Review: Crazy Bear, London14

Posted on December 8, 2008 by ChristieRestaurants, Travel Stories

Crazy Bear is my favourite Thai Fusion restaurant in London. I’ve been there 4 times and almost every time with my favourite British mate, Dirk Diggler (DD). He asked to be called that. You see, he’s quite immature and has a dark sense of humour, but absolutely loves to eat! Hence why we are friends.

Beware, this review is going to be a bit of a photo bonanza, because we totally over-ordered. I just really wanted to capture all my favourite dishes and knew you would appreciate it.

Disclaimer: There was only the two of us, and we didn’t finish everything, promise.

[Soft shell crab £10 , Fried baby squid £8, both with wasabi mayo]

[Assorted dim sum; har gau, sui mai, gu chai £9]

DD and I are absolute chilli fiends, we love spicy stuff. Especially this hot wasabi mayo – it’s to die for! That’s why we ordered two dishes that featured it. They mix a good amount of wasabi in so you get that very pleasant nose tickle and runny eyes. Love that!

The soft shell crab was perfectly crisp and not at all greasy, while the fried baby squid was unfortunately a little over done and on the chewy side. In their defense, we’ve had it there before and it was gorgeous.

However, the poor little dumplings had also been over cooked, they were quite sticky and the fillings very same-ish, which isn’t a real word but you know what I mean.

Onto the mains… this is where we really pigged out.

[Slow pot roast pork hock w/ boiled hen’s egg £10, Red Duck Curry £14]

We ordered the pork because DD has an unhealthy obsession with eggs… He’s also very partial to sugar and happens to be a type 1 diabetic, but that’s another story. The pork hock was meltingly tender and the egg soaked up the delicious flavours of the broth. Very nice.

The red duck curry was aromatic as expected although the duck was disappointingly lean. I love it when there’s some yummy once-crisp pieces of fatty skin to devour. DD despised the pieces of pineapple, but I scoffed them down, yum! The lychees and cherry tomatoes completed the tropical feel along with a heady and generous amount of kaffir lime leaves. Always a good thing.

[Chargrilled Lamb cutlets with XO sauce + mango £14, Hot & Sour King Prawns £18]

The lamb cutlets were a dish we hadn’t tried before and to be honest they didn’t blow us away. The XO sauce was far too subtle and the chops had a very thin layer of fat which meant they weren’t as juicy and flavoursome as expected. I’m very fussy with lamb, it has to be just right.

The hot and sour prawns were just that. A nice Thai salad with a mixture of herbs, lemongrass, coconut milk, chili oil and fat prawns – I was just far too full to appreciate it. Shame. The combination was beautiful.

Sadly, I had no room left for dessert, but could definitely manage a cocktail in the fabulous bar downstairs. If you go and have room then please, please, please order the bitter chocolate soup with tonka bean ice cream – it is divine!

Now, this is going to sound strange, but one of the best things about Crazy Bear is the toilets. Firstly, the entrance is fabulously ambiguous thanks to a wooden parquetry wall that disguises the doors. Quite embarrassing if you’ve had too many cocktails. One time I waited for someone to emerge to avoid embarrassment!

And secondly, because inside they’re fully mirrored from floor to ceiling.

Perhaps the pictures will speak a thousand words…

[The wall to enter the toilets. Can you see where the door is?]

[Girls toilets ceiling that reflects the floor – really cool, huh?]

Overall a very hit-and-miss visit but I assure you it’s one to seek out. Let me know what you think of the toilets!

Happy eating, Christie

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