Housed in a massive 16,000 square foot space in the ultra-gentrified Meatpacking District, Buddakan is part of the Stephen Starr (i.e. Morimoto, Tangerine) Philly based restaurant group. Sharing walls with the Chelsea Market, Buddakan is an obvious choice for cocktails or dinner with friends who want a hip and happening New York experience. It has a bit of a Tao (Las Vegas) like feel with its expansive club like space, high ceilings and dim lighting but the nouveau decor of Buddakan with its copious chandeliers, colossal communal table and separated dining spaces- including a chic book filled library make it uniquely distinctive.
As self described Modern Asian Cuisine, Buddakan is definitely more on the Chinese fusion side (Taro Puff Lollipops minced pork, sweet & sour sauce, Szechuan Crusted Ribeye turnip fries, hong kong steak sauce) than let’s say Japanese, Korean, or Thai. With a list of menu items ranging from Dim Sum, to hot and cold appetizers, starches, seafoods, and proteins, Buddakan has it all covered for those looking for a vegetarian, carniverous, or carb-loaded feast.
The simply categorized menu at Buddakan is best shared family style which allows sampling a number of various dishes. You can turn a meal at Buddakan into your own dining experience by choosing to share small plates and appetizers or opting for a more traditional meal with starters, starches and mains.
Since my frequent dining companions are restaurant professionals, chefs, and people who just plain love and live to eat, it isn’t uncommon to find a table covered with plates of food. This occasion was no different. There were some hits and misses, but a few stand out dishes included the Steamed Sea Bass Roll with cabbage, ginger, and sizzling scallion oil and the Scallion Pancakes with braised beef short rib, and shaved green apple.
Being a fan of prosecco, I enjoyed the specialty cocktail menu which included three prosecco specials including the refreshing Ginton (gin, elderflower, ginger, lemon, prosecco) the Charm (passion fruit liqueur, apple, fresh berries, prosecco) or Fate (elderflower, pineapple, prosecco). The eight dessert options include a Hong Kong Ice Cream Sandwich with an almond cookie, soy milk fan and strawberry sorbet and a Coconut Crème Brûlée with white chocolate genoise, and lemongrass ice cream.
New York is a city full of restaurants, lounges and bars. Buddakan is proof that you never know what is awaiting you behind those unassuming concrete walls.
Budakkan’s Shaken Beef Tartare
Chefs Seamus Mullen & Jose Garces
Scallion Pancakes with braised beef short rib, and shaved green apple
Amanda Freitag, Mika Takeuchi, Dominique Crenn
Buddakan’s Edamame Dumplings
Seamus Mullen, Jose Garces, Roberto Trevino
Chef Alex Guarnaschelli of Alex’s Day Off
Malted chocolate ganache, milk caramel, coffee ice cream
Aida Mollenkamp, Seamus Mullen
Chocolate Peanut Butter Bombe honey caramel, peanut butter ice cream
Mika Takeuchi & Chef Jose Garces
75 9th Avenue, New York NY 10011
Phone (212) 989-6699