Thursday, 5 March 2015

New York | Day 1 | Buddakan

Hello all, well I'm so excited to share my recent trip to New York with you all....and maybe a few beauty hauls with you later (trust me I shopped a little too much). After returning home yesterday afternoon, it seems like it's now forever since I actually visited the Big Apple! Yet little after been home a few hours did I already miss the vibrant city which never sleeps, although it feels like I've not slept either. 

After a couple of days of travelling, first down to Cambridge to stay with Jess, then onto Heathrow, finally arriving in New York it's safe to say I was pretty exhausted already. Plus if any ones visited New York then you will understand the queues at airport security are comparable to the queues at Alton Towers in Summer. There freaking long! 

Checking in at our hotel (Row NYC, I would recommend for a fun, cheap, central hotel) was quick and easy, then it was time to dump the suitcases and bags, spruce up a little and head out for the night. We had luckily made reservations for 9pm at Buddakan which proved to be worthwhile. Not only as it forced us out the hotel, honestly despite been in New York for the first time, the only think on my mind was having a nap. Secondly the place was super busy (although it was a Saturday night) and reservation appeared to be a must. 

New York Chelsea Market

Buddakan is located on 9th Avenue, and to my surprise next to Chelsea Market. We decided to take a stroll through since we arrived a little early. Plus the rustic, up scale market is something I'd read about on many forums so it was a pleasant surprise it was next door to the restaurant. 

Now for those Sex and the City fans reading, you will perhaps know Buddakan from been where Carrie and Big have their pre-wedding meal. Basically the main reason I wanted to go. Plus since it ranks #27th out of #11,913 New York restaurants on Trip Advisor, expectations were high. 

Arriving into the crowded bar area I did start to fee if the hype and the raving reviews were all a gimmick based on the restaurant featuring in SATC. Yet once seated at a quieter location and the waiter greeted us, I was reassured the place deserved the praise. With background music playing chart songs it had a modern edgy atmosphere of a night club yet the service remained high class and professional and well the food spoke for it's self. 

Buddakan New York

The waiter was very friendly and also patient with us as we decided long and hard about what to order. He explained the starters arrive family style and will come out as soon as they're ready, two - three plates is enough to share. However main courses are best to order at least one each but again two dishes would be plently to share. 

Buddakan New York

Starter 1
Peking Duck Spring Rolls (fois gras and pomegranate) $16
Well they look pretty amazing and they was. Golden crisp pastry and well filled flavoursome duck filling. The side of fois gras wasn't something I've ever tried before or something I even knew if i would like and although I don't 100% agree with the concept of fois gras, it melted like luxury butter and well tasted amazing. Trying to describe the taste would be like trying to describe the flavour of chicken in words, so unfortunately you will just have to trust me that it was good and complimented the spring rolls. 

Buddakan New York

Starter 2
Hoisin glazed pork belly (spicy shallots, cabbage, steamed "buns") $17
Melt in the mouth pork, sweet sticky glaze served on a refreshing bed of crisp shredded cabbage and shallots. The steamed buns were sweet and a little stick which pulled open like little burger buns to eat the pork in. This would of been a very large portion for one person so even having this as a smaller sharing starter between two would of been sufficient. 

Buddakan New York

Main course 1
Black pepper beef (wok tossed rib eye, crispy birds nest) $31
The beef was tender and still pink in the middle, the glaze was sweet and complimented it well. I'm not too sure what the birds nest was made from but it was crisp and had a nice texture what added an extra dimension to the meal.

Buddakan New York

Main 2
Glazed Alaskan black cod (chili eggplant, black bean relish) $31
The cod was cooked perfectly and flaked away at the touch of the fork. The accompaniments were refreshing and lightly balanced the meal.

Overall Buddakan was amazing, it was defiantly a trendy hip atmosphere and appeared the kind of place to go for a celebration and seemed the place to be seen. The interior was stunning and if I ever return to New York (fingers crossed) i would defiantly book this again. Overall with two glasses of wine (both for expected), two starters, two mains, one side and a tip, I think the bill came to around $150, which seems a little expensive but when you consider the UK exchange rates and between two it's actually cheap for the quality of food, level of service and overall experience. 

Row NYC hotel room

With full stomachs and tired eyes we retreated back to the hotel for a well earned sleep. Remember to follow Little Blonde Life to check out the rest of the trip. 


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