New York City has always had the reputation of being a cultural melting pot, which is evident by the combination of museums, art galleries and architectural diversity that takes up much of the city. This eclectic mix has always been one of the most fascinating and exciting parts of New York City travel, where one could spend an evening attending a sophisticated opera while later enjoying a night out at one of the city’s trendiest nightclubs.
However, the innovative atmosphere in New York has also extended to its dining establishments. Chefs have begun to incorporate a blend of flavours to their signature dishes, and New York has become a hub of fusion cuisine. Follow my guide to the best of the best and prepare to be amazed by the incorporation of several cuisines in a single dining experience. Both your stomach and your taste buds will thank you.
Created by Stephen Starr, this restaurant blends contemporary European and Chinese fare to create a tantalizing experience. Designed by updating an old Nabisco factory, the over 15,0000 square feet of space is decorated with Parisian tapestry, Cantonese paintings on the walls and massive chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. The menu shows a similar synthesis, where the traditional Chinese dishes on the menu are reinvented and other unheard items are created solely by Executive Chef Michael Schulson. From the appetizers, try the steamed frog legs cooked in a tasteful Asian preparation of garlic and chives or the tuna tartare spring roll that combines the tang of sashimi with the crunchiness of the roll. The carrot dumplings are flavoured with European seasoning, while the taste of chilled udon noodles is further intensified with a relishing lime sorbet. The Five-Spice Chicken and Spiced Tofu combine sweet and sour spices from both regions to create an explosion of flavour and texture. Wash down your meal with one of Buddakan’s signature cocktails, which use various exotic ingredients such as lemongrass and passion fruit, and don’t forget their signature dessert – The Crying Chocolate uses Belgian chocolate ganache and is served with jasmine tea ice cream. This is truly a treat for the senses.
2. Sushi Samba
With two locations in New York, Sushi Samba’s loud décor is reflective of the cuisines it incorporates – Brazilian flavoring mixed with Japanese staples. Red, yellow and orange seats and tables decorate the restaurants, while the music is loud and, to quote the name, “Samba”-esque. The restaurant’s specialty sushi rolls include the El Topo Roll, a mouthwatering combination of melted mozzarella, smoked salmon and crispy onion, and the Neo Tokyo Roll, which is a twist on the traditional spicy tuna roll by adding tempura flakes and aji planca, a type of chili pepper used in Peruvian and Brazilian dishes. The coconut rice combines the sweetness of coconut to the stickiness of Japanese rice, and the shaved palmito salad is topped with a delicious jalapeno-shallot dressing and pink peppercorns. The Samba-Style Chicken Teriyaki spices up a traditional Japanese dish and is served with purple potato mash, while the Mushroom Toban-yaki uses Japanese mushrooms, Peruvian garlic chips and a Brazilian poached egg to tantalize your taste buds. Pair your meal with Samba Juice, a cocktail with raspberry and watermelon infused rum, guava and acai, a type of berry found exclusively in South America. The pungent flavors of Brazil and the understated ones of Japan will surely keep you coming back for more.