‘Buderim’ is a word in the Kabi Kabi language that means ‘honeysuckle’, which is where owners Joo and Peri Kim got their inspiration for their brand-new restaurant. Having been open for over a month in the midst of all the COVID-19 madness, Honeysuckle has already been making a splash among locals and tourists alike, garnering plenty of rave reviews.
“We’ve been open for more than one month and we already have regular customers coming in several times a week,” owner Joo Kim says. “They come in for lunch and then we see them come for dinner straightaway.”
It’s no surprise that Honeysuckle has been making a splash; there isn’t a restaurant like it in Buderim, offering both sit-down lunch and casual fine dining at an affordable price. Original, fresh dishes in a beautiful spot; what more could you ask for, really?
“[Buderim] is such a great place,” Kim says. “There are big trees right next to the property, we’ve got both an indoor and outdoor area...especially in the summertime, you’re surrounded by beautiful scenery.”
It’s been a dream of Honeysuckle owner Joo Kim and his wife Peri to open a restaurant that would be a collaboration between Joo’s culinary expertise and Peri’s ceramic artistry. All the Honeysuckle dinnerware has been handcrafted by Peri Kim herself, which shows the dedication and attention to detail that makes Honeysuckle such a success. The decor is fresh and modern, with light wooden chairs and bright ceramic detailing, and an open kitchen that really gives the whole place a cosy, inviting atmosphere.
All that attention to detail is served alongside a heap of experience: Kim has been in the hospitality industry for twenty years, working at several spots along the coast including Embassy XO, Buddha On Hastings, Junk Maroochydore and more. What he wants more than anything is for Honeysuckle to offer locals something they haven’t experienced before.
“There aren’t many options to dine out in Buderim,” Kim says. “Our main focus is to provide an affordable price for the locals for both lunch and dinner. Lunch is really busy and there are not many sit-down dining options around besides cafes.”
To offer a bit of much-needed variety in a cafe-laden area, Honeysuckle serves up Yum Cha style lunches at $25 per person that’ll take your tastebuds on the ride of their life. You can make your way through dishes like Wagyu beef gyozas, prawn and pork shumai, Korean BBQ beef skewers, crispy eggplant with black vinegar caramel and lots more. At night, you can expect a more casual fine dining menu, with the likes of Singapore chilli spatchcock, Sticky beef cheek or Jeyuk spicy BBQ Pork.
If you’re opting for dinner, we strongly recommend trying the tuna sashimi; Kim sources the tuna locally once a week, so it is served extremely fresh, lightly seasoned to perfection.
Other menu highlights include the Jeyuk spicy BBQ Pork—which is pleasantly spicy, without giving you the spicy sniffles—and the Crem brûlée, which is Kim’s original twist on the French classic; you won't taste anything like it anywhere else.
Honeysuckle is also fully licensed, which means you can sip on local sparkling, wine or beer while you wolf down some of the best dishes in Buderim.
Honeysuckle is open Tuesday to Sunday, from 11 am to 2:30 pm for lunch and 5 pm to 8:30 pm for dinner. A word of warning though: bookings fill up really quickly, especially for lunch, so you’ll definitely want to book ahead of time if you’re in the area.
Image credit: Hiller Hospitality, Adam Doyle