Grosvenor House Dubai, Dubai
- Recommended for:
- Backpackers / Students, Couples, Singles, Design and architecture, Nightlife, People watching, Romance, Trendiness
Expert review of Buddha Bar
By the time you read this, the forty billionth Buddha Bar will no doubt have opened up, the international chain probably having extended its enlightened franchise as far as Stoke, Rotherham and Bognor Regis. But while the name may mean less than it did some years ago, Dubai's Buddha Bar really is something else, a cooly-furnished and hugely popular bar/restaurant that seemingly goes from strength to strength.
The menu flits between sushi and other Japanese delights, over to South East Asian cuisine and then westward towards India. Despite sporting such a well-worn passport, the quality is generally good and the portions impressive (especially the healthily-sized sushi). The cocktail list is about the same size as the food menu. Anyone not great at making split second decisions could well be umming and arring for some time.
On my last visit I tried the rack of lamb with rogan josh sauce. Slightly bizarre combo, but an incredible taste. Oh, and there's a great coriander-packed cocktail on the extensive list, which is great if you love coriander (I do).
Despite the dim-lights and intricate Chinese-style furnishings, the atmosphere gets rather rowdy as the evening progresses, especially on Thursday and Friday nights. Even a giant golden Buddha at the back of the main dining hall can't calm things down. Saying that, it's still remains rather intimate and never too loud. For post-dinner drinks, head upstairs to the comfy lounge area. The dress code isn't overly formal, but it's worth dressing up a little bit in case the bouncer has had a bad day. For this reason, it's rather popular with younger Arabic and Western expats, often dolled up in their finest.
Extremely friendly and attentive, even when busy. Expect names and favourite drinks to be remembered.
Buddha Bar is by the side of the Grosvenor House hotel, down in the Dubai Marina area.
It is expensive, but not absolutely ridiculous. Most mains will cost around 100 dirhams, while cocktails will set you back around 50-70 dirhams.
More information on Buddha Bar:
- Price guide:
- Bar, Restaurant
- Indian, Japanese, Thai
- Grosvenor House Dubai, Dubai
- 04 399 8888
- Opening times:
- Open Sat-Wed 8pm-2am, Thu-Fri 8pm-3am.
- Accepts Credit Cards:
- Essential at peak times