There is a ubiquity to greatness - discernable in so many forms that take such prominence in so many contexts that it is a thing of which we are ever aware but rarely encounter. Buddha-Bar manages that rare feat of both appearing omnipresent in almost every city setting of luxurious renown, and retaining its unique identity at a tranquil remove from the local whims and fancies of the environs in which it finds itself.
Buddha-Bar - Parisian über-hosts Raymond Visan and Thierry Bégué’s masterly melding of utter simplicity, sensual tranquility and top table dining - first eased itself luxuriantly into the global lifestyle scene in the mid-nineties. From its first home on Rue Boissy d’Anglais, near Place de la Concorde, it sparked the next phase in the exhilarating cycle of the food revolution, making a mantra of one of its tenets - creating a fusion of flavors and cultures, of food and music.
Mexico’s capital is a vast conjoining of almost inestimable tens of millions of people and beautiful Spanish colonial architecture in a volcanic basin atop the dizzy mountainous center of this fascinating country. It is a city that wears its influences proudly, and none more so than those on display in Polanco, one of the most prestigious and beautiful residential and commercial districts in this world capital.
Polanco stands where once stretched the verdant expanses of the Hacienda de San Juan de los Morales, a plantation dedicated to silk farming under the patronage of Hernán Cortés and whose mulberry fields gave it its name. Contemporary Polanco was created as a residential zone in the 1930s by influential urban developers the Aleman family. It was increasingly recognized as a desirable area for wealthy inhabitants seeking to leave the downtown areas of the city, many of whom came from Mexico City’s Jewish, Lebanese, German and Spanish migrant communities, giving the district its distinct cosmopolitan flavor and great sense of cultural diversity.
Architecturally, Polanco is renowned for the exquisite renditions of the classic Colonial Californian style, which dates from the 1940s to the 1960s, and line the district’s wide tree-shaded avenues and streets.
With its thoroughfares named after some of the great philosophers and writers in history, such as Emilio Castelar, Alexandre Dumas, Seneca and Edgar Allan Poe, Polanco echoes this sense of greatness, boasting a litany of the most exclusive stores and boutiques in the world, and the cream of Mexico City’s restaurants and hotels, such as Habita, Mexico´s first boutique hotel.
What cements Polanco’s position as one of the most important addresses for luxury shopping and hospitality not only in Mexico City but also in the entire sub-continent is Presidente Masaryk Avenue. This, arguably the most valuable stretch of real estate in Latin America, features such prized retail jewels as Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Chanel, Tiffany & Co., Bulgari, Gucci and Hermès.
The Avenue itself takes its name from greatness. In 1936, President Lazaro Cárdenas named the street after the first president of Czechoslovakia, Tomáš Masaryk, a humanist and renowned statesman who fought for political and intellectual freedom his entire life.
It is to this remarkable environment steeped in greatness that Buddha-Bar arrives in Mexico on the shoulders of this breathtaking and ever-present emblem of this extraordinary series of restaurants - the three and a half meter and one and a half ton gold-plated Buddha statue, handmade in Java and reconstructed after being shipped to its new home. He brings with him the unique mix of delectable Pacific Rim cuisine (recipes, flavors and spices from Chinese, Japanese and Thai cuisines), gorgeous interiors, and unrivalled ambience of pure luxury and melodious almost hypnotic relaxation.
The food - parading forth from chef David Contreras’ fifty strong kitchen - is, as ever, a sumptuous fusion of oriental flavor and styles, featuring such exotic favorites as Black Cod in Miso-Yuzu Sauce and the Buddha-Bar Chicken Salad, and a world famous Sushi list starring Red Dragon Roll and New Style Tuna Tataki. With healthy and heavenly oriental influenced interpretations of classic French desserts, and a cellar managed under the supervision of sommelier Claudia Zárate, featuring over 150 of the finest wines from around the world, Buddha-Bar Mexico immediately becomes the one of the city’s premier restaurants.
Many restaurants offer great food, but none tailor the restaurant experience to commune directly with guests’ pleasure receptors quite like Buddha-Bar. An architectural scheme and interiors realized in exquisite black, red oxide, and gold, with furniture produced locally from fine woods, upholstered in the latest European fabrics, embroidered in stunning tones of blue, gold, red and chocolate and designed specifically in keeping with the brand’s unique identity, await to dazzle and charm guests. This warmly-lit high-ceilinged palace resounds to the most cutting-edge eastern-tinged and chilled-out electronica, played by DJ Naz, himself a former Buddha-Bar Dubai resident, over the state of the art ambient sound system.
In a line that traces greatness through history - a journey from the riches of conquest to humanity’s universal search for pleasure and tranquility; from Cortés and Visan to Masaryk and Buddha - Buddha-Bar brings its uniquely Parisian oasis to adorn, calm, eatertain and complement one of the great cities of the world.
- Ben Stewart
Address: Presidente Masaryk 433, Colonia Polanco
Mexico City, 11560
Tel: 55 5282 0003