Dinner with Dan: Buddakan

Daniel Davis


325 Chestnut Street

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106

I have championed restaurants covering the United States and spearheaded some of Italy’s finest establishments, but I regard Buddakan as a top three dining experience. Hold back your guffaws, Santa Claus, this is “for reals.”

What differentiates Buddakan from its competitors? The suave, sleek environment? The hip, upbeat ambiance? The accommodating and knowledgeable staff? Or the decadent menu with exquisite, unparalleled foods? More than likely, all of the above are the correct responses.

Somewhere down the road from Morimoto, valets sit outside awaiting your arrival, anticipating your disposal of keys into their anxious hands. Surrounded by a delightful ambiance, Buddakan offers a diverse array of employees whose affable approach makes the dining experience all the more splendid.

And yes, Buddakan does have a huge Buddha sitting in the middle of the restaurant, daring customers to gawk at his greatness. Away from the robust statute that sits central to the restaurant, we engage in enticing foreign music that invigorates the shy and awakens the vivacious.

On to the most difficult decision you will have to make in your lifetime: the entrée of the evening. Alas, coming here once is not enough. Is there a recommendation? Sure, the Angry Lobster IV was quite the spectacle and its taste was remarkable, but there was so much other food to sample. Who knows what the correct choice was? I can tell you the lamb chop, duck, calamari, beef satay and sashimi were all decadent and incredible. I would get them again if Buddakan did not offer so many other options. Yet, there is always a kicker (at least in football). Pricing. I hope you brought the checkbook. This establishment is not messing around when they listed their prices on the menu. Coming here is an excellent idea if you have your parents’ money to spend.

Allow me to disperse one other salient piece of advice: save room for dessert. Yes, I got the banana crème tower and yes, it was possibly one of the most amazing things that has graced my tongue in the past quarter-century.

Buddakan is definitely a crème de la crème in the category of restaurants. It is a must-go if you are willing to spend mucho dinero.