Friday, February 5, 2016

Good Eats: Buddha Bodai One Kosher Vegetarian Restaurant, NYC


Buddha Bodai One Kosher Vegetarian Restaurant  5 Mott St., Chinatown, (212) 566-8388.  Daily 10:00am-9:30pm; $.  In addition to being kosher and vegetarian, this restaurant uses no MSG and is very vegan.  It is a small restaurant with a large following, and so usually there is a wait.  I ventured here on Christmas Day, so wait we did.
wait outside Buddha Bodai One Kosher Vegetarian Restaurant in NYC

full-up interior Buddha Bodai One Kosher Vegetarian Restaurant in NYC

Finally seated, we ordered a head-spinning array of dim sum dishes.  Everything we selected was delicious, and nothing was left over.  Our hands-down favorite was the barbecue pork, which tasted so good and so meaty in texture that I was sure something hard I crunched down on was a bone.  Of course it wasn’t, but I still wonder WHAT was it?  Our tab for four adults and a child came to just over $50; it was so reasonable that we didn’t bother double-checking it, which we usually do.
vegetarian barbecue pork at Buddha Bodai One Kosher Vegetarian Restaurant in NYC
vegetarian barbecue pork

fried taro custard at Buddha Bodai One Kosher Vegetarian Restaurant in NYC
fried taro custard

rice roll at Buddha Bodai One Kosher Vegetarian Restaurant in NYC
rice roll

sticky rice in bamboo leaves at Buddha Bodai One Kosher Vegetarian Restaurant in NYC
sticky rice in bamboo leaves

fried greed peppers stuffed with veggie meat at Buddha Bodai One Kosher Vegetarian Restaurant in NYC
fried greed peppers stuffed with veggie meat

chow fun noodles at Buddha Bodai One Kosher Vegetarian Restaurant in NYC
chow fun noodles


And the clientele is almost as wonderful as the food.  A nearby couple who were finished and leaving stopped by our table and offered our group a neck massage with one of those roller massagers.  It was a surprising, fun, and satisfying encounter with “real” New Yorkers.

In fact, everyone in the restaurant rolled into a festive mood once they were fed.  Outside, when leaving, we were approached by another local character who was with a group waiting in line down the street.  He wanted to know what we thought of our dim sum brunch and we were happy to tell him.  He walked off considering jumping ship and bringing his group to Buddha Bodai.  
Buddha Bodai One Vegetarian Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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images ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Good Eats: Indus, Bali, Indonesia


Indus  Jin. Raya Sanggingan, Ubud.  The owner of this atmospheric spot inside an vintage building, Ketut Suardana, is a story in himself.  So is his wife, Janet DeNeefe, who is a noted expert on Balinese cuisine and hosts the town’s annual food festival.  Together they own three top restaurants in Ubud plus a guesthouse.  The couple also sponsors an annual writers conference.  This restaurant’s open-air dining room overlooks a vast jungle area and is both nicely decorated and comfortable.  My Asian-fusion lunch here included some crispy appetizer chips and a delicious shrimp curry.  It was among the best cuisine I enjoyed in Bali.  And I must mention that the restrooms, located downstairs and with a view into the garden, are surprisingly special and a don’t-miss (scroll down).  

dining room at Indus restaurant in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

children's area in dining room at Indus restaurant in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

view from porch at Indus restaurant in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

crispy-chip appetizer at Indus restaurant in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

orange fruit drink at Indus restaurant in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

shrimp curry at Indus restaurant in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

shredded chicken and fish stick at Indus restaurant in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Indus Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

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images ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers  

Monday, February 1, 2016

Good Eats/Great Sleeps/Things to Do: Puri Candikuning and Bali Botanic Garden/Eka Karya Botanic Garden, Bali, Indonesia


Puri Candikuning  Jl. Raya Candikuning KM 52, Baturiti, Tabanan, +62 368 203 3252.  Located in the highlands, this serene luxury resort overlooks Lake Bratan.  The grounds are beautifully landscaped, and the views exceptional.  Though I did not stay here, I enjoyed a lovely meal in the dining room and later toured the atmospherically decorated accommodations. 

Nearby, the Bali Botanic Garden/Eka Karya Botanic Garden is a good place to enjoy the cool central Bali upland.  It is popular with both locals and visitors, who enjoy the highlands scenery combined with the vast collection of tropical plants--many of which are rare--and wildlife viewed in their natural habitat.  The giant and rare Rafflesia blooms several times each year.  Bali Treetop Adventure Park, with six main circuits stretching from tree to tree, is also found here, and a Balinese-style guesthouse provides onsite lodging.  A trip to the gardens is commonly combined with recreational activities at Lake Bratan and visiting the iconic Pura Ulun Danu Bratan Temple.

view of Lake Bratan at Puri Candikuning in Bali

dessert plate at Puri Candikuning in Bali
dessert plate at Puri Candikuning

lodging at Puri Candikuning in Bali
lodging at Puri Candikuning




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images ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 
 

Friday, January 29, 2016

Sights to See: Jatiluwih rice terraces, Bali, Indonesia


Bali’s most beautiful rice fields and terraces are said to be in Penebel village in Tabaman, a UNESCO cultural landscape.  The Jatiluwih rice paddies are notable for using traditional Balinese irrigation techniques.  
Jatiluwih rice fields in Bali


If you’re lucky, you’ll witness farmers separating the rice from the stalks.  Mount Batukaru looming in the distance makes the fields particular picturesque.



This is also the area to make a stop at a roadside stand and try some exotic fruits. 

rambutan fruit in Bali
rambutan fruit on stems
 

mangosteen fruit in Bali
mangosteen fruit

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images ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 
 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Sights to See: Taman Ayun Temple, Bali, Indonesia


Taman Ayun Temple  in Mengwi village, Badung regency, 17 km northwest of Denpasar.  Taman Ayun translates as “beautiful garden,” and you will indeed find expansive garden landscapes with lotus and fish ponds here.  Royalty once sailed small canoes in the property’s vast pools, which are now fenced off to visitors.  Featuring magnificent traditional architectural, this temple complex has three parts, like a body—head, body, leg.  It was built with Chinese architectural inspirations in 1634 by the second king and then-ruler of the Mengwi kingdom, Tjokerda Sakti Blambangan (my guide’s ancestor), and was significantly restored in 1937.  Today cats frolic among the ruins.  Towering tiers of temple shrines make up most of the complex, which is considered the “mother temple” of Mengwi.  (More “mother temples”’ include Besakih Temple in Karangasem, Batukaru Temple in Tabanan, and Batur Temple in Kintamani.)  The fourth and last court, referred to as Utama Mandala, is considered the most sacred.  An intricately ornate central gate is open only during ceremonies to allow in consecrated heirlooms and other ceremonial paraphernalia.  Another gate on the east side allows daily access.  The temple’s three areas denote the three cosmological levels in Balinese Hinduism--the world of man, the realm of gods and deities, and the topmost divine level.  According to ancient texts, the complex represents Mount Mahameru in the “churning of the sea of milk,” or the cosmic formation of the world.  

entrance to Taman Ayun Temple  in Mengwi village, Bali

ticket booth at Taman Ayun Temple  in Mengwi village, Bali

interior gate at Taman Ayun Temple  in Mengwi village, Bali

pathway at Taman Ayun Temple  in Mengwi village, Bali

cat patrols at Taman Ayun Temple  in Mengwi village, Bali

scenic with canal at Taman Ayun Temple  in Mengwi village, Bali

More things to do in Bali.
 
 
Travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular local and foreign getaways.
 
 
images ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers