3 El Thawra Council Street, Sofitel El Gezirah
Sofitel El Gezirah
115184 Cairo, Egypt
tel: +20 (0)2 2737 3737, +20 (0)2 2739 8248
fax: +20 (0)2 2736 3640
NileGuide Expert tip:
Take night vision goggles to the Buddha Bar - to say it's dimly lit upstairs is an understatement
Cairo's Buddha Bar is actually a pretty cool place. It's a split level room, with dining room downstairs and bar upstairs, and even has a non-smoking section. The decor is semi-cheesy Buddha chic, heavy on the red, with a massive seated golden Buddha dominating the room, a huge chandelier, various hanging lanterns and different coloured spotlights, a geometrically exuberant ceiling, and black light over the bar.
The Buddha Bar has large windows which give a stunning view out over the Nile. Combined with the dim lighting and various nooks and crannies to curl up in, it's quite a romantic place. Despite parts of the bar being almost pitch black, the staff are somehow very attentive, and are friendly, down to earth, and not at all pushy.
The menu at the Buddha Bar is predominantly Asian - especially Japanese and Thai - with lots of seafood thrown in. There are also the obligatory international dishes such as steak and fillet mignon. Buddha Bar is famous for its sushi, including their own trademark creations. It is expensive, but not horrifically so.
There are lots of fancy cocktails and martinis to choose from, plus imported beers, wines and spirits. Prices are high, but not surprisingly so, though be aware a bottle of Dom Perignon will set you back 7000 LE! The sake cocktails (such as sake, frozen jasmine tea, cranberry and sweet and sour) are interesting, and worth a try, though they don't always taste as good as they sound.
The music at Buddha Bar is often really good, though it can be excessively varied. A typical night might include some reasonably upbeat vocal House, then some slightly darker, moodier Electro, followed by Bob Marley, the Doors, Chris Rea and a cover of the Robin Hood song! At 12 pm the DJ starts spinning a 'proper' House set, so take your dancing shoes if you're up for it!
Photo courtesy Buddha Bar