City,  England,  Lifestyle

Drink: All Star Lanes

Independent review

Positioned in the heart of Brick Lane, All Star Lanes is a cool spot that offers a range of fun activities for an evening on the town. Jan, a colleague of mine is sadly moving to a new school, so as a surprise, we (and by we, I mean one of my other colleagues) booked an evening of bowling, belting out ballads, and a bit of grub as a fitting send off.

When we arrived, we were greeted by smiling, enthusiastic staff, and were directed up towards the bar. On the right hand side of the building is the restaurant, which is furnished with long wooden tables and benches, and lit with low hanging lamps. On one wall is a huge mural in black, white and red, and although it’s bright, the room has a very slight orange glow. At the end of the restaurant is the foyer for the bowling alley, where they’ve placed a giant mirror surrounded by quirky decorated bowling balls, and up the stairs to the left is the bowling alley and bar.

Of course, the first thing we did was visit the ladies’ room, but we then hit the bar for drinks, or more specifically, cocktails. After scanning the menu for all of 45 seconds, I opted for an All Star Martini – a spin on a classic Porn Star Martini – which unsurprisingly became my drink of choice for the night. The main difference from the original is instead of a plain Vodka and vanilla base, it has a rhubarb Vodka and gin combination, with added lime. I wasn’t sure I’d like it, but it was actually quite delicious.

On Jan’s arrival, we were ushered down towards the bowling desk, where those bowling (I didn’t due to tendon damage in both wrists) were forced to swap their shoes for the old style red and blue bowling shoes. The remaining ten were split into two teams on lanes One and Two, while I hung back, drank my cocktails, and watched the game commence.

Following our game, we headed back to the restaurant, dodging the flirtations of some already drunken Cockney men, and settled in to our meal. The package included a two course meal – our choice for starter or dessert – and yes, another cocktail!

After so many sugar loaded martinis, I wasn’t feeling a dessert, so I picked the popcorn calamari and burger. I annihilated the popcorn calamari (if I do say so, myself) but I had to give up a few bites into the burger. I was so full from juice and alcohol that I couldn’t finish the meal, something I wholeheartedly regret. At least the server laughed when I told him the reason I had so much left.

Then, we made our way back up towards the bar and bowling alley, but were diverted as we reached the top of the stairs. All twelve of us were packed into a tiny, dark room, with a TV and computer screen, and handed two mics. Our hour long set just flew by, but we did get to sing along, off key, to classics like Valerie, I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor, Spice Up Your Life, and everyone’s favourite Thong Song. And yes, of course, I was easily persuaded to perform Mans Not Hot.

Verdict

What a brilliant location for a group evening out! It’s tough to be bored when you combine the bar, the restaurant, bowling and karaoke, so thanks to my colleague for introducing me (and us) to All Star Lanes!

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