Buffalo Bar, most famed for its cocktails, is a multifaceted beast and one that is far the better for it. Thanks to a distinctive and stylish decor along with the aforementioned drinks, it manages to combine high end sophistication with student appeal and has managed to establish itself as a firm favourite amongst many who love the Cardiff nightlife scene. Perched close to town on Windsor Place, it has a certain charm that is very difficult to distill but in this review I'll attempt to offer my own personal thoughts on why it's so great, and why you can't do without at least a couple of visits there during your time here.
Often found filled with canoodling couples and chatty chums, Buffalo is quite rightly famous for its laidback atmosphere and from the moment you spring up the steps your treated to a trip back in time to a 1950s salon. A sleek dark bar, plently of quirky tables and walls adorned with all manner of retro parephanalia, which has recently gone through a major redecoration! What makes this ambience stick so well goes beyond the soft furniture and the lighting to the music of the ground floor, with in house DJ's who specialise in a vast array of tunes.
From reggae and old school hip hop to disco, chilled house and smooth garage; while you can never be sure what your going to hear, chances are you'll probably love it!
The drinks menu excels on so many levels, while you can have a range of beers and wine, you come here for the cocktails and they leave a lasting impression on you. Most normally stick to their very well appointed 2-4-1 menu, which features all the classic Daiquiri's, Mojitos and Tom Collins you could want alongside a few more exotic choices. I'd personaly recommended their very well muddled Moscow Mules, or for those who want a longer drink check out their Dark n Stormy's. The Country Garden's may appear effeminate but definitely pack a punch too! If your looking to treat yourself they have some more expensive drinks to tantalise your taste buds with, and having been treated to one of their Zombies, I'd recommend you try one to see a lime full of rum get set on fire if nothing else!
Yet my favourite part of this place isn't to be found on the main floor (and nor is it in the Ministry of Magic styled bathrooms!) but in Buffalo's inner sanctum upstairs. Most may come for the music but for those in the know, their upper floor hosts a great range of underground dance music nights, hosted by funky promoters such as Deep Inside & Purrmotions. I've very happily skanked away to some of Tom Shorterz's speed garage upstairs and seen Golden Boy drop some classic deep house there, while the support acts are nothing to be sniffed at! Disco Palace and Boulevard Resident DJ HighForThis dropped one of the best deep sets I've ever seen there while supporting Shorterz and proved that while the nights attract big names, its the local boys who really get things going!
The upstairs is decked out to feel intimate, harking back to legendary basement parties of old and while your up there, pint of Amstel in hand, you feel like you've stepped into a very different world than the sophisticated cocktails below. That, for me, is Buffalo's secret weapon, what separates it from many of the other upmarket bars around the city. It holds themed pub quizzes, comedy, stylish cocktail nights out for friends and some of the best dance music around, all under one roof!
I can't think of anywhere else in the capital that manages to do so many things so well and thrive! Follow Buffalo Bar on Twitter and Facebook to stay up to date with all their goings on!