Restaurant Review #13: Greedy Buddha

Greedy Buddha is one of those restaurants that Craig & I fell in love with right from the very beginning. They opened their doors in Broadway on a verandah a few years ago, which wasn’t the greatest location if you were looking for some relief from the Durban heat, but they won us over with their beautiful, unique flavours and their excellent service. Shortly after, they then upgraded their premises to a fancier one in Umhlanga. I can’t say that I’m not relieved that they now have an indoor airconned area for those scorching summer days. For the cooler days, they still have their verandah/ balcony seating option. Except now, you’ll be dining under the stars….

So what’s so special about them? Greedy Buddha just get Asian fusion flavor, presentation, consistency and service. Let me elaborate.

Every time you go, you’re guaranteed to be welcomed by the open arms and the booming voice of Kondo. He will be your host and go-to-guy for the evening and believe me when I say you can always count on him to bring you the best dishes or to suggest the best combinations. His memory is outstanding, having recognized us from the second time we dined at Greedy Buddha and every single time since then. He, along with his fellow waiters are attentive, but not clingy, and fast, but not too fast, giving you just enough time to digest your food before the next course. They are super professional, courteous and clued up on the menu. Somehow, in addition to that, their kitchen staff always produce exact replicas of the dish we had the last time, not a microherb out of place. So that covers the service & the consistency.

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Me & Kondo

When it comes to flavor & presentation, all I can say is that the Head Chef obviously has a very sophisticated palate, a very particular eye and a vast knowledge of worldly ingredients, because everything the kitchen throw together – every texture, every taste, every colour, every angle, every plate type, makes for the perfect end product, a dish that’ll have you savouring each mouthful with your eyes closed and a satisfied sigh.

What’s more, whether it’s pay day or the pockets are feeling a bit light, you have time to kill, or need a quick bite before a movie at Gateway, Greedy Buddha has something for you.

If you have some time on your hands, and it’s a special occasion (like pay day), I’d suggest you go for the Full Journey Tapas tasting menu. That way, you will get to test a little bit of everything. Believe me, this will make things a whole lot easier for you, because it’s really hard to choose just 1 or 2 tapas from their incredible selection. But make sure you go hungry because their servings are large.

Alternatively if you’re looking for a good deal or “fast food”, choose a soup and one of their tapas just to wet your appetite for the next time you go. Oh yes – there will definitely be a next time. They also have Tapas lunch specials on offer if you’re looking for an inexpensive mid-day snackeroo.

If you do decide on a dinner date, be sure to book a table out on the balcony underneath the beautifully strung up fairy lights to complete your magical experience.

When it comes to drinks, the guys will be happy to know that Greedy Buddha have an extensive range of craft beers and the ladies will be blown away by their wide array of wines. On our last visit, Craig tried the Skeleton Coast Indian Pale Ale for the first time, and I had the house Cab Sav. Both very yum.

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Skeleton Coast Indian Pale Ale & The house Cabernet Sauvignon

In addition to tapas, Greedy Buddha now also have a main meal menu where they, much to our delight, have bumped up some of their best tapas to a main meal size. They have also introduced some new mains dishes for those who aren’t huge fans of tasting platters or tapas.

They now have everything from soups to pot stickers, to vegetarian dishes, salads and meaty dishes with tasty twists. And if you have someone in the group that just wants some good old Chinese noodles, they’ve got that covered too.

The dishes we have tried and loved so far have been the Szechwan Chili Halloumi Bites, The Ducking Fantastic Wrap shredded right at your table by your friendly waitress, Crispy Chicken Bites, Tempura Baby Calamari, Sesame Crusted Prawn & Calamari Toasts, Twice Cooked Pork Spare Ribs. But the ones we would really recommend you try are: Crispy Roasted Pork Belly with Smoked Potato Puree, Red Cabbage Compot and Teriyaki Glaze, Tempura 7- spice Prawn Tails with Coconut Pea Puree & Mango Salsa, and the Salmon Sashimi Plate with Citrus Cured Salmon Sashimi, Avo Puree, Wasabi Mayo, Pickled Ginger & Coriander Pesto. Just well thought out dishes with surprising combinations of flavours, that are delectably satisfying every single time.

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The Ducking Fantastic Wrap
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Tempura Baby Calamari with a sweet chilli dip
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Crispy Roasted Pork Belly with Smoked Potato Puree, Red Cabbage Compot and Teriyaki Glaze
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Tempura 7- spice Prawn Tails with Coconut Pea Puree & Mango Salsa
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Salmon Sashimi Plate with Citrus Cured Salmon Sashimi, Avo Puree, Wasabi Mayo, Pickled Ginger & Coriander Pesto

If you’re someone who values knowing where your meat is coming from, you’ll be happy to know that Greedy Buddha only use top quality, fresh, never frozen, free-range meat wherever possible. Their duck & baby chickens are free-range and sourced from the Midlands and their beef is from Northern KZN, dry aged and grass fed. Their lamb is from the Karoo, free-range and AAA-grade. So if my review wasn’t a good enough reason to get you booking a table right at this very moment, then I’m sure that will!

 

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