Some days being inquisitive is firmly the way to go; other times curiousity kills you, whether you’re a cat or not. My visit to recently opened Baba Budan, a coffee place near Waverley in the arches originally used for the Hidden Door Festival in 2014, definitely raised some interesting questions.
I asked the question that’s probably top of your list about the new place, perhaps after whether it’s any good or not: “what does Baba Budan mean?” Well, apparently he’s some chap who smuggled seven coffee beans out of Yemen to bring coffee to the people of India.
Foolishly, I asked: “so, how did he do it?” Queue a range of reactions as we contemplated the many ways to store illicit coffee beans about your person. We eventually agreed that it was a question that needed no definitive answer.
Anyhoo, their opening coffee brings together Coffee Collective and Ozone. I had an espresso (£2) from the latter on my first visit, which was a shame as I’m really not a fan. When I visited again, things were on a much surer footing with lovely bright stuff from the Collective.
The place is very smartly appointed with really eye-catching interior fixtures and fittings, including a massive wirework sculpture hanging from the ceiling.
Their food offering hinges around doughnuts which look great and have been winning much praise. They’ve also added delicious soup from Union of Genius.
So overall, aside from my slight ambivalence to Ozone, Baba Budan looks to be settling in as a reliable coffee favourite. They’re very friendly folks so it will be interesting to see how their offering develops. Make sure to visit soon.
And in a wonderful piece of timing, this year’s Hidden Door Festival starts today and runs until 4 June. Make sure to visit their King’s Stables Road site for a varied programme of artistic whatnots. It shouldn’t be understated the role that the Hidden Door Festival played in showing these East Market Street arches, which had long been mentioned on architects’ plans for Waverley developments without ever transitioning to reality, as viable and vibrant spaces. Without their ingenuity, I seriously doubt that this new crop of businesses would exist here.