Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Buddha Bodai @ New York City

I love dim sums. Chinese equivalent of tapas, these are something I wish vegetarians could dig into and enjoy as much as the meat eaters. But alas, finding veggie dim sums is such a challenge. Or, so I thought until I visited NYC. In NYC's Chinatown one can find quite a few veggie dumplings and dim sums places. The challenge here is in picking the right place especially when you don't have the time to try them all. We picked Buddha Bodai based on the yelp reviews. And I must say I am so glad we did!

Located in Chinatown, this restaurant is usually bustling with vegetarians and vegans, majority of the crowd being Asians. It was a pleasant surprise to see so many Asian vegetarians / vegans! The d├ęcor is very plain. Nothing noteworthy. Lots of tables and Asian waiters and waitresses. Big families out on a Saturday morning for a brunch of dim sums and dumplings! Pssst...no high chairs. Be prepared to have your little one on your lap all the while you eat! Or take a stroller, like I did.

The waitress gave us a big sheet of paper that listed all the dim sums and we were supposed to check the ones we wanted and hand it back to her. So many options but not so big a tummy. Everything looked exotic. The decision was made and the sheet was handed over. She brought over some tea. And then the tiny plates catwalked to our table one after the other.

The first to arrive was the Sweet Malay Roll. I wish I could describe this accurately. Okay, I shall try. It was more like a sweet bread lathered with jam and rolled. It was not too sweet, yet very delicious.

Sweet Malay Roll @ Buddha Bodai
Pan fried turnip cake - Well, the name says it all. It came with some soy sauce and a hot sauce. Delicious!

Pan fried turnip cake @ Buddha Bodai
Fried Taro custard - Oh my! The outer taro shell was so so so crisp. It was a tad greasy and the custard inside was not too sweet. On the whole, this was fantastic!

Fried Taro Custard @ Buddha Bodai
Durian pastry - We saw this Asian family at the table next to us dig into these and we had to have some. We asked them what it was and called for it right away! The pastry was filled with the Durian fruit. Sweet and yummy!!

Durian Pastry @ Buddha Bodai
Pan fried dumpling - Again, the name says it all. Came with a soy sauce dip.

Pan fried dumplings @ Budhha Bodai
Bean curd roll with veg Chicken - This was the least favorite of them all as it was a little too meaty for my taste.

Fried eggplant stuffed with veg meat - The eggplant was nice and succulent. The veg meat was not too meaty. A tad greasy but definitely delicious!

With our tummies pleading us to stop hammering them with more food, we had to refrain from ordering more. The dim sums were fantastic. The service was good. The menu is so huge that one has to visit multiple times to try them all. Prices were so reasonable. And it is all vegetarian / vegan. I would definitely go back the next time I am in NYC!!
Buddha Bodai Vegetarian Restaurant on Urbanspoon
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