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Midtown South / Chelsea >
Asian Fusion >
Posted by NSD on 04/02/2006
Buddakan has the typical scene - the requisite hostess with the Macy Gray hair, the gaggle of nasal girls hailing from Long Island, etc. Go for that if that's what you are looking for - but definitely do not go for the food - it was mediocre at best. Shrimp & Lobster Chow Fun tasted like something you would get at Mee's Noodle Shop (I would go far enough to say Mee's chow fun is better and of course much less $$$). Edamame dumplings were blah. The rock shrimp tempura was a bit too oily compared to the ones you can get at Nobu or even Morimoto. The crab fried rice was more of a bowl of scrambled eggs with some rice thrown in than the other way around. The restaurant is quite big - once the hype is over, they are going to have a really tough time filling the restaurant - I wonder how long it can survive if they do not improve their food.
Posted by Anonymous on 03/30/2006
Although we were ecstatic to try Buddakan, we both left wishing we had gone to Tao again. No one could enter the restaurant without a reservation when we went last Thursday b/c the bar was so crowded--that seemed like a good sign! The bar scene was great, and we expected the restaurant scene to be as well. We waited a full hour after our reservation to be seated and walked by at least 10 set, empty tables before we were seated in a back corner--weird for 2 young, single girls. Clearly, they were trying to create hype for the restaurant by packing the bar. They slowly put all the other single girl tables in that back room with us. When we go out, we are usually seated in the center of the restaurant, so it was odd to be placed in a back corner out of sight. It took our waiter 45 minutes and 5 requests to bring us water and drinks (remember, there were still many vacant tables, so he wasn't that busy). When he asked what tequila I wanted in my mojito and I told him actually mojitos have rum, he proceeded to correct me and tell me I was wrong but that he would have it made with rum if I requested. I was shocked at his rude attitude and ignorance--I think he was confusing mojitos and margaritas? It seemed like his first day as a waiter. He then forgot one of our appetizers completely--never even placed the order although he had it written down. We never could get his attention to order entrees, so we never did. We ordered dessert and were disappointed that the desserts were not the same as Buddakan Philadelphia. What we ordered was all well prepared but not too interesting. This place seemed similar to Tao and 4 steps below in quality, atmosphere, etc. If our waiter had been more attentive, the bill would easily have been double. There are too many good restaurants in Manhattan to make me want to try Buddakan again.
Posted by Elen on 03/29/2006
Loved the space, kind of reminds of the Budda Bar in Paris. Food was pretty good, but nothing extraordinary. My favorites were the tuna tartarte and beef tartare appetizer, and the smoked tea chicken. Even though our waitress was sweet, they are a bit disorganized: we waited for a long time to get our drinks, and it took a while for certain appetizers to arrive. Would probably come back again.
Posted by Anonymous on 03/28/2006
My group and I went to Buddakan this past Thursday just for drinks, and I suggest to anyone to go see the bartender at the Main Bar. Not only is he extremely friendly, but he is also an amazing bartender. As far as the food goes, I enjoyed the edamame dumplings, and the Lamb chops are the best I've ever had. Buddakan is definitely the new spot.
Posted by B on 03/24/2006
After sampling the edamame dumpling, lobster dumpling, tuna spring roll, rock shrimp, cod, snapper & shortrib, and two desserts that the waiter recommended, I would have to say that the food is solid, but not inspired. To be fair, I did not try the scallop fried rice, which someone in my party said was her favorite, nor did I try the noodle dish that we ordered that was supposed to be "like pad tai" in our waiter's words, not because I didn't want to, but because it never arrived, even after mentioning it twice to the staff. On the other hand, two dishes that we didn't even order were mistakenly placed on our table, but they didn't look like anything special, so I didn't try them either. First off, the cod is definitely NOT better than Nobu's in my opinion (sorry prior reviewer) - nor is the rock shrimp knockoff for that matter. Both fish dishes were very good as was the shortrib, but given the availability of great food in NYC, nothing that I will be craving... I was underwhelmed by both the lobster dumpling and rock shrimp, which lacked anything special in the flavor department. The tuna was good quality and the edamame dumpling was creative, but not out of this world as some suggest. The lowlights were both desserts - one was a chocolate & bannana concoction that definitely left my taste buds unfulfilled. The best part (and this is relative) was the ice cream that had a kick to it, but was not up to the standard of using the spice to bring out the natural flavor of the ice cream, because in this case the spice WAS the flavor of the ice cream. The other dessert, which looked like a chocolate tart and was filled with some sort of sweet liquid was only slightly better, and given that our waiter said these were the best two desserts, I was very happy we didn't order any others. The best thing that Buddakan has to offer is the Heat - a specialty drink, which employs cool cucumber to balance its kick - order 3 or 4!
Posted by Anonymous on 03/22/2006
After reading the positive reviews, was concerned that Buddakan wouldn't live up to the hype. Decor alone is worth making a reservation. Food is pricey for the portion size, however the food is delicious. Edamame dumplings are amazing, could have eaten 2 more orders! Cod was also excellent, better than Nobu. Next time would probably order more appetizers than main dishes (main dishes were delicious, but ok for the value) but would definitely return!
A beautiful space and amazing service. So nice to see a restaurant where the waitress is so sweet and helpful. We had a bottle of wine that was suggested to us and as appetizers; the crispy rock shrimp and the sea bass both of which were so full of flavor. For main courses; the tea smoked chicken which was so moist and amazing as well as the black bean lobster.....all so good! The portions were perfect for 2 people and we were not hungry at all after. For dessert, the sorbet was one and the roasted pineapple the other...wow... THEN...since it was my date's b-day, they brought out a 3rd dessert which was a chocolate souffle with a candle. I would highly suggest this restaurant to anyone looking for a great evening with even better food.