Mention the lavish Buddha-Bar in Knightsbridge to anyone and thoughts of a glamorous night out sipping exotic cocktails with a soundtrack of signature lounge and chill-out tunes wafting through a beautiful people filled lounge probably spring to mind. But what about a “Buddha Bento” express menu for a no fuss lunch or a pre-theatre dinner with a promise to having you in and out within 40 minutes? No, not the first thing I’d think of either. But, when I was invited to swing round to try the new Bento offering, I was curious to give it a go and more than pleased with my experience.
Buddha-Bar’s new bento features a tasty selection of light Pan Asian starters and mains from which to create your own meal for £27. The bento includes a bowl of miso soup, a side of wakame salad and a choice of steamed rice or Buddha-Bar noodles. Quality of the food is high. Portion sizes are ample with the bento prettily presented. Service is efficient and cordial. If you know Buddha-Bar then you’re aware that the setting is extremely attractive and rather plush, whether you’re there for drinks or a quick meal.
My bento of refreshing green papaya salad and especially tender five spiced barbecued chicken was delicious. The sides of miso soup and wakame salad pleased as well. I opted for the noodles over the rice and found them to be memorably moreish. A serving of poached rhubarb with kumquat sorbet ended lunch on an impressive note (all desserts on the lunch menu are £7).
I visited Buddha-Bar during lunch with a guest, and beyond enjoying a satisfying meal (washed down with a crisp glass of blanc de blancs) I found the venue to be an ideal place to have a decent conversation. Obviously, the venue has a very different atmosphere at night, but I would highly recommend keeping Buddha-Bar in mind for any lunchtime or early evening meetings that are important enough to require somewhere special but are still casual and relaxed. The Buddha Bento menu would be a brilliant choice of food if any such a rendezvous involving dining. The menu is available everyday for lunch from noon to 2.30pm and from 5.30pm to 6.30pm.