Buddha Bar

Paris-Champs Elysees

4 / 5

May 11, 2018

With the towering Buddha statue taking centre stage in this bar, it is instantly clear that this Asian-inspired establishment does not do ‘understated’. The subterranean bar and restaurant became something of an institution during the 1990s in Paris – the place to be and be seen for the ‘it’ crowd of the moment.

It has managed to retain its style and vibe despite immense competition, and at the same time has transformed into a chain of bars that can now be found in capital cities throughout the world. The original has skilfully retained its pulling power, undoubtedly not least of all thanks to its central location: found just off the Place de la Concorde in the fashion district of Paris it is easy to find, ensuring that it draws in a continual crowd of tourists as well as the odd Parisian.

In addition to the 8m tall Buddha, the rich red and chandelier-based mood board of an interior makes you feel like you are treating yourself before you have even ordered. The sumptuous ethnic styling and well-groomed wait staff only enhance the five-star feel- and of course, the electronic ethnic lounge music for which the Buddha Bar truly found fame is amazing, and increasingly ramps up after 11pm. Try to grab one of their cosy alcoves, or for the people-watching alone (although the view of the impressive Buddha ain’t bad either) we recommend a seat on the balcony.

That the drinks menu is as long as the food menu hints at the priorities of the Buddha Bar team. Choose from their Asian fusion cuisine ranging from fresh sushi to crispy Peking duck. Whilst the drinks are not easy on the wallet, they are delicious and the bar is willing to customise if requested. Their Hitomi cocktail is a favourite – a fresh martini infused with elderflower liqueur, green apple puree and lemon, which absolutely hits the spot. Try it with some zingy tuna jalapeño to truly savour the experience.

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