Forget tenpin bowling as you once knew it… there’s a new kid in town, and it goes by the name of ‘All Star Lanes’
Having visited the website on which All Star Lanes depict their venue as a gourmet bowling experience, complete with homemade food, real cocktails and great music, we were just a little excited to see how this blend of fun and luxury is served up.
On arrival, we were immediately struck by the retro-American/Mad Men theme, before being confronted with a whiskey cabinet that would put my old man’s to shame and make the most enthusiastic whiskey lover squeal with delight. The pièce de résistance was Hannisville Rye, a very rare Rye, born in 1863 during the American civil war, which they sell for £100 a shot.
…gone are the days of tacky bowling, screaming kids, standard food and even more below average drinks…
The space is nicely divided into areas. The bar is decent enough to be ventured alone, the restaurant has 80 covers and then there’s the bowling lanes – four main alleys and two more secluded alleys off to the right, all complete with comfy leather sofas, waiter service for quality cocktails and drinks, so focus can remain on the game, and not having to queue for the bar to ‘whet your whistle’.
Bowling was good, helped along nicely by a sterling defeat over my opponent…. Drinks included the ‘Gin & Elderflower “Julep Jar” and the more extravagant Manhattan, which has a whole page dedicated to its description in the drinks menu, both arrived promptly and nicely presented. We then moved onto beer, having discovered they had Samuel Adams on tap, an all-time personal favourite of mine!
Having enjoyed our bowling, we were shown to our table at the restaurant. Our waitress was more than helpful, offering her recommendations throughout the menu. For starters we had the Popcorn Squid & Aioli, which was theatrically presented in a takeaway box, complete with chopsticks on a wooden board (a great touch may I add) and tasted fantastic. Hot chicken wings with a ‘knock-out’ blue cheese sauce.
For mains, on recommendation we opted for the, full rack of BBQ ribs with fries and coleslaw (the meat was so tender and succulent, it literally fell off the bone) and the 12oz Sirloin Steak, cooked to our requirements, with a Bearnaise sauce and a side of sweet potato fries. Although it didn’t feel like there was room for dessert (NB: the portion sizes matched the all American theme) we managed to squeeze in the chocolate brownie (hot, chewy and decadent) and the deconstructed Banoffee pie served in a jar (quite literally heaven in a pot).
Overall thoughts – gone are the days of tacky bowling, screaming kids, standard food and even more below average drinks. I’d recommend All Star Lanes for a captivating experience, great service, excellent drinks, awesome food (on par with the highly rated Southern Eleven) and a great atmosphere, helped by the choice of music, a tasteful mix to suit all tastes.