REVIEW: Studio 88

*This is not a brunch review* but still a worthy one at that!

Remember Pianoworks? Well you’ll be glad to hear that they have opened a very same same but different bar in Central London! For now they don’t do brunch but let me give you a quick low down on what to expect.

The vibe is definitely slightly more glam jazz bar with an American focus. You still have the neon lights of the original Pianoworks but with a much more glamorous bar design and the hostesses dressed in jumpsuits rather than the black and white uniform – oh and the bouncers are dressed in either gangster or detective uniform (I can’t quite figure out which) but it’s very cool.

Now on to the food and drinks. Let’s start with cocktails. Happy hour is still 5-7pm where you can get cocktails from their signature range for only £5! How’s that for your typical Central London cocktail prices. I tried a few from their Autograph range as these are the specials for the venue. I started with the Walt Disney Studios and then moved on to the Hitsville Studios. I would say that I prefer the taste of the Walt Disney Studios BUT you do get a Polaroid with the Hitsville so bring your vogue faces and order it. Dan went a bit hardcore for me starting with the Signature Zombie (yes you heard) and then a Universal Studios, a blue tequila based cocktail – he’s very hardcore. He ordered two of the Zombies so I am guessing they’re a winner.

Left – Zombie, Right – Walt Disney Studios
Hitsville Studios

We were invited down to try the Californian cones. For £25 you can get 6 cones and a glass of prosecco and although it’s not a traditional meal and more circulated bar food, the staff were very attentive and not only was I full at the end but I didn’t feel like I was waiting too long between cones – the live music obviously helped!

So these are the cones you’ll be getting:

  • Vegetable Spring Rolls
  • Crab Fritters
  • Coconut Chicken Curry
  • Miso Glazed Lamb
  • Shiitake Mushrooms
  • Pineapple Mousse

They also have a vegetarian option if that’s what you’re after:

  • Raw Vegetable Roll
  • Corn Fritters
  • Coconut Chickpea Curry
  • Avocado with Black Bean and Quinoa
  • Shiitake Mushrooms
  • Pineapple Carpaccio
Spring Rolls
Crab Fritters
Chicken Curry
Miso Lamb and Shiitake Mushrooms
Pineapple Mousse

We had the non-vegetarian set and my favourites were probably the chicken curry followed by crab fritters. It’s not 5* gourmet food but it definitely is the right food to fit the theme of the venue and still tasty. I’d say the only one to be improved is probably the Miso Glazed Lamb as it was quite hidden under the quinoa and you had to hunt around for it but the other cones made up for it and I said, combined with the cocktails you get full quite quickly. Well I did at least.

Studio 88 works exactly the same way as Pianoworks in that the crowd build the playlist through song requests and what a fun night it was. I think this venue is perfect for all the people who love piano works but maybe want to stay in Central London. It gets extremely busy from about 9pm and by the time we left I could barely see the band, just a crowd who love to boogie to a bit of Shania Twain and Tay Tay – who doesn’t.

So if you need a venue for a birthday, work do or even just drinks then this place will 100% not disappoint!

Book asap though especially for big tables as they tend to get booked up very quickly.

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