Last night I went to crash the Taste of NY event, like i did last year. I was inside, and then some security dude asked to see my wristband, which i didnt have. I talked to someone in charge telling them i was there to do magic, but he said the event was ending. So a bit upset, I decided to cheer myself up by checking out two "hot spots" I've been meaning to try; Morimoto and Buddakan. I stopped by Morimoto just for a "wasabatini" and then made my way to Buddakan, which is on the opposite end of the block.
Buddakan is HUGE! I had a 10:45 reservation, and was seated at 10:55. The service was slow though. In fact, it didnt seem too packed at that time, but my waiter was taking a long time. He did apologize which was ok, but, it was annoying. I started with the edamame dumplings, recommended by the hostess and the waiter. They were good. They came in a shark fin broth which was soothing. I devoured them quickly. The waiter talked me into trying a cocktail as well. It was called "heat", which had tequila, cointreau and chilied cucumbers. It was excellent. For my entree I went with the charred filet of beef with wanton potatoes and mustard sauce. When a server brought it over, he poured some soy infused butter onto my meat. The potatoes were actually potato chips; crispy, tasty, but disappointing, considering the dish cost me 27 bucks! I felt ripped off. The meat was cooked perfectly medium rare, except it was lukewarm. After eating three slices, I felt it needed something else; the sauce on it was fine, but I was bored. I decided to order the house special rice with scallop congee. It was excellent (at the time). I was too full for dessert. At the end of the meal, I was trying to see which was the best part of the meal; the cocktail or the rice. I was totally unimpressed and disappointed. I had higher expectations. After trying to figure out which was better, I thought about the dishes some more, and realized something. The rice, which 10 minutes ago i thought was excellent, was in fact just like rice with shrimp and lobster sauce that u can get at any take-out joint, only a tad sweeter. The cocktail, with its spicy kick to it, which i thought was excellent 24 minutes ago, was in fact, similar to a cocktail with jalapenos I had at the Stanton Social a while back-not as original as i thought. So, was the environment and "scene" playing with my emotions? Was I trying to enjoy the food more because of my high expectations and all the positive reviews i have read? YES! For a good chinese meal, for like 3 times less, I may as well go to Chinatown. Will I go back, and do i want to try the other dishes? YES. I want to give Buddakan another try- but, my first try was a let down.
75 Ninth Ave., at 16th St.
New York, NY 10011
88 10th Ave
New York, NY 10011