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Five Color Appetizer from Buddha Bodai, (5 Mott Street, 212-566-8388)
We had a bit of a dilemma this evening. We had to feed a vegan, but we had to sup in a way that would sate a meat-eater, who would also be present. So we settled upon Buddha Bodai, having had a great experience with kosher Chinese food in the past.
While none of the meat substitutes tasted like meat per se, they got the grunting approval of the carnivore for being filling enough, and the enthusiastic endorsement of the vegan for reminding her of real ribs. (And vegans just love getting as close to meat as possible.) Also included in this assortment were a tofu skin mock duck, cold “chicken, a pan fried bean curd roll, and fake jellyfish. This last one impressed — texturally, the glutinous strands were almost indistinguishable from their cartilaginous namesake and tasted super similar, owing to perfectly pickled carrot and daikon shreds.