Shocking first experience of the famous Buddha Bar. I was taken here to celebrate the completion of my PhD. The lighting was so bad I had to use a torch to read the menu. My companion was allergic to mushrooms and we stated this very clearly 'are there any mushrooms in any of the dishes we have ordered, if so we will order another dish that has none'. Despite the dim lighting, a suspect item in one of the dishes, upon scruting, turned out to be a mushroom. This error could have had dire consequences. We must have been served by a different member of the waiting staff with each visit to our table. The dishes were overly sweet and the portions were small. The bill was large!
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Posted: Mon Nov 12 2012
The Buddha Bar started life in Paris in 1996, the creation of entrepreneur Raymond Visan. The bestselling Buddha Bar mix compilations by French DJ Claude Challe ensured the success of the club, bar and brand – and its expansion. This included a branch in London, which closed a couple of years after opening in 2008.
This new Buddha-Bar is merely ‘linked’ to the original (which possibly explains why this second London incarnation now uses a hyphen in the name). The upper-mezzanine level is a bar while the basement level is an oriental restaurant.
The interior is Orientalism in its most obvious and crudest forms, while also trying to touch discordant references in popular culture. The result looks like a warehouse decorated after a trip to Homebase. A screen wall is made of breeze blocks; a curtain of metal Buddhas is held together like chainmail; a film poster from ‘Trainspotting’ jars behind the bar. But worst of all was the dreary Europop music – we suspect Monsieur Challe wasn’t responsible for this playlist.
The restaurant tries to convince that pan-Asian cuisine is back in fashion, and although the execution of our dishes was good, prices were simply too high and portions too small. A tiny serving of black cod costs £27.50; some foie gras and eel sushi rolls £22.80. Budget to pay around £50 a head on food alone if you’re eating. There are no bargains on the drinks lists either.
The service on our visit showed poor training. Our booking had been lost; a simple drinks order took half an hour to not appear (we had to repeat the order); staff seemed intent on rushing us to our dining table then were over-eager in telling us about their exciting new dining concept – which is sharing dishes. They were friendly, though. Our ever-changing succession of greeters and waiters hit double figures by the end of our visit.
This Knightsbridge site has, in the last decade, been three other high-profile restaurants that didn’t last: the Chicago Rib Shack, Mocotó and Isola. We wonder how long Buddha-Bar will live before it’s remixed and reincarnates.
Average User Rating
2.6 / 5
- 5 star:2
- 4 star:0
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:3
The most disappointing evening out in London!! Organized a birthday dinner there 2 weeks in advance, including pre-ordering a cake. The service was appololing, a party of 8, food took forever and one order was not bright out till after everyone had finished!! It took from 8:30- midnight for us to be served 2 courses ! And we had to ask 4 times for the cake to be brought out! By which time people had to leave. We had an area booked by the bar, to enjoy the music but unfortunately due to the snail pace terrible service in resturant we never made it upstairs. The staff were apologetic, offered a discount on bill, but it seems they were struggling and many tables were also complaining. For me they ruined my birthday. I chose Buddha bar based on its world wide reputation and because I had been to the old biddha bar in london several times and it was perfect- I mean with Buddha bar music and atmosphere you can't really go wrong !! Or so I thought !!! I'm gutted!! my friends had to suffer through an awful night. There are SO many places in London- do not bother with this place. I hadn't read review before going there! but time out are right- it won't be long before they close down if they continue being such a disaster.
the cocktails here were amazing, would definately recommend the kiwi kukama - one of the best cocktails ive tried in my life!
not impressed..out to rob its customers...cocktail prices at the bar 50% more than in the resturant downstairs! Food very very average..esp the vegetarian food