People often ask me ‘where should I go out on a <insert any day of the week>?’. The answer is always simple, the only bar that will be busy on any day of the week will be the iconic Buddha Bar. Situated in the Marina, as part of the Grosvenor House hotel, it’s hard to miss the red carpet and velvet ropes that ooze exclusivity and point to something very special inside.
Once inside you’ll be warmly greeted – it’s always good to have a reservation – and shown to your table. If you are a non-smoker then you’ll be seated out of the main area, behind the large buddha that casts his watchful eye over the two tier dining area with a large picture window overlooking the Marina. I’d always recommend choosing a table in the smoking area; the ventilation is very good outside of the bar area.
The sumptuous red and black decor is enhanced by cool, laid back beats. This place is the definition of cool. Once seated you’ll be presented with a menu that offers a pan-asian experience with something for everyone; from Thai to sushi dishes. The food menu is complimented by a large drinks menu, with some delectable signature cocktails – all presented with intricate decoration and subtle flavours.
The one surprising detail is that Buddha Bar excels where most Asian restaurants falter; the desert selection. Based on this detail I always skip the excellent starter and dim sum selection and head straight into the main course. Although I have sampled both the Vegetable Spring Rolls and Mixed Satay; both of which were beautifully presented and well balanced in both portion size and flavours.
My main course of choice is Grilled Wagyu, which is served in a teriyaki sauce. The beef melts in the mouth and is a generous portion; served with fresh and crisp asparagus. The dish is simply perfection on a platter, served with steamed rice. I’ve also had the pleasure of the Thai curries, which are both fragrant and delicately spiced.
For desert I opted for the chocolate fondant. This is a chocolate sponge with a centre that oozes chocolate sauce when opened; a delight for the senses of the sweet toothed. Coupled with the lavish decoration and sweet fruit hit of the raspberry sauce it makes for an excellent finish to the meal. Once your meal is complete, move to the bar area for more excellent drinks, fire breathing bar-tenders and an amazing atmosphere – things don’t tend to kick off until 11pm in this establishment.
Ensure that Buddha Bar is on your Dubai dining radar; it won’t fail to disappoint.