New York, USA
Buddakan is a staple Asian fusion restaurant in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District. The last time I went I was very last minute with my bookings and only got a late night table. I don’t mind though, as the restaurant almost has a nightclub vibe, and the place probably works best in the evenings. The huge restaurant covers two floors, with high ceilings and a grand communal table in the centre downstairs. Candelabras and gilded books decorate the spaces, with patterned screens in the upstairs dining areas. Buddakan draws a fashionable crowd, and was the site for Carrie and Mr. Big's rehearsal dinner in the Sex and the City film. I showed up in dirty converse and soaked clothes from the rain, so I was very casual compared to the girls in dresses and heels. I arrived straight from a dinner at Ippudo, so I was not very hungry. We only had dim sum, which I might have preferred either way. The main courses at Buddakan are very good, but not too dissimilar from dishes in your average China Town restaurant. Their brilliant small dishes are what really stand out. The steamed truffled edamame dumplings are an absolute must. They have such a creamy and filling texture. One day I want to go there and just order five portions of those. We also tried a range of shellfish and pork dim sum dishes. Another impressive dish was the hirata buns with glazed pork belly. I am quite picky with pork, as sometimes it has a flavour that I really don’t like. Buddakan executed it perfectly though, and I would urge people to try it if you visit. We asked the waiter to recommend one thing, and he suggested the Tuna Tartare Spring Roll. This was actually my least favourite dish, and we didn’t finish it. Buddakan is quite upscale and might seem a bit pretentious, but the prices are not bad considering the standard of the food. I would definitely go back, though I'd try to be more appropriately dressed for the occasion than I was this time.