When my family lived in Hong Kong, we used to have dim sum every weekend. I’ve always enjoyed dim sum, but I’ve never come across all vegetarian dim sum until I moved to NYC. A group of us recently got together at Buddha Bodai to celebrate Gabriel’s 30th birthday. There are two Buddha Bodais in Chinatown. Both serve (mostly) vegan, kosher Chinese and dim sum, but the two restaurants are not affiliated. We visited the Buddha Bodai at 77 Mulberry Street.
We were seated at a large table, which was far too big for our group, but it was kind of fun spinning the lazy susan. We ordered A LOT of food, and I was amazed when the bill was split five ways and we each only paid $20 after tax. There were a lot of leftovers to take home too!
The House Special Tofu was one of my favorite dishes, but then again, I always love tofu. Tasty large cubes of tofu topped with egg whites. They also did a good job with the stir fried choy sum. You should order at least one leafy green veggie at a Chinese restaurant.
The dumplings, pan fried turnip cake, and “meat” pastries were good too. I liked the flakiness of the pastries. Sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaves is one of my favorite dim sum dishes, but I found it a bit disappointing here. The veggie pork, shiitake mushroom, and tofu filling was good, but the rice didn’t have the right texture. The Singapore style rice noodles were nice, but nothing to rave about. It was a safe option for a friend who isn’t that into dim sum or Chinese food.
We ordered a couple of the fake meat dishes, which I think weirded out a couple of my friends. The fried veggie ribs looks kinda like dog treats, but it’s quite good. The exterior is chewy tofu, and the interior is some sort of mochi. Pretty good imitation of the fattiness of ribs, hah! The roast “pork” looked convincing and had a good texture, but was quite sweet.
At the end of the meal, our waiter brought out a mango pudding cake with a candle for the birthday boy. It looked like a giant sunny side up egg with the yellow in the middle and cream around it. Looked nice, but the mango flavor was too subtle.