“ Address: City Centre / 1 Mappin Street / Sheffield / S1 4DT / England „
After attending my graduation in Sheffield, I was reminded of what a great time I had there and thought I should write some reviews of the bars I used to frequent. I wrote this review from memory, so apologies if it's not quite as detailed as it should be!
Bia Hoi, or 'the Buddha bar' as it was known to me and my friends, is a bar on Mappin Street which is just off West Street, main drinking road of Sheffield. It was a bar I went to quite a few times as my halls of residence was right next door! We gave it this nickname because of the huge Buddha statue at one end of the bar. The bar is quite modern in style: it is inside what seems to be a Victorian red brick building, and the bricks are exposed inside but the furnishings are modern and luxurious.
The bar sells all kinds of drinks but seems to specialise in wine and cocktails. There is a good selection of cocktails and shooters and there are often 2 for 1 offers. If you visit the bar often it might be worth investing in a membership card which costs around £4 or £5 and gives you access to drinks offers.
During the day the bar is quite quiet and is a nice place to go for a cup of tea. It's relaxed and has a nice atmosphere and is a pleasant place to spend time in. On a Friday and Saturday night the bar can get quite packed and there is sometimes a DJ, and always loud music playing. It doesn't seem to get quite as packed as some of the other bars on West Street though - perhaps because it isn't in such an obvious place.
The staff are always pleasant and friendly, sometimes a bit too much so, as when one of the bar staff insisted on bringing all our drinks over to us and setting up a tab, rather than allowing us to pay for our drinks one by one. This caused problems as more people arrived and others left at different times (it was a social event for my course) - in the end it was left to me to pay the bill that others had forgotten about!
Food is based around a Far Eastern theme and noodles and curries are the kinds of dishes available. On several occasions they seemed to be trialling meals and came round with little bowls to offer us free food to try. The vegetarian range isn't huge, but the meals I've had were delicious and probably healthier than usual pub grub.
Overall, though, Bia Hoi is a nice bar with some lovely cocktails and it's also a nice place to have a coffee in the afternoon if you want a change from the Wetherspoon's on West Street!
Bia Hoi is a very cool cocktail bar in Sheffield. Its on Mappin Street, packed full of bars and clubs, but this one stands out.
Inside there is a huge budda statue, which dominates the back of the bar, and hides the entrance to the toilets. Apparently some people have tried climbing it and been in big trouble!
Price range from £4.50 for classic cocktails, to £12 for a pitcher. You can also get non cocktail drinks but I dont know how much these cost.
The bar is really long, and they have abour 4-6 people serving on it, so you dont have to wait long for a drink.
On a thursday they do a fortune cookie game, you order your drink, and then open your cookie. If it says winner you get the same drink again free. When I visited with my sister we ordered a pitcher to share, and we won another one! We couldnt finish them though as there was just too much liquid.
The staff here are friendly, quick and great at making cocktails. They dont make much of a show of it like in some cocktails bars, but enough to keep you entertained.
There are loads of seats which is good as its not really the sort of bar you go to dance in. The best is the long low sofa that stretches all the way across one wall, you could lie down if you wanted.
The music is a mixture of funky house, funk and dance. Theres something for everyone. All of the music is uplifiting and gives the place a happy non aggressive atmosphere.
I really enjoyed going to this bar, it was busy enough to have an atmosphere, but the music wasnt loud enough so that you had to shout to be heard. I will definately go back when I next go to Sheffield.
Thai cocktail bar and restaurant