Monday, July 27, 2015

Review of two karaoke places (The Old School Yard, China City)

I’m quite a big fan of karaoke, and am looking to test out various places in London, then let y’all know my thoughts on them, so if there’s anywhere dire, you don’t have to do that to yourself!

The Old School Yard (Borough)
The place was relatively easy to find, just a quick walk from Borough tube station. The room we were given was a very generous size, so everyone had place to sit down, dump their bags, with there still being plenty of space left over, and the décor was relatively well-maintained, which is more than can be said of other places I’ve been (Bloomsbury Bowling Lane). The song-list was totally modern (One Direction, check. Shake it Off by Taylor Swift, check. Wrecking Ball, check) and facilities extremely easy to operate, and I particularly liked the addition of a cute disco ball in the room to add ambience. If you go during Happy Hour (6pm-8pm), you can get cocktails for £4.50, and they represent decent value for money because after two Long Island Ice teas I was singing loudly and freely with abandon. My trip to the Old School Yard is my favourite memory of going to karaoke; singing out-of-tune and joyfully with my girlfriends was just the greatest fun, and as you can probably see in this photo, I had the time of my life!
Grade: A

China City (Chinatown)

China City is the first place in London where the deposit for the karaoke went on our food, so in essence, the karaoke came free with the food. As a restaurant, there’s definitely better places in Chinatown. The food was overpriced (probably to earn back the cost of operating the karaoke) and over-oily, and, whilst the people I was with didn’t complain that much, I think that was because a few of them didn’t eat Chinese food regularly. I do, and there are several places in Chinatown that outshine China City. The waiters were also very surly and rolled their eyes at me when I asked for serviettes, but that’s nothing new for a Chinese restaurant.

But in terms of karaoke, I can’t fault it. The song-list was up to date and had all the songs that I love jamming to – Fancy, Kanye West, One Direction, and I had a jolly time doing so. The slight downside of having karaoke whilst we had our dinner were that lots of people were reluctant to get up from the dinner table to sing. In fact, the most disappointing factor about this visit was that we were with some self-absorbed preeners who were far more interested in laughing at the bad way I was singing during karaoke than joining in themselves. The popular cheerleader schtick ain't fooling anyone, you're not in high school any more, sweetheart. (My ex, who was there at the time, chose to act aloof and refused to sing. Should have known then that we weren't a good fit). But I won’t let that cloud my opinion of China City. The food wasn’t the best, but I know that with the right company, I could have had a fantastic time here.
Grade: B+ 

If you have a karaoke place you'd like me to review, send me an email at

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