Review: All Star Lanes Westfield Stratford City

Westfield Stratford City is dangerously close to home. I can be there door to door inside 15 minutes.

I have my own parking space outside Waitrose and am not far off from doing a Tom Hanks à la The Terminal and moving in.

With much delight, joined by a bunch of other bloggers on the east side of the City, I have been gradually working my way around the various hang outs Westfield Stratford City has to offer.

Back in January it was the turn of All Star Lanes bowling alley and American diner.

Westfield Allstar Lanes Westfield Allstar Lanes

My limited experience of bowling alleys is that they were echoey cold fluorescent strip lit places with the atmosphere of a council run badminton court.

All Star Lanes is completely different to this. Warm, lively and without that swimming pool acoustic experience. Better still they have a fabulous American diner style restaurant in house so you can enjoy a meal before or after your game.

There is also a bar serving a range of cocktails – the staff are happy to mix up something off menu and since I was driving I went for a tall lemonade based non-alcoholic cocktail with raspberry and lime.

Westfield Allstar Lanes Logo

Fourteen lanes sit alongside the restaurant but you’re far enough away not to be bothered by noise. Whilst the atmosphere is truly American and I felt I’d been beamed stateside for the afternoon, the booth seating areas are by no means some 1950s Grease movie pastiche like “Eds Diner”, the decor is more like Malmaison with dark wood furniture and coloured lighting.

Stratford City is the fourth of All Star’s branches and by far the largest. It boasts nearly twice the number of lanes of other branches at Bayswater, Holborn and Brick Lane.

Westfield Allstar Lanes Rack Ribs Starter Westfield Allstar Lanes Squid

I started with a short rack of ribs (£7.00) that were joyfully sticky, juicy and tender.

Dining companion Michelle had salt and pepper squid presented in this Chinese take out container.

Westfield Allstar Lanes Refried Bean Avocado Tostadas

Jeanne’s appealing trio of tostadas came with refried beans, guacomole and coriander.

Westfield Allstar Lanes Burger with Bacon

Surprisingly Louis‘ dry overdone burger with bacon turned out to be the most disappointing dish. An odd thing for them to mess up considering it’s meant to be their signature burger.

Westfield Allstar Lanes

Conversely, my blackened chicken fillet burger with portobello mushroom (£9.00) was perfectly juicy when chicken is something other places dry out (Giraffe a few doors down, please take note).

Westfield Allstar Lanes Coleslaw Mac N Cheese

Sides shown above from left are (out of focus) the broccoli with almond butter (£3.00) which we all deemed very ordinary and disappointing, densely mayonnaise-y coleslaw (£3.00), fries (£2.00) and mini mac ‘n’ cheese (£3.50). Mini mac ‘n’ cheese was the star of the bunch which we thought would make a meal in itself alongside the whoopie pie dessert (below).

Westfield Allstar Lanes Ribs Main

Michelle ordered the mains version of the ribs, served here with sweet potato fries (£16.00 and £3.00). I felt my starter ribs had had the edge sauce-wise but it was nevertheless the same dish in a larger size.

Westfield Allstar Lanes Pulled Pork

Jeanne opted for one of her all time favourites, pulled pork served here with rainbow slaw (£12.00) and wasn’t disappointed.

Westfield Allstar Lanes Salmon Westfield Allstar Lanes Hush Puppies

Margot ordered grilled salmon with candied beets and horseradish cream (£12.00). Above right is a side of cornmeal fritters endearingly known as “hush puppies” (£3.50).

Westfield Allstar Lanes Candy Bars

After lingering over mains, it was time for our bowling slot. If you weren’t eating at All Stars you could always grab one of these candy bars with your game.

Westfield Allstar Lanes Bowling Shoes

The shoes were better than I remembered too!

A game between five of us took nearly an hour, Jeanne took an immediate lead scoring several lucky strikes whereas I was hit and miss knocking down nine or ten pins in some bowls and big fat zero in just as many others! But I was happy with that given I’d only played once twenty years ago.

Prices per person per game vary from £5 daytime during the week to £8 for Thursday – Sunday evenings. It’s £5 for children at all times and a special rack is available for younger kids to roll their balls down the lanes with ease.

On occasion, some big name DJs come in to provide the sounds – I won’t say “spin discs” as actually on lane 1 we had a bird’s eye view of the digital DJ decks. Posters were advertising the Fun Loving Criminals being on the bill a few weeks later.

Westfield Allstar Lanes Cheesecake Westfield Allstar Lanes Whoopie Pie

Having enjoyed a break with our game arguably we were really too full for dessert but felt we would be doing readers a disservice not to investigate. Dessert portions were huge with the whoopie pie above right virtually the size of a small birthday cake. The brownie was moist and puddingy drenched in chocolate and streaks of caramel and ice cream. Desserts cost between £3 and £5 and were all superb value.

Instead of dessert, Jeanne and I finished off with sweet and nubbly Reece’s Pieces flavour deluxe milkshakes (£4.50) which were great taste and texture but could have been served colder. Alcoholic milkshakes such as Baileys or Rum & Raisin are also available although I think I’d have needed to be rolled home after one of those.

Westfield Allstar Lanes Reeces Pieces Milkshake Westfield Allstar Lanes Brownie Dessert

Verdict: Hugely enjoyable and atmospheric, All Star Lanes would make a great venue for a birthday party for any age. As nights out go, it’s at the more expensive occasion end of the scale but a meal and game will stretch out all evening giving pounds per hour better value than a trip to the cinema. Staff are friendly and helpful but portion sizes are state size so do beware of eyes-bigger-than-stomach over ordering (you need to be mobile for your game!). Watch out for weeknight deals with two course meals and a game for £26 per person. Highly recommended to visit at least once and I can’t wait for an excuse to go again.

For another take on our visit check out these other reviews by:

Michelle, Greedy Gourmet

Margot, Coffee & Vanilla

Jeanne, Cook Sister

With thanks to All Star Lanes. Please note there have been some changes to the menu since my visit so not everything above may be available.

All Star Lanes on Urbanspoon

Sarah, Maison Cupcake

Sarah Trivuncic is one of the UK's leading food bloggers. She is the author of Bake Me I'm Yours... Sweet Bitesize Bakes and has been the voice behind Maison Cupcake since 2009. You can also connect with her on Google+

14 comments

  1. Sounds like a great crowd and a great nice out. The food looks really tasty and lots of it too! Stratford is a little far away for me, but I do look forward to paying it a visit one day x

  2. Great review, Sarah! As you said, my ribs definitely could have definitely done with more sauce but the flavour was still good. My father has been drooling after the photos and he wants the ribs when we visit Westfield in April! Anyhoo, see you in May. :-)

  3. LOL – your own parking space. love it! And love the review – such happy memories and gorgeous pictures. I still dream about that pulled pork… For the record, I hadn’t bowled since like 1987 either!!

    • Ha ha, I should leave yellow cones behind when I leave!! We’ll have to go back and have our own little bowling olympics, I’m sure you’d get gold medal!!

  4. I have a friend who lives within walking distance of Westfield Shepherds Bush, she refers to it as her ‘corner shop’… very dangerous indeed. I love this kind of food, it’s proper treat food isn’t it, nothing too fancy, just good old fashioned fun… and it’s nice that it was nice x (lovely pics by the way)

    • I used to live around the corner from Westfield in Shepherds Bush, I’d never have moved if I’ve know they were really going to build it…. we’d had the rumour of a “shopping centre” being built there for 10 years and I’d given up all hope!

  5. Wow, your food photography is just exquisite! My mouth is watering away! We went bowling two weekends ago and I wish I had read about this first. We went to Surrey Quays which is okay, this just looks better. Bowling, cocktails and good food – you can’t beat that!

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