Vegan Fried Taro 'Duck' at Buddha Bodai
I know vegetarian duck tastes nothing like real duck, but that doesn't mean it doesn't taste good. Sometimes I actually do prefer the meat imitating stack of chewy bean curd skins to the "real" thing. While eating at vegan and kosher restaurant Budda Bodai in Chinatown, I immediately went for their fried taro duck, a combination of bean curd skin topped with a thick layer of mashed taro that's lightly breaded and deep fried to a crisp. Taro by itself is already a heavy load for the stomach to bear; deep frying adds another dimension of heavy richness—and,of course, deliciousness.
I can also go for good ol' non-meat-imitating tofu. The tofu cubes in the tofu with organic mushroom and basil were pleasingly soft and jiggly beneath their thin outer skins.
The vegan cheesecake was surprisingly good—it tasted like a typical smooth and dense cream cheese-laden cheesecake. Perhaps there was a faint flavor of soy, but I couldn't really tell. It could've only been better with a graham cracker crust instead of a pastry crust.
5 Mott Street, New York 10013 (map)