There are two things of which I am absolutely certain. The first being that my name is Adina, the second being that I consider myself extremely lucky to have been born and raised in a city so rich with culture, opportunities, and gourmet food haunts that would make any connoisseur weep with joy. In this post, allow me to weave a tale of culinary delights of the Pan-Asian variety, come to life at Chelsea’s very own gem- Buddakan.
Having found myself in the city with my one-and-only, we embarked on a journey downtown to experience what can only go down in the record books as a legendary meal.
Upon entering the restaurant, one cannot help but be sucked into the lively atmosphere, thrumming with the pulse of the city. On this particular early Saturday evening, we admired some of the city’s most beautiful people just hanging out by the grand bar while sipping on designer cocktails and catching up with their favorites. My boyfriend and I checked in and were immediately led through the happening bar area on the first floor to the much quieter, more intimate sub-level. As we settled into the cushy seats in the beautiful, dimly lit dining area, we knew we were in for something special.
Our waiter, Tony warmly greeted us, and then proceeded to explain the restaurant’s culinary philosophy and influences. Perusing the menu, we were presented with more options than our hungry selves could handle. With Tony as our guide, we made several selections that were subsequently brought out not only quickly, but perfectly pleasing in the visual sense. Clearly, this is food meant to engage all the senses, even as the flavors so expertly put together made our palates sing.
Sake for him, and a “Lush” for me, which was a blend of sake, gin, lychee, and rosemary. I have never had that combination before, but I rather did like it.
Steamed Savory Vegetable Dumplings
With delicate wrappers and perfectly seasoned, crisp diced vegetables, these dumplings were perfection.
Sea Bass Roll, wrapped in Napa cabbage and topped with julienned ginger
Complimenting our dumplings, the cabbage wrapped sea bass roll was both tender and delectable. The julienned ginger slaw gracing the top gave the dish a bit of a zing.
Charred Filet of Beef with Wonton Crisps and Mustard Sauce
Now I am not one to partake in red meat, but my boyfriend is most certainly a fan. As a trained chef, he has tasted the finest cuts of beef from Kobe to Filet Mignon. For him to be wowed by a filet says a lot, and wowed he was as he closed his eyes and savored the perfectly seasoned, perfectly cooked fillet.
Dungeness Crab Stick Rice with x.o Sauce
There are no words for how insanely good this stick rice was. It was presented in an empty crab shell, with large chunks of Dungeness crab throughout.
Glazed Alaskan Black Cod with Eggplant and Black Bean Relish
The perfect portion of buttery, flaky fish had a deliciously sweet sear to it. The relish was OMG good.
Unfortunately, we were both so stuffed post-meal that we didn’t have any rooms in our distended abdomens for dessert. Ah, to have eyes bigger than one’s stomach.
All in all, Buddakan afforded us two foodies (one of us being a chef, no less!) with the most exceptional meal we can both remember having. With a chic and sexy atmosphere, vittles that are out-of-this-world delicious, and a staff that is so friendly and attentive that you want to instantly be-friend them all, Buddakan is a huge restaurant WIN.
If you are an out-of-towner looking for an amazing culinary experience, or a native who hasn’t yet been, you simply have to go to Buddakan, the end.
*This amazing meal at Buddakan was sponsored by Pantene.