To celebrate the end of the uni semester I headed to Chocolate Buddha in Federation Square.
The joint has been around I believe since Federation Square was first built (correct me if I’m wrong).
It serves modern Japanese food in a communal atmosphere, (all of the tables are long benches a la Wagamama) and has a pretty good range of vegetarian and vegan options.
Keep in mind the lunch time menu is a shortened version of the dinner so if you’re after the full range, come in the evening.
I’m sure you’ll agree that nothing is better than hot soup and hot green tea on an icy Melbourne day so this is exactly what I ordered.
I ordered the Yasai Soba: Deep fried silken tofu with fresh snow peas and baby corn, menma, wakame and spring onion in a vegetable soup with ginger, sesame and chilli oil over soba noodles.
I also ordered the Nasu Nanban Roll: Nori roll filled with deep fried eggplant, mizuna, marinated vegetables and nanban sauce (sorry I didn’t get a photo, I wolfed it down too quickly!).
The idea with this kind of food is to begin eating it soon as it arrives. None of that wait until everyone is served business which is torture when you’re starving!
I have to mention firstly how gorgeous the tofu in the soup was. For all those tofu lovers, it was one of those melt-in-your-mouth style silken tofus that absorbed the flavour of the dish whilst retaining its texture. Yum!
The soup itself was pretty good, probably tasted even better because today was so cold. Worth ordering if you’re after a hearty, nourishing soup.
The only thing they could improve on is probably adding some shitake and enoki mushrooms to the dish. Need my Jap mushrooms when I’m eating Japanese!
I enjoyed the nasu roll. The eggplant went down a treat and had a lovely sweet flavour to it.
I was a bit disappointed in the fact the sushi came out with no dish to put my soy sauce in and no wasabi. Little improvements the management should probably take on board.
I had to move the sushi pieces to the edge of the plate so I could use the depth of the bowl to hold the soy sauce.
First world problem? Yes. An annoying one at that.
Next time I go I’m going to order this green tea ice cream – looks delish.
Would I go back? Yes
Vegetarian options: 7.5/10