Buddakan

Glazed Alaskan Black Cod, Sizzling Short Rib, Hong Kong Shrimp & Scallop (from left)

Ever since Carrie and Big had their rehearsal dinner at Buddakan, the restaurant has been on my *list*. However, I was prepared to be disappointed. Normally, I proceed with caution in places like Buddakan, because sometimes they get hyped up from movies and Instagram to a point where it looks like a much cooler experience than it’s actually worth (ya know, because the price point is never just reasonable). The ambiance may be cool, but the food is just fine, and the staff make you feel like you don’t deserve to be there unless you cruise your 100-foot yacht right into the place (read: Tao).

General Tso’s Dumplings and
Cantonese Spring Rolls

All that being said, Buddakan did not disappoint. It was not one of those places, regardless of how much I expected it to be. From start to finish, the experience (and an experience it was!) was worth the substantial amount I paid for my meal. The bar/lounge is actually pretty cool to hang out while the wait for your table, with awesome cocktails and plenty of seating. The ambiance from there on out is equally as fantastic. It goes without saying that the great room with the big, long table at which Carrie and Big host their rehearsal dinner is nothing short of fabulous. And the cool part is (well, if you’re lucky), you actually get to sit there. Beyond that, the food was GREAT. Not-your-average Chinese, with a versatile and inventive menu. General Tso’s soup dumplings – need I say more. I would highly recommend getting at least 5 of your friends to go on this adventure with you. For groups of 6 or more, there are a handful of tasting menus available. While they’re certainly not cheap – tasting menu 1 starts at $75 per person – they are probably the best bang for your buck. You get to try a ton of things, and they don’t skimp out on the portions, meaning that you will be PLENTY full by the time you walk away. I unbuttoned my pants after the appetizers. At $30-40 an entree of the a la cart menu, I probably would not go back unless to do the tasting menu. Staff was friendly and accommodating, drinks were fabulous, and you really do feel like you’re in the Sex and the City movie, even for just a little while. For as much as it pains me to go back to a restaurant I’ve already been to, I will be going back to Buddakan.

neighborhood: chelsea
price: $$$$$
what to order: tasting menu 1, royal cocktail

Link: https://buddakannyc.com/menus/dinner/

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