunes to the diner area. Home to leather-clad booths and checkered tile flooring, it was a cool area that suited the vibe of the place, leading you through to the lanes themselves. These highly polished strips are where you’ll want to be spending much of your time, especially if it’s a Friday night and you’re on the prowl to clinch a luminous pin-containing strike and score yourself a bucket of beer.
The Food & Drink
To start, we tackled the Pretzel Bread (£3.50) which came with a decadent helping of smokey cheese dip. Just in case that wasn’t enough cheese, we also grabbed the Chicken Quesadillas (£6.50) which come crispy and stuffed to the brim with 3 types of cheese, chicken, avocado and salsa. Their Loaded Nachos (£10) also deserve an honorary mention as the ideal sidekick to a round of bowling, towering high with cheese, chillis and slow-cooked beef. A couple of cold ones made an appearance in the form of Kona’s craft golden ale, Big Wave (£5.50) and the crisp Dry Apple Cider from Rekorderlig (£5.20). If craft beers are your favourite,, All Star Lanes hold bottomless craft beer brunches for a few hours over the weekend to let true hop-heads get their fix.
Our mains were a thing of meat-laden beauty, dwarfing the plates on which they arrived. Sticking with the surroundings, we tucked into The Kingpin Burger (£10), an epic classic Dedham Vale patty topped with treacle-cured bacon, monterey jack cheese and crowned with a deep-fried mac’n’cheese croquette. Absolute bliss, especially when paired with a sizzling skillet of Chilli Cheese Fries (£5). We just had to get an All Star Signature dish too and decided on the Buttermilk Fried Chicken (£12) which came with sweet potato fries and a pot of fragrant jerk gravy. The chips play a vital role in this dish, mopping up that precious and unique jerk gravy but, if gravy isn’t your thing, you could always just opt for the House BBQ Sauce that lays waste to even the most notorious of condiments.
Cocktail time should be all the time, especially when things like the Voodoo (£8) or the impossible to pronounce (seriously, try it) Kamaniwanalaya (£9) exist. The former is something we could imagine Captain Jack sipping aboard The Black Pearl, a smooth mix of Bacardi Gold Rum, Martini Rosso, bitters and fruit juices. The unpronounceable latter is a stronger beverage that packs flavour and punch in equal measures, a potent concoction of Bacardi Gold, Amaretto, Blackwell’s Rum and fruit juices.
All Star Lanes: Bayswater is wholly relaxed, through and through. It’s a pretty large venue and can be extremely popular on weekends, pulling in families and friends alike. The diversity of clientele means you can comfortably enjoy yourself whether you're there to bowl, chow down or both and with such a fantastic array of booze and food, who could blame you? It was a great destination for a night out that’s a step above the usual dance and drinks thanks to the option to bowl your heart out.
This is a super-laid back and hugely enjoyable venue that delivers excellent games of bowling, fautless American grub and a strong array of drink choices. All Star Lanes: Bayswater tops all the above off with exceptionally good value events and deals (like Monday’s Groundhog events) that give you great bang for your buck - a real win, win. This is not ‘Nam. This is bowling.