Buddha bar was first established in Paris in 1996 by visionary Raymond Visan. It was at the time a groundbreaking venue serving cutting edge Pan-Asian cuisine along with some of the funkiest house music you will find in town. The London branch was the first solo project for brand co-founder, Tarja Visan and whilst the great lineup of DJs and cocktails remained, there was an even stronger focus on food.
Their menu is 9 pages of heavenly delight for all Pan-Asian food lovers; I would be extremely surprised if you don’t find your dream Asian dish on their spectacular menu. Yes, prices are high here, but it’s all about the quality of the ingredients and getting access to a plethora of high-end dishes that their typical clientele demands.
The list of sushi options are endless; my vegetarian guest was well-catered for with crunchy vegetable sushi selections whilst I opted for the highly unusual crispy scallop maki. I do prefer my scallops bordering on raw, but this was a high-quality affair with well-flavoured yuzu kosho sauce. This is the kind of venue that demands repeated visits to try out all their innovative sushi creations.
We also tried mixed seasonal vegetable tempura, which was well-made and not overly greasy and included 7 types of different vegetables. At the risk of offending my vegetarian guest, I ordered a smoked duck and Foie gras gyoza; the skin was perfectly thin and the ingredients well-matched and utterly flavoursome.
For the main courses, my guest said the chilli tofu was too firm in texture, but he did explain that was more of a personal preference issue rather than something wrong with the dish and the nam jim sauce certainly helped with making the dish more appetising.
Whilst 1/2 spicy stuffed truffle lobster was indulgent as you would expect, the dish was filled with plump, luscious tasting lobster meat as well as asparagus, shimeji mushrooms and truffles. For those who like their dishes strongly-flavoured, this is what they should be ordering.
Buddha bar isn’t a venue for your everyday meal, but it is a fantastic restaurant for those special occasions you want to celebrate with friends and loved ones.