The Gluten Bigot: Gluten Free Dining | Buddakan

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Gluten Free Dining | Buddakan

After residing on my 'I really want to eat there' list for more than a year, I finally made it to Buddakan last weekend. While it does not have a gluten free menu it was listed as celiac/gluten free friendly, and I was really excited to go.

Upon arriving I had a cocktail. In fact I had three over the course of my meal there (Reflection, Fate and Charm). I started off with Reflection, which was quite nice and less sweet than I anticipates. What I liked best was the way in which was server (photo left, it is the back left drink, right is Charm, photo right is Fate). After being seated and having a moment to look at the menu, I was completely lost in what my options would be although there were a few things I was hopeful about. My server was really knowledgeable about the menu, unfortunately with my restrictions (gluten, seafood and shellfish) they where really limited. I was able to choose from the following:
  • Appetizers: Crispy Calamari Salad without the calamari.
  • Entree: Charred Filet of Beef or Mongolian Lamb Chops (I don't eat lamb either).
  • Sides (noodles, rice, vegetables): Vegetable Rice or any vegetable dish could be modified to be GF.
There were more options for those that have fish. I ordered the beef, vegetables rice and cauliflower stir fry. While my immediate reaction disappointment. I had read they were accommodating so I was hoping their would be more options. Typically I only dine in restaurants where there is a dedicated gluten free menu, so I've become unaccustomed to limitations; although I was happy for it being an asian restaurant that I still had options and didn't have to leave (that has happened several times). 

My disappointment was very short lived though, and quickly turned to delight. My beef arrived and looked amazing. My attempted at photographing it with no flash had limited success, so I apologize for the dark photo (left). It had chips on the side (think Terra Chips) and a mustard sauce. I typically despise mustard but actually liked the sauce. And the beef itself was quite nice.

Next to arrive was my vegetable rice which had a curry foam (right). I was most excited for this dish as it was the only item I was really hoping would be GF prior to consulting my server. The presentation was fantastic. I mixed it all together. And it was heavenly. The perfect amount of curry, rice was cooked to perfection. Just amazing. 

Finally, my cauliflower stir fry arrived. I though this would be boring - I was told it would basically be steamed cauliflower and they would try to make a sauce for it. Also, the pork was omitted as it was pre-marinated in soy sauce. When I tried it though it was amazing. It was seasoned with chili flakes, and I love spicy food. Again, not generally a fan of cauliflower but this was so good I had to have the remainder packed up.

Although we were stuffed from dinner, my husband and I agreed to share a dessert when we found out there was gluten free options. The sorbets are gluten free, as well as the chocolate peanut butter mille feuille. I heard chocolate peanut butter and I was sold. This was easily the highlight of my meal - it was absolutely incredible and will easily warrant revisiting Buddahkan simply to enjoy this treat.

In sum, despite the limited options for gluten bigots, a meal at Buddahkan is certainly worth it and I hope to return if only for the mille feuille.

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