This restaurant ( Buddakan)
75 9th Ave New York, NY
has amazing atmosphere, it sings to you "try this, try that" you just don't know what to order everything is so great. The main dining room is downstairs but it's wide open and visable from the top two stories up with huge chandeliers hanging overhead and wax-caked candlesticks on the tabletops. The side area in which we ate has pictures of Buddha heads randomly lit on the walls, and a dark environment that gives a sense of privacy. Then ther are the candle lit steps leading down the staircase that descends into a main room with a 35-foot ceiling and a long communal table. I think it sounds fancier than it is. It's really cool.
Our server was very good and well informed about the food on the menu as all the servers are here. He made some excellent suggestions as to the daily special. The food is served family style, which was a great way to get tastes of several different dishes. That's the way Chinese people eat anyway. .You just can't go wrong here with that legendary chef Jean Georges, this guy has never make a bad dish in his life.
We started with a few appetizers, including the General Tso’s Dumpling, which was stuffed with chicken, ginger and garlic, which were served right from the steamer basket. I found the Crispy Calamari Salad with green apples, cashews, and a miso vinaigrette also to be very good. I was the only one that ordered the frog legs, everyone else wimped out. The steamed sea bass roll with cabbage, ginger, sizzling scallion oil was good, tender and buttery.
We tried three main courses, and my favorite was the rich and flavorful Sizzling Short Rib with mushroom chowfun (noodles), and Asian pear. The meat was tender and not at all fatty, the pear was refreshing, and the mushrooms and noodles were a great compliment. Next the list was the Glazed Alaskan black cod with chili eggplant, black bean relish. The fish was light and flaky and the black bean relish was a nice flavor to go with it. The last dish served was a seared pork tenderloin with wild mushrooms, lotus scented rice, Chinese bacon. The rice was wonderful, and full of all kinds of goodies. We also ordered a side of charred asparagus that was amazing and had a great flavor with a "black bean foam." Capping off the meal was a great cup of cappuccino and a Tempura Apple Fritter ,essentially fried apple rings with Saigon cinnamon anglaise (a white, creamy sauce) and salt and pepper caramel. And we didn't forget the Lychee Martini's.. Trust me.
Another great time and a great meal at Buddakan