It was Friday night…what better reason to head into the city for dinner and a few drinks.
The destination was Chocolate Buddha, a Japanese restaurant nestled in the heart of Federation Square. On this particular Friday night Federation Square had been turned into a cinema with faux grass and the movie Julie and Julie projected on the screen. The weather was warm and the atmosphere was lovely!
We headed in the glass doors and were told it would be a 20 minute wait (you can’t make small bookings on a Friday or Saturday night), so happily took our French champagne outside to enjoy the movie.
In barely no time at all we were inside, welcomed by the more than accommodating staff. The atmosphere here is vibrant and busy. The tables are small and communal and provide quite a different dining experience. On top of this food comes out when it’s ready regardless of others in your party.
The menu offers four sections. There is the sushi and sashimi section, a small/entrée section and then a soup and noodle section followed by a rice section. Mains prices don’t go above $25 making it quite affordable.
We decided to go for the soft shell crab inside out sushi rolls, vegetable Gyoza’s, teriyaki chicken skewers, marinated fried chicken pieces with wasabi mayonnaise, spinach salad and Edaname. It was a feast of small dishes!
As a first timer on soft shell crab I was pleasantly surprised, the light crisp of the batter and the shell together was perfect against the fresh cucumber and rice. It was a fun and delicious alternative to fresh seafood sushi. While the fried chicken pieces were just what you would expect from fried chicken, the wasabi mayonnaise was delicious and really packed a punch.
The chicken skewers and the Gyoza’s however were the standouts. The gyoza’s were cooked til just tender and the filling had a beautiful subtle flavour. The Asian flavours were complimented well by the sour dipping sauce that was served on the side. The chicken skewers, marinated in teriyaki sauce were cooked to perfection, and the sauce that accompanied it was amazing.
Everything we ordered averaged $10 each making it both a fun and affordable evening. Chocolate Buddha has always been one of my favourite Japanese restaurants and my most recent visit won’t be changing that at all.
I would definitely recommend Chocolate Buddha to Japanese lovers everywhere!
For more information:
2 Swanston Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
(03) 9654 5688