It’s been ages since I last popped down to Brick Lane in Londons East End, and I’ve notived in recent years it’s really blossomed into a vibrant and energetic hub of fashion and artistic creativity, spilling over from nearby Shoreditch.
Besides the funky clothes shops, barbers, music stores and enough independent coffee shops to keep even the most forthright connoisseurs heart beating strongly there is also a pretty good bowling venue here too, All Star Lanes.
All Star Lanes has actually been in Brick Lane in one form or another for around 10 years now. Last year they did a big refit and gave the venue a more 1920’s feel and for what is actually quite a big space, there’s still a nice, cosy vibe in both the main restaurant and bowling lanes and it’s more bar/clubby area. It’s a cool place to come down to at half-term and bring the kids for a few games at lunch or come back after dark with a few of your friends and sample one the many cocktails available (more on this later).
The bowling lanes are beautifully looked after and they currently have a great ‘Drink, Dine & Bowl’ menu for £35 where you can play bowls, have a cocktail and choose 2 courses from a menu that includes US diner classics such as Mac & Cheese, real ‘proper’ burgers. I tried the ‘Nashville Chicken’, which is ‘boneless southern fried chicken thighs, buffalo sauce, whipped cream cheese, crisp fried shallots and sweet potato fries’. Bellisimo! Be warned the buffalo sauce is pretty hot and not for the faint-hearted. Meanwhile my dining partner ordered a medium rare steak that was so tender and so good I didn’t actually get a chance to try it. There are some tasty starters too, the popcorn squid in breadcrumbs is zesty and light and for dessert who can say no to chocolate brownie with chocolate sauce and er, more chocolate?
There’s a fun atmosphere and the staff are keen to help at all times. It’s easy to see why so many people come and just eat and apparently at the weekends it gets pretty full (so booking is advised). For special occasions they have a two lane private penthouse bar upstairs where you can party in private and re-enact that Big Lebowski fantasy you always dreamed about.
Drink-wise inn addition to the normal alco-treats, craft beers and spirits they also do a range of kid friendly cocktails that will tease the tastebuds, but won’t fuzzy your bowling arm. There is one (Apple Pie something) with apple, cinnamon and cream in it that is fab, meanwhile I had a devastating (alco-full) ‘Detox just to Retox’ drink featuring JJ Whitely elderflower gin, green tea, passion fruit syrup, lemon juice, orange bitters, cucumber and dried petals which was dangerously delicious.
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All Star Lanes also have 3 other venues in London, one in Holborn, one in White City and one in Westfield. If you’re ‘up north’ there’s also one in Deansgate in Manchester. As for bowling, I have to admit my skill level varies from ‘pretty bad’ to ‘no-hoper’ with ever alternate bowl I throw, but it’s always fun to play and All Star Lanes is a great venue to work on your bowling arm, plus if you can make it past all the fantastic Bangladeshi restaurants that once made Brick Lane so famous, a pretty good place to eat too!
For more info visit
95 BRICK LANE, LONDON, E1 6QL
020 7426 9200