Review of 'Brooklyn Bowl'

There has been a lot of hype surrounding the opening of Brooklyn Bowl here in London. The popular restaurant/bowling alley/music venue has been a big hit in both New York and Las Vegas and now it seeks to bring this to the most popular venue in the UK…

Brooklyn Bowl with it's partnership with “Blue Ribbon” restaurant group serves up “classic” American food including their signature fried chicken, wings, ribs, “mac & cheese”, etc. We visited a few hours before our event in the O2 and it was thankfully very quiet but likely it is very busy during peak times and when the small stage is in use with live music. A bit of haggling had us seated in a booth (there were only two of us but there were a number of booths available…) with the table looking like a bowling lane and held up by a large bowling pin (put a “check” beside the kitsch interior item on the checklist then…). The menu is fun and amusingly laid out if a bit difficult to read in the somewhat dim lighting. I settled on the “Half Chicken Dinner” (with “mixed” white and dark meat; £14.50) served with mashed potatoes (topped with gravy) and “southern greens” (with “bacon” and honey though I only found a single cube of bacon and damned if I could taste any honey…) and my beloved went with the “Half Rack Pork Ribs” served with French fries and coleslaw (£15). To start we skipped the starters (interesting though they were) and opted for six pieces of “Smoked BBQ Wings” (a bargain at £5).

For drinks we ordered two vanilla malted milk shakes (£4 each) which were ok (much better at Ed's Diner) but not fantastic. Later I had some root beer (£3) which was a brand I did not recognize but was very tasty.

The wings were amazing - Large, juicy and with an amazing barbecue sauce served piping hot. The mains were really, really good and not absolutely enormous - Though they filled us up anyway. The chicken was extremely hot and I found I almost burned myself on several occasions from the juices that came bursting out on every bite - Crispy and delicious on the outside that was made even better (on advice of the waitress) with the application of honey found in a squeeze container on every table. The mash was very decadent having been made with more butter than potatoes (fine by me…) and the greens were bitter but extremely fresh (see above comment about the noticeable lack of bacon and honey…). My beloved found the ribs absolutely incredible - Three enormous ribs with far more meat than bone (thankfully) that were smoky, marinaded and covered with a sticky sauce. Her fries were, well, fries, but tasted alright.

After all of that we could not avail ourselves of the dessert though the options looked very tempting…Next time we will try to save room for it - Yes, there will definitely be a next time if we are in the area and craving some American fast food.

At £51.19 (including a 12.5 percent service charge) it was not as cheap as it could have been but the food really was very good indeed. The service was…odd…with our being served by at least four different people (they all had earpieces in their ears like CIA operatives) with it often difficult to actually flag someone down though food and drinks arrived promptly and with a smile.

As far as the rest of the venue is concerned, the bowling is incredibly expensive (£18 a half hour on weekends) but looks very nice with large sofas to sit on and professional scoring computers - The lanes have supports from the dome surrounding us between them which gives quite a funky feeling to the place. Each of the lanes has waitress service and it looks like the drink was flowing freely here. The stage area was fairly small with a good sized dance floor in front of it and a bar off to the side. Looks like it might be EXTREMELY busy when someone is playing (most definitely recommend reservations/tickets in advance).

All in all, a really great visit if more than a bit filling (we were full all night - only barely managing some water three hours later).

Rating: “Nearly perfect, but not quite”

Review Date: 2014-07-05

Cuisine: American/British

Address: The O2, Pennisula Square, London SE10 0DX

Public Transport: TUBE North Greenwich

Location: London (England) - Greenwich



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Telephone: +44 (0) 207 412 8778