Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Buddakan (Phil, PA)
"So if you like cooking so much...what's your favorite restaurant?"
I get asked a lot of questions by my friends when they hear that I'm interested in cooking. What I'm gonna pursue as a career, what is my favorite food, or what kind of cuisine I enjoy cooking most. After tonight, the one question I could answer at the tip of a hat is, "What's your favorite restaurant?"
I had been to Buddakan in Philadelphia on one prior occasion, however I had only been for lunch, not dinner. Combining outstanding food, service, and atmosphere, Buddakan has the total package. From the moment we stepped in and looked at the menu, I knew the meal would be perfect. For an appetizer, I had the Tea Smoked Short Ribs. The ribs were far and above the best part of my meal. They were dripping in a flavorful hoisin-based sauce, and the meat fell off the bone before it could even melt in your mouth.
For my entree I sampled the five spice duck breast. Layed out like it was the peace offering from the kitchen it was, limitless slices of duck cut as thinly as a size zero America's Next Top Model greeted me with open arms and a delicious five spice jus. No matter how good the meat was, the side dish might have been the best part. On the menu it is described as a spoon bread. Though one might see "Bread" and be convinced of a cracker or toasted crustini, a spoon bread is actually something different. Closer to a polenta or pudding, the scallion and corn spoon bread served with the five spice duck was one of the best things i've ever eaten. Creamy, light, and flavorful, the spoon bread was a delicious bite in the midst of all the surprisingly lean duck.
Finally for dessert I tasted the Milk Chocolate Carmel Tart. Though it may have been the weak point of the meal, the tart was still delicious. Covered in warm carmel, the crunchy chocolate crisp was a little bit crumbly for my liking. However the warm carmel and jasmine vanilla ice cream was enough to satisfy me after a long, delicious meal.
After two visits, I can confidently say that Buddakan is my favorite restaurant that I have ever eaten at. Below are other notes on dishes that I have tasted from Buddakan that weren't a part of my three courses tonight:
Tuna Pizza--I don't usually go for carpaccio, but this one is delicious. The tuna is flavored better than most carpaccios I have tasted and is topped with pickled jalepenos that will set your tastebuds aflame.
Vietnamese Crepe--A simple, tastey appetizer that tastes a little much of shrimp. However, still a good dish if you're a shrimp fan.
Wok Charred Brussels Sprouts--A heaping bowl full of well spiced sprouts, a simple side dish to complement any good meal at Buddakan.
Vegetable Dumpings--The vegetable dumpings at Buddakan might be the only dish I truly don't like. They are filled with few ingredients, one of which is corn. Because of that, the corn overpowers the dumpling and the dumpling really only tastes of corn.
Kobe Beef Sliders (lunch only)--One of the most delicious things at Buddakan. Possibly the most tender, beautiful pieces of burger meat I've ever tasted. You know food is good when you can picture yourself eating it all day long without stopping and that is what I did with these sliders.
"Dip Sum" Doughnuts--The specialty of the restaurant, and here is why. If you're going to serve doughnuts at a high class restaurant, they better be good. They might want to be fried perfectly, dipped in delicious sugars, and served with two luscious sauces. That's exactly how it goes down at Buddakan. 5 amazing, round doughnuts came out with a blackberry jam and a warm chocolate sauce. They're the perfect end to your meal at Buddakan.
Bottom Line--Buddakan is my favorite restaurant. One of the top in Philadelphia, and a must go to before you finish your last bite.
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Check out more about Buddakan Philly at http://www.buddakan.com/