Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sunday Brunch: Buddha Bodai

Right across from the New Chinatown Arcade.
Being a vegetarian/vegan is relatively easier in NYC than most places.  My parents tend to not venture beyond Chinatown, so I've been to a good portion of the restaurants that have dim sum.  However it was shocking to learn that this trip they wanted to try something different.  My dad is a very particular person when it comes to food, so it's very surprising to find out he wants to try something he's not used to. Especially anything vegetarian.

My husband and I had several options lined up near the area, but due to the sudden heatwave we made a spontaneous decision to go to Buddha Bodai.
We had always passed by this place, but never had the opportunity to try it. Until yesterday.  Buddha Bodai is a one of a few vegetarian-only Chinese restaurants.  The other is Vegetarian Dim Sum House that' we've also tried.  They also specialize in the veggie-version of dim sum.

For reference, dim sum is sort of the Eastern version of brunch or tapas.

Menus were in English in Chinese, and unlike traditional dim sum you order from a menu as opposed to picking out what you want from carts. They also code the menu to tell you which items are gluten-free as well.  And for those who have had dim sum before, all the typical dishes are discernible. As such I ordered everything that was familiar to everyone:

Shrimp dumplings (蝦餃),
Siu Mai (燒賣)
Meatballs (牛肉球)
Turnip cake (蘿蔔糕)
Spare ribs (排骨)
Veggie Dumplings
Cruller wrapped in rice noodle 

Except for the spare ribs (a bit too chewy) and meatballs (preferred this over the spare ribs), I recommend everything listed.  They also served congee in several varieties (another typical Chinese breakfast staple).

The price is about the same everywhere when it comes to dim sum and it come to about $25 for four people. And to top it all off, it had my dad's approval.

Buddha Bodai
5 Mott Street
New York, NY 10013

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