Pop Up Buddha

4.6
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73 reviews
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$40 and under
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Japanese
Top tags:
  • Pre/post Theatre
  • Lunch
  • Casual
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Pop-Up Buddha is now closed and we're excited to announce that Chocolate Buddha will be open for bookings from Thursday 5th September.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Japanese, Izakaya, Breakfast
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Hours of Operation
Daily 11:00 am–9:30 pm
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Phone number
(03) 9070 6251
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Payment Options:
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress Code
Smart Casual
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Executive Chef
Mr Alex Bazar
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Neighbourhood
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Parking Details
Monday - Thursday: Park after 4pm at Federation Square and spend $50 or more at the restaurant to receive free parking. Please mention this offer to service staff in the restaurant for parking validation.
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Public Transit
A minute walk from Flinders street station
Additional
Beer, Cocktails, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining , Take Away, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 73 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
Food
4.6
Service
4.4
Ambience
4.4
Value
Noise · Moderate
98% of people would recommend it to a friend
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BH
1 review
Dined on 24 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

A lovely dining experience
We will be back again next time we are in Melbourne

L
Adelaide / SA
1 review
Dined on 18 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Loved it! Visiting from Adelaide and happened upon Buddha during a walk.
Staff were super friendly and food was absolutely delicious. Would definitely recommend it.

BZ
1 review
Dined on 18 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

The Buddha is always an outstanding place to eat here.

AT
1 review
Dined on 17 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Fantastic service, food and staff. We loved it and would definately come back. For a pop up it was brilliant.

RJ
1 review
Dined on 17 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Loved it - our favourite place. 👍 Chocolate spring rolls - yum!

F
Vancouver
13 reviews
Dined on 17 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 3Ambience 4

Great food as always. Lots of choice, even for our coeliac friend. Service was only okay, we had to hunt down the waitress to get drinks! Apart from that a very enjoyable meal at a reasonable price.

JL
Sydney / NSW
1 review
Dined on 15 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Food and location so so good but it is the staff at this place that make it so special. Funny, polite, attentive, professional and downright fun. You know when you see the same staff in a restaurant over the years that it is GOOD place not just to eat but to work. Highly recommend

T
Melbourne / VIC
2 reviews
Dined on 10 August 2019
Overall 4Food 3Service 5Ambience 4

Chocolate Buddha is my reliable go-to when attending evening events in the city, so thankfully, Pop Up Buddha is around while they are renovating the original restaurant. The pop-up space is more interesting than the old space as it's a split level with interesting angles. The service is impeccable as usual, with the charming Lukas. My only quibble was the balance of the meal - salmon don - was mostly rice, an ok quantity of salmon but minuscule amount of vegetables - 1 shiso leaf & a few tiny slivers of cucumber and a few strands of alfalfa, making it very carb heavy.

PG
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 10 August 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 5Ambience 3

Quality food and service. Even though it was in the pop up restaurant the high standards did not drop.

SO
1 review
Dined on 26 July 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Tasty Japanese fusion, with always great service from attentive, friendly staff!

K
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 21 July 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

I am so grateful Pop Up Buddha is there whilst Chocolate Buddha is being renovated. The food is delicious, the atmosphere ambient and the staff very helpful. We shared in our group of 7 which gave us a wonderful variety of flavours. Highly recommend for a long Sunday lunch with friends.

JS
1 review
Dined on 16 July 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 4Ambience 3

I have been many time to Chocolate Buddha and have not been disappointed with the food or service

RM
1 review
Dined on 13 July 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

The service was fantastic and great food, it was a very relaxing evening with friends

JS
Melbourne / VIC
3 reviews
Dined on 12 July 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Love this place. Service is friendly and prompt. Food delicious and as we told them we had to be out for a show, they were really accommodating in getting everything out to us so we could get to our show.

RW
1 review
Dined on 12 July 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

It's easy to book here and I am always made to feel welcome. The waiting staff are friendly and helpful. The on tap beer is good and the food is fine. Not a huge menu choice which suits me as I do not like spending time ending through endless choices. Just pick something and it will be fine.

CV
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 10 July 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great food, friendly service, easy to get to location -never disappoints.

SC
1 review
Dined on 2 July 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

I went to the Chocolate Buddha for 2 dinners this week. I always look forward to going there. As a coeliac, I'm confident that the food is safe for me and I get to eat in a normal restaurant setting. Usually, when restaurants and cafes are gluten free, they are also vegan and paleo and vegetarian. The wait staff are lovely, welcoming and friendly. Can't wait to go back there when I visit Melb in Oct :-)

MT
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 29 June 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

We always love coming here! We were served by Ellie who was very lovely, and kindly swapped our dish when we accidentally ordered the wrong thing! We were very appreciative!!

P
1 review
Dined on 13 June 2019
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

I'm a vegan and my partner enjoys seafood. We were both catered for and the meal was enjoyable. The Sake was also delicious and very warming on a cold winter's evening in Melbourne. We sat outside and enjoyed the view of the surrounding sights.

M
1 review
Dined on 13 June 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We always love Chocolate Buddha and the pop-up version is no exception.

AS
1 review
Dined on 4 June 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

We were very happy that the Pop Up was across from the restaurant renovation - we are great fans of Chocolate Buddah, so having the Pop Up so close was wonderful. We met friends who were visiting from New Zealand and they loved the food and we had a great time! Definitely will recommend.

TC
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 31 May 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Excellent food and service. Cannot wait for Chocolate Buddha to reopen if this is a taste of what to expect.

GH
New England
4 reviews
Dined on 31 May 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Lucas and team always make us feel special. Love this place.

HF
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on 23 May 2019
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

The service here is great, as a Coeliac sufferer (strict Gluten Free diet required) they took note and looked after me, and I didn't get sick!!

K
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 22 May 2019
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

This is my third visit to the popup and I'm finding the menu is not as good as the Chocolate Buddha. I miss the spicy chicken amongst other things and the food isn't quite the standard. I think I'll wait for their return to Chocolate Buddha before I go again. That said, everything else about the popup version is as good, if not better than previously. I love that we can sit on the balcony with a river view!

JN
Seattle
3 reviews
Dined on 22 May 2019
Overall 3Food 4Service 3Ambience 3

Convenient location but food service was very slow. Despite being assured that our food will arrive quickly so we will make our show at 7.30, (we arrived at 5.45) we did not get our mains until after 7 pm so we really had to scarf down and only made the show with literally seconds to spare. Food was good though and there are good gf and vegan options but they really gotta work on the speed of food service.

D
Melbourne / VIC
7 reviews
Dined on 20 May 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Very good casual dining restaurant with friendly and efficient service and very reliable food.

PC
1 review
Dined on 17 May 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

The food is phenomenal, the Waiters are fun, friendly and helpful. An all round lovely evening

AW
1 review
Dined on 8 May 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We had a really great night and the staff were FABULOUS!

T
Melbourne / VIC
3 reviews
Dined on 7 May 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 4Ambience 5

The space at Pop-Up Buddha is smaller than the other premises, which is undergoing a big renovation, but it's an aesthetically interesting space with some views of the river. There are a lot of new items on the menu, which was exciting- as a vegaquarian, I was spoilt for choice. I had a brown rice poke bowl with tofu & it was delicious- although not spicy, as suggested on the menu. Service was friendly but a bit slow, given there were few customers, but a very nice dining experience in the new - if temporary, space.

JS
Melbourne / VIC
3 reviews
Dined on 4 May 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great food, fab people. Looking forward to my next visit.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 3 May 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Fantastic as always

KG
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 30 April 2019
Overall 3Food 3Service 3Ambience 3

Location is good but it is nothing like Chocolate Buddha. My yakitori chicken and vegetables was underwhelming, the chips were not very crispy. My partners lunch was OK.

SL
1 review
Dined on 27 April 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Our waitress was friendly happy and funny! She made the evening that much more enjoyable

KP
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 26 April 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

A very pleasant surprise for a "pop up" restaurant. Beautiful food, great service. We'll be back!

KB
1 review
Dined on 25 April 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Had a fabulous night. Great place for families, especially outside so if the kids are a little noisy it isn’t too distracting for the other diners. Will definitely return

NT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on 21 April 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Fantastic host that made us feel incredibly welcome. Followed by great food and service

K
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 20 April 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great ambiance with friendly professional staff. Good clean fresh food. Location in Fed Square is superb for locals and tourists alike.

RS
1 review
Dined on 13 April 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 3Ambience 3

10 people on a great table after going the comedy festival
Amazing food great location service was great except for one waitress who thought we were having too much and repeatedly told us to quieten down
We were talked into dessert and it was fantastic
Gave the birthday girl a complimentary dessert too

OT
1 review
Dined on 13 April 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

One of our all time favs. Great service, friendly staff and delicious food.

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