I’ve written about the first half of my day with my nephew on his birthday and how experienced an artistic dessert and decadent cup of liquid chocolate at MarieBelle. So in perfect Star Wars fashion, I’m moving backward to the prequel story before dessert, which is doublespeak for dinner, I guess. That leaves us walking through Chinatown to Buddha Bodai, I am having a hard time finding it because I have only ever seen it after nightfall. Does that ever happen to you?
What is the Speciality of Buddha Bodai?
Buddha Bodai is a mainstay in Chinatown and has been open since 2004. They serve Kosher Chinese Vegetarian and Vegan food. You would think that this is a really small niche but actually no. On the weekends, the family-friendly restaurant is usually full and their customers run the gamut. people seeking a break from meat, vegans or observing just religious holidays. It is a large clean space that can accommodate big parties of loud families. And they also have dim sum!!
This isn’t my first vegetarian rodeo, I’ve been to a couple of other places that I have posted about before. I visited Saravana Bhavan which served Indian cuisine and wrote about Red Bamboo which also had meat substitutes on their menu. And for my birthday last year, my nephew coincidentally enough took me out to Urban Vegan Kitchen. So I officially have tofu in my blood, right?
Why Did I Choose Buddha Bodai?
My nephew had heard me speaking about vegetarian Chinese food and mock meats before, he screwed his face at me more than once. But since he was trying out being vegetarian for a while, he wanted to eat something filling and keep him on track with his three months meat-free new lifestyle. I’m not sure if this is a permanent decision for him.
What Did We Order at Buddha Bodai?
The restaurant had an extensive menu with pictures of the plates with meat substitutes pictured as the real thing. I ordered the Five Color appetizer which included BBQ meat, stuffed fried bread, smoked duck, braised chicken, and beef, of course, they were all vegetable protein. I think any die-hard meat-eater would find a dish that they liked here because it was so well seasoned and had a meaty texture. The appetizer was so huge that my nephew shared an entrée and I ordered the sautéed thin rice noodles Singapore style. The noodles were light and mixed with BBQ smoked “pork” and vegetables and we couldn’t finish it. Such a punk move! We left the restaurant sufficiently bloated from eating way too much and waddled out.
I think dinner was a success! My nephew liked it so much that he was still raving days later. I think we will be back, maybe with his sister next time. If you would like to visit Buddha Bodai, it is located at 5 Mott Street in Manhattan’s Chinatown,10013.
Have you ever been to a vegetarian restaurant that had you rethinking your diet? Have ever been urged to go to a vegetarian restaurant and eating there made into your regular haunts list? I’m waiting to read all about your experiences in the comments and don’t forget to catch up with me on Instagram and Twitter.
Until our next rendezvous…