Recently relocated from Durban North (where it shared premises with a bar) to its own digs next to the Gateway Mall in uMhlanga, Greedy Buddha offers a mix of tapas, dim sum, soups, noodles and salads. Chef Rutger Eysvogel offers edgy combinations of ingredients, textures and flavors presented test kitchen-style, whimsically arranged on avant-garde dishware and garnished so that they look fit for a museum.
Upon inspecting the menu several items immediately gripped me: the sushi “salad” (with watercress, cucumber ribbons, baby spinach, wasabi, avocado puree and Asian pesto); the crispy roasted pork belly with smoked potato mousse, and apple-teriyaki glaze; and the chocolate brownie with Amarula foam, white chocolate mousse, and fresh strawberries. The pork belly in particular was superb; the pork was especially succulent and had just the right crispiness-to-tenderness ratio, and the glaze was rich and literally mouthwatering. The brownie came in a close second, and was a nice cap to a great meal: it was actually presented as three separate pieces, each with their own dollop of mousse and spritz of foam. Next time I will go for the tapas tasting menu, since there were so many other items I didn’t get to try, and they all looked equally delicious.
The swish 100-seat restaurant has a bar at one end, a view over Gateway plaza, and a New York-meets-Tokyo design scheme, which I suppose makes sense since it is a fusion restaurant. The wine list is extensive and exceptional, but I won’t comment on that except to say that there seemed to be plenty of well-dressed guests who were there for a glass of something and some people-watching.
Greedy Buddha is far and away one of the best restaurants I’ve eaten at in Durban — or in all of South Africa, for that matter. When visiting Durban you’d be crazy to miss it, especially if you’re an adventurous foodie.