Thursday, December 6, 2012

NYC bites: Chinatown feasts

Pumpkin Cheesecake from Wild Ginger
Here's part two of my NYC food photos, with Chinatown spots highlighted. My boyfriend and I didn't make it outside of Manhattan this trip. As usual though, we made a beeline for Chinatown on our first night and ended our trip with a similar, hugely satisfying meal. I think we overdosed on mock seafood but overall it was a delightful warm-up to our traditional Christmas-time Asian food & a movie combination.

Buddha Bodai
In Chinatown, we visited Buddha Bodai at 5 Mott Street. This vegetarian and kosher restaurant has an ambitious menu with color photos. We started our meal with two soups, both featuring bright and fresh-flavored spinach. The spinach and corn soup (on left) was beautiful to behold and fun to eat, as every bite formed a sweet yin-yang symbol in your spoon. The spinach and mushroom soup (on right) boasted three different types of mushrooms.
For a main course, my boyfriend ordered David's Special (below on left), which was sliced veggie fish and veggie shrimp with baby bok choy in black bean sauce. I ordered what proved to be our favorite dish of the trip: shredded gluten with pickled vegetables (blurry photo on right). Of course, Buddha Bodai offered brown rice. The restaurant was rather busy on a quiet night in Chinatown. It is directly opposite the forlorn Chinatown Fair video arcade.
Wild Ginger
We also hit Wild Ginger on our way out of town. At 380 Broome Street, Wild Ginger is closer to Little Italy than Chinatown proper. It was our third visit to this Pan-Asian vegan restaurant. (We also ate at their Brooklyn location years ago.) You enter the small restaurant through curtains, which I always find charming. Once inside, we ordered a whole pot of tea and two large mains. 
My boyfriend went with the Fisherman's plate (above) with veggie seafood, mushrooms, and asparagus. I was hankering for bibimbap (below). The huge and delicious rice bowl included seitan, avocado, seaweed, chickpeas, spinach, kimchee, and sprouts. However the mango salsa in the middle seemed strangely out of place to me. My bowl also came with an excellent pumpkin soup (not photographed). Somehow we managed to order dessert and devoured the dense pumpkin cheesecake slice pictured at the top of this post.

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