1001 Nights at Buddha-Bar – Transporting You Into the Magic

Buddha-Bar London has long been renowned for its cocktails and fabulous decor. Their Pan-Asian cuisine is exceptional and they’ve won numerous awards including Best Restaurant Bar 2014 and 2015 at the London Club and Bar Awards. Every Thursday from 9 pm, they welcome the very best performers for a glamorous evening, 1001 Nights, with a delicious dinner and live music. In fact Buddha-Bar have a long track record with regards to great music, regularly releasing lounge compilations and I own one that still gets a regular airing at dinner parties.

When the first Buddha-bar opened in Paris in 1996, thanks to the vision of founder Raymond Visan, it stood out with its spectacular interiors and gourmet food. These days, there are Buddha-Bars in Dubai, Beirut, Jakarta, Marrakech, Washington, Monte Carlo, Cairo, Prague, Kiev, Mexico City, Moscow Sao Paolo and Manila. What they all have in common is a giant statue of Buddha, imparting a zen-like tranquility to each restaurant. The London outpost is located in a prime position on the high street in upmarket Knightsbridge.

Buddha-Bar London review
As soon as you enter, you’re transported to another world where exoticism reigns supreme. From the intricate wooden carvings to the golden Buddha, it’s a real oasis of calm. There’s a large events space downstairs and dining split over two floors. Check out the crystallized dragons in the stairwell and the levitating Buddha made from one piece of sheet metal, they’re quite something!

Buddha Bar London
I was looking forward to experiencing 1001 Nights, a heady combination of singing and belly dancing…First though, I enjoyed a drink at the bar where I was met by the lovely Mina. The bar tender was a great character. He asked us for our cocktail preferences and rustled up two Bubble Wap drinks for us, a fantastic combination of strawberry & raspberry purée, rose liquor, elderflower liquor, with a touch of Belvedere vodka and topped up with Champagne.

Buddha-Bar London drinks
He told us that the London restaurant is particularly known for its experimental drinks. We soon realized why as we were treated to a real mixology performance! In fact Buddha-Bar regularly hosts mixology classes where you can learn some of the tricks of the trade.

Buddha-Bar Knightsbridge drinks
We also sampled some tasty dim sum including perfectly steamed seafood dumplings and crispy prawn tempura with a spicy sauce.

Buddha-Bar dim sum
Now it was time to head downstairs for the evening’s entertainment…

Buddha-Bar Knightsbridge London
We took our seats at one of the cosy tables, and soaked up the atmosphere. It was a full house, with everyone enjoying the band who were great singers.

Buddha-Bar London Knightsbridge
The helpful sommelier recommended a Mount Horrocks Cordon Cut Riesling 2015. ‘Cordon Cut’ is the rare practice of cutting the canes, allowing grapes to develop naturally on the vine. It results in a high concentration of sugar and flavour. I always think you can’t go wrong with Riesling and this one had wonderful notes of pear, spice and lemon with a bright gold hue.

1001 Nights Buddha-Bar wine
We tried a selection of dishes – starting with some delectable salmon and avocado maki rolls

Buddha-Bar London Knightsbridge
And one of the food stars of the show, spicy tuna tartare. You just can’t fault the presentation and it tasted equally amazing, with very fresh and delicately flavoured tuna .

Buddha-Bar London sushi
Next we devoured a succulent roasted black cod in a lemongrass miso sauce…

Buddha-Bar fish
At this point, the belly dancers made their appearance. It was great fun and all in the best possible taste. Members of the public were very respectful and we chuckled as one dancer enveloped a willing diner with one of her shawls!

Buddha-Bar 1001 Nights evening
Our next dish, the grilled rack of lamb was a real success. With a coconut crust and served with fennel salad, it had been beautifully cooked and was clearly of very high quality. We also enjoyed some healthy edamame beans, enlivened with a spicy sauce.

Buddha-Bar menu
Whilst some of the diners were up dancing at this point, my belly dancing skills leave something to be desired so I stayed firmly in my seat. Perhaps they should lay on belly dancing classes too 😉

1001 Nights at Buddha-Bar - Transporting You Into the Magic
We finished our feast with a superb trio of crème brûlée with pineapple wonton. It’s hard to say which one was my favourite but chocolate is always a winner.

Buddha-Bar Knightsbridge London review
And we washed down the creme brulée with a sip of fragrant fruit sake. I can’t speak highly enough of Buddha-Bar, in terms of cuisine, decor and entertainment. Just make sure to book your table in advance as it’s very much in demand!

Buddha-Bar Knightsbridge sake
Buddha-Bar London, 145 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7PA

  • Looks like you stepped into a dream world! I once went to Buddha Bar in Prague. Since you did not list it, maybe it has closed in the meantime.

    • I’ve just googled it and it still exists so I’ll amend this. I notice that all the Buddha-Bars aren’t listed on the London website, Marrakech wasn’t but I know another blogger who has just been there

  • What a fabulous and different experience to the usual night out on the town! Looks like its a world away from Knightsbridge… xx

  • Coco Cami

    Wow this looks amazing, serious food and cocktail envy over here 😉 thanks for sharing!

    Camille xo


    • Make sure to check it out if you’re in London at some point, Camille, I know from your reviews that this is your sort of place

  • Glad you enjoyed it, I’ve always loved Buddha Bar but felt let down by the food last time.

    • The food was great and so healthy although the copious amounts of alcohol we consumed, maybe not so much 😉

  • Oh wow, this venue has gone all out when it comes to design – there’s so much to look at! The Crystallised dragon at the entrance is spectacular!

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice x

    • It’s only reading about it afterwards that I realized it was a dragon, it looked quite abstract but now it seems obvious!

  • This looks like a fantastic night out. Fabulous food, entertainment and an amazing mixology performance! I also own one or two Buddha Bar albums – they are great! Have a lovely weekend ♡

    • I know, those albums just don’t date do they! We’re off to Rutland for the weekend

  • Stefanie Meier

    awesome email x

    have a nice weekend love x

    Stefanie | Casualllyawkward | Bloglovin’

  • Paola

    Such a great night out…. interesting Buddha Bar!!!
    Kisses, Paola.


    My Facebook

  • The bar looks amazing, the dancer is beautiful, the food looks delicious and the bartender is such a pro!

  • What a delectable night!

  • Yvonne

    I’m sure you had fun! I went to Buddha Bar in Dubai, Paris and Lebanon! I think London is now on my list. Looks awesome! Have a nice sunday!
    xo Yvonne

  • I just love coming here Suze. You always show me something amazing and this bar is no different. Just look at the food and the dancers… love it.

    Kia / KTS

  • Ellie Adams

    This place sounds like so much fun and such a different night out. The food looked fab and the cocktails sound amazing, definitely need to check this out!


  • This looks like it has such a unique atmosphere and sounds so fun! And the decor is like something out of south east Asia!

    Rachel xx

  • Funny, my friends were actually telling me about this place recently – looks like I have a new spot to visit when I’m back in London 🙂

  • Lucy

    One of the best places to have cocktails in london. Your bartender looks like great fun and the cocktails rather theatrical Lucy X (FoodieForce)