Buddha’s Belly

Posted on July 19, 2011

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I found the name of this venue rather curious, Buddha’s Belly (75A Chapel Street, Windsor VIC). It makes me think 1. vegetarian and 2. Asian cuisine. Clearly my mind jumps easily to stereotypes, but for the record, it was neither. It’s a casual cafe by day come snack bar at night. It’s comfortably set amongst other slightly alternative looking cafes, op shops and boutique stores near the train station. So at least in those respects it ticked off an archetype in my mind.

I’m mindful that it’s recently undergone a renovation process (this was what led me to Babble afterall), so I’m expecting a ‘fresh’ look to the place. Perhaps I’d set my expectations up too high, but this was not the case. I found the interior to be a bit confused, almost as if they were trying to achieve too many looks, but with nothing really coming together. The walls are colourfully painted with Buddha amongst clouds and there’s a strange mix of downlights and pendants.  Then there’s some wicker furniture, as well as tribal looking artifacts scattered around, typical cafe tables and chairs and lastly a faux leather couch that looks out to the main dining floor. Odd and not in a way I can appreciate.

But fear not, I will not dismiss a place on its look alone. Food here was fairly decent and priced well. Breakfast options were aplenty, ranging from the usual to the creative and all under $20. First a more conventional offering of eggs benedict ($12 or $14), and while I may not judge a book by its cover, I will judge a cafe by its eggs. Unfortunately for them, they were overcooked, cue disappointed sighs all round. The other let down was the very bland tasting hollandaise. Did they forget the acid? Where’s the tang? What is with cafes and their mayonnaise like hollandaise these days?!

On a higher note, the next 2 dishes from the creative side of the kitchen got our thumbs up. My order of roti stack with scrambled eggs, bacon and tomato relish ($16.50) was both generous and tasty. The dish doesn’t make for a good photo though, all the goodness was hidden underneath! But believe me when I say the roti was crisp and eggs were nicely done.

The breakfast pizza ($17 I believe) looked the most impressive, with a good dose of bacon, avocado, mushrooms and finished with a sunny side up egg. I can also vouch for its taste, and come on, how does one not like pizza even if it’s served before noon?

Now service, this is a grey area. It wasn’t bad per se, the wait staff were friendly, they just weren’t efficient or perhaps well managed. It look close to half an hour for the food to arrive after we placed our orders. It’s eggs and pizza, items that don’t take a particularly long time to cook and they were only at about half capacity if even. In spite of its failings, I did generally enjoy my visit, not too sure if it’s worth the trek back though.

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