"Buddha Bar finds a new home in Knightsbridge"Review Rating: Reviewed by Leila
London’s first Buddha Bar opened on the Victoria Embankment in 2008. It lasted two years before going into administration, a victim of the recession and decreasing City expense accounts. Now it’s back, with a new home in Knightsbridge, a more fitting location given its hefty prices. But I’m not going to waffle on about the cost (much), as anyone who knows anything about this global chain – there are branches in Paris, Dubai, Monte Carlo, Jakarta, and Caracas for instance - will be aware that a night out here doesn’t come cheap.
Buddha Bar is one of those restaurants where you go to see and be seen, regardless of how low they dim the lights under the pretext of being discreet. We’re seated beneath a large hovering mesh Buddha, the irony of which is not lost on us.
Anyway, on to the food, which is the preferred cuisine of restaurants of this ilk: Pan-Asian. The gyoza have a nice filling of foie gras and smoked duck, however the pastry is al dente instead of pillowy soft. A platter of thinly sliced sashimi has salmon, shrimp, tuna and yellow tail, sprinkled with peppercorns and drizzled in a generous amount of olive oil and lemon juice which means the fish has started to cook, but the flavours are good nonetheless.
The roasted black cod is a great piece of fish, flaking apart with ease and coated in a sweet miso glaze. The juicy English beef fillet is perked up with plenty of pepper, served rare in the middle and topped with black garlic. Note that the main dishes don’t include sides, which have to be ordered separately.
For dessert we try the chocolate and yuzu pudding, essentially a fondant with rich hot chocolate sauce oozing out of the centre; there is a dollop of coconut sorbet, but the citrusy yuzu is imperceptible.
A meal for two can set you back upwards of £150. Buddha Bar satisfies all the necessary criteria of a swanky Knightsbridge establishment, so if this is the kind of experience you’re after then you'll think nothing of splashing the cash.
Leila reviewed Buddha Bar on Wed 14 Nov 2012