Chocolate Buddha Restaurant
You would be excused for thinking that Chocolate Buddha was a dessert bar, but no no, it is an amazing Japanese restaurant. Incredibly – given the location – the prices are exceptionally reasonable, and the food is reliably delicious no matter how busy they are. On this occasion, we went there quite late at night on the day of Chinese New Year. Not CNY *eve*, CNY *day*… the day when everyone is at home on the couch tired from the previous night’s festivities! So we pretty much had the place to ourselves.
Chocolate Buddha Zensai and Izakaya Menu
From the Zensai and Izakaya menu of small share plates we had three dishes. Firstly the Edamame (steamed soybeans with rock salt, secondly the Renkon Crisps (crunchy lotus root crisps with miso sour cream), and lastly the Miso Buta (cubed pork belly pieces with a miso glaze, coriander and capsicum with pork crackle).
Chocolate Buddha Sushi and Sashimi Menu
From Chocolate Buddha’s Sushi and Sashimi menu, we had four more fantastic plates. We had the Tempura Pumpkin Roll which was an ‘inside out’ roll filled with tempura pumpkin, seaweed salad, beetroot and avocado topped with black sesame seeds & Japanese mayo. We followed this with the pumpkin tempura with dashi & daikon dipping sauce. We also had six Maki Rolls which were another sesame seed speckled ‘inside out’ style roll filled with avocado, shiso & cucumber. Three of these were topped with kingfish with grated ginger & chives while the others were filled with salmon with nikiri soy, shiso, red onion & mayo. Finally, we had the amazing Gyu Tataki Nigiri: rare seared beef nigiri sushi topped with house made steak sauce, chives & wasabi leaf.
Chocolate Buddha Drinks and Cocktails
The cocktails that washed down this incredible food for us were the Floating Buddha (42 below vodka, Frangelico & white cream de cacao with a chocolate garnish), and a Kohii Martini (much like an espresso
martini but with sake, 42 below vodka, kahlua & espresso).
A Wonderful Location and a Fantastic Night Out
We were thrilled with the experience and enjoyed a walk around Melbourne after dinner to admire the remaining decorations from Chinese New Year the night before. We will definitely be back to visit Chocolate Buddha again before too long. It is so conveniently located, right in the middle of Federation Square. So easy to hop on a train at Flinders Street Station afterwards, or go for a longer wander all the way down to Crown Casino to watch the fire towers flare up in the night sky.