Bounce [Old Street] - Review: Tasting Britain

09.24.2016

Rating

star-rating-4

Cuisine

Pizzeria / cocktail bar

In a Word

Adventorous

Appeals to 

City workers (you will find them here, ties off, top buttons undone perhaps letting off a little steam and enjoying life) 

Those with birthday parties that need hosting. This would be a great place to have yours (provided your friends like alcohol and a spot of friendly competition). Also functions. Any function will do. What kind of function wouldn’t be improved with alcohol and table tennis? Exactly…

Big kids and ‘rejuveniles’. Aren’t we all big kids at heart, really?

Ping pong, alcohol and pizza. What could go wrong?

Based smack bang in the middle of Old Street Shoreditch lies Bounce, a new kind of social dining experience. Behold the first ever table tennis bar (that we know of) – courtesy of Adam Breeden.

Bounce is a great idea – in that first you peruse a very accommodating bar, then you engage in frantic ping pong session while your table is readied for dinner. It works perfectly, and works out to be a good calorie burner too! So you don’t feel so guilty woolfing down all the deserts.

The dining is optional, the establishment can simply be used just for the entertainment purposes, which is perfect for an afterwork hangout.

I hadn’t played table tennis for years so I was intrigued by the proposition of reviewing a table tennis bar.

Environment and Decor

Upon descending the stairs I began to hear the distant and familiar thwacking and pinging of a myriad of balls upon 17 ping pong tables provided, which grew louder and louder until I was in a very large converted subterranean basement space. This is populated by patrons eagerly battling one another, either one on one, or in teams of two on a dozen table tennis tables supplied.

We are warmly greeted, presented with the necessary equipment, (paddles and a nice big bucket of balls,) and lead to our specific area to play a 30 minute game.

The entrance area at Bounce is coated with UV paint art. Loads of urban graffiti styles. Some were made to look as though a ball had been dipped in luminous paint and then splatted numerous times against the wall. One piece I like in particular is set in a frame. It looks classical by nature but with a big pink splat in the middle. Lovely.

Rather like how the Joker defaced the art in Gotham’s gallery in Tim Burton‘s 1989 Batman.

We are asked what we want to drink, and staff would courteously deliver our requests over to where we were playing – so as not to break up the fun.

We have around 30 mins before being seated and to be honest I don’t really want to go. I could play for longer, as I am doing well for a change. It’s non stop entertainment and sure it’s noisy – but that’s part of the charm.

There’s more table tennis balls popping up and out from unexpected places then a Bangkok ping pong show, frequently I encounter an overly apologetic soul desperately scurrying between the legs of bemused patron’s after a misfired ball.

Alas the time for games is over and appetites are raging.

The Food and Drink

We are guided past various ping pong tournaments and seated in a comfortable dining area.

After a brief glance at the wine menu, clear decisions are made and we promptly attack a fine bottle of Delicato, Old Vine Zinfandel.

This goes down exceedingly well with the prawns marinated in a tomato sauce with sauntered potatoes I had ordered for a starter.

For the main course I order a vegetarian pizza. I thought I’d take a risk. This particular pizza comes complete with beetroot shavings. I’ve never heard of such a thing done to a pizza, and I am pleasantly surprised that it goes so well with the other ingredients.

This goes down exceedingly well with the prawns marinated in a tomato sauce with sauntered potatoes I had ordered for a starter.

For the main course I order a vegetarian pizza. I thought I’d take a risk. This particular pizza comes complete with beetroot shavings. I’ve never heard of such a thing done to a pizza, and I am pleasantly surprised that it goes so well with the other ingredients.

This is incredibly large, constituted of pinenuts , avocado and many different variations of seed. Very different from most salads I’ve had and suitably filling. Nuts = Protein. Protein = stuffed!

A breather was in order after that I asked for a bottle of Brooklyn lager as the dessert menu made its way over.

Brownie and ice cream? Well it would be rude not to.

The Verdict

Bounce is certainly a lively experience and a perfect place for parties or after work functions, complete with VIP sections. Great beer and wine, fun atmosphere, friendly staff. 

I was not expecting to have to eat four courses and by the end I feel so fat and round that I could have positively bounced out of Bounce – and bounced right out into the street. 

Alas no such spectacular feat occurred. However I manage to get in the wrong Uber cab three times because I’m good like that.

Click here to read the full review of Bounce Old Street at Tasting Britain

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