GREEDY BUDDHA, UMHLANGA

 

If we’ve met, you would know that I have a passion for Asian food. Thai is my absolute favourite! My weakness! My go-to comfort cuisine! So when the Greedy Buddha opened on Palm Boulevard, opposite Gateway, I was amped!!

I made a reservation for 6.30pm but we got there early on Friday night and they were able to seat us at 6pm. They got busy fast after that – make a booking if you’re going to try them out, although, after this, you may want to reconsider….

As I sat there, famished and waiting eagerly for my soup starter and halloumi chilli bites with candied cashews – I was excited!

I read the menu with so many delicious tapas offerings and could not decide on what to sample. My appetite was at its’ peak so I opted for a full meal instead of the tapas.

The menu introduced itself with this quote – “Happiness never decreases by being shared”– Buddha.

This place gives off a charming, elegant yet unpretentious vibe with a modern, chic look. Spacious interior and attentive Servers.

It boasts an imaginative tapas menu and I absolutely could not wait to get stuck into our dishes!

Soups in expresso cups

These were two of the chicken soups on the menu. (We were hungry – the cup at the back didn’t last until I could take a pic before digging in haha).

Sesame chicken and char-grilled sweet-corn. R29.00  It is described as chicken broth with sweet corn and herbs on the menu – and it is just that. Plain and simple, broth. Bland.

My Chicken Laksa soup was delicious! Also described as a chicken broth on the menu, plus chilli and coconut in the broth, with herbs. Also R29.00. My waitress recommended this and she was totally on the mark. The flavours flirted seamlessly with one and other, and it had a nice chilli “bite” to it going down!

We also tried the Szechwan Chilli Halloumi Bites served with crispy spinach and candied cashews, R39.00. I thought I took a snap of it but I can’t find it! This was average. The spinach was not crisp. Quite wilted. The candied cashews were a bit over the top – too many in the small portion and when combined with the sweet-chilli like sauce drizzled over the halloumi, it made the dish way too sweet overall. Give it a miss.

I am gutted, absolutely gutted to report that the food was so not worth the excitement! I’ve heard people recommend it as consistently good, and fresh and wonderful – I’ve never been more let down! 

Chilli Prawn Tails

I opted for the chilli prawn tails but it was a toss-up between these three items.

Fried rice and the prawns

When my meal arrived I was impressed by the large portion of egg fried rice that accompanied the dish but when I tasted it, I was deflated. It was more like a generous portion of scrambled eggs with a few rice grains thrown in for good measure. It was not tasty! How can you have an entire Asian inspired menu and not know how to make egg fried rice???

My prawns were plump and succulent. Too sweet and no chilli detected. The vegetables were over- cooked as well.  Very disappointing.

My Mum opted for the Bang Bang Noodles with chicken.

Bang Bang Noodles Menu Shot

Same issue,  far too much egg mixed in! (These were egg noodles with added scrambled eggs mixed in).

The portion was ample – much larger than my own. The chicken was cut into soft plump cubes with a bit of a salty aftertaste.

Bang Bang noodles

There was a gentleman who came to our table to enquire about how our meal was going and I mentioned all of the above to him. He was delightful and incredibly mature at accepting constructive criticism. (If you’re reading this, I am so sorry that I did not get your name or the name of my exceptionally pleasant waitress).

He said that he will take our comments to the chef and after we ordered dessert he advised that it would be comp’d. Entirely unnecessary I explained, but he insisted, and we hoped that the vanilla creme brulee would add a pleasant spin on an otherwise average meal.

IT DID!

It was delicious, creamy, light and I’ve never had candied popcorn, sherbet and creme brulee in the same dessert before! 

Dessert

 

Regrettably, a cracking dessert does not make up for dismal meal and I am resolute, that when I need my Asian food fix, I shall stick my old faithfuls like Kai Thai; Kung Thai and My Kitchen – Chinese Take Away.

Step up your game Greedy Buddha, you’re too pretty and in too prime a location to be this shockingly unimpressive darlings.

Total including an appletiser and a kola tonic : R401.98.

Tell me all about your experience here and at other Asian food places! I’d love to hear from you!

L:)

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