Vegetarian dinner at Gobo in NYC, New York

"In the Kingdom of the Vegetarian, the Carnivore is King"
Jean-Philippe - October 2012

I started this blog post with this sentence because I realize that it is easier to be a carnivore in New York than being a vegetarian and forget it if you are vegan! Yes, there are options in the city, but they are still limited and it is easier for a carnivore to eat in a vegetarian restaurant than the contrary. I love meat, from beef, lamb, mutton...But I do not mind trying a meatless dish sometimes, especially if it is different from the usual salads and has some flavors...The first time I tried a vegetarian dish was at Zen Palate, many years ago, at the time they were located at Union Square. Their fake sweet and sour chicken was fantastic! Then I tried Gobo on the Upper East Side. These restaurants show that you can make great vegetarian food! So, I promised Jodi to go back to Gobo for dinner.
Image of Gobo Vegetarian restaurant in NYC, New York
We went on a Saturday night. The restaurant was at first not packed, but started to fill up as the evening went by. I like the setting of the restaurant, with its large table at the entrance that gives the impression you eat in someones' kitchen.
Image of Gobo Vegetarian restaurant in NYC, New York
Or its communal table...
Image of Gobo Vegetarian restaurant in NYC, New York
The menu offers a large choice of dishes in three formats: quick bite, small or large plates. The smaller sizes are ideal for sharing or to try different specialties. So we decided to order few of them.

We started off with the avocado tartare served with a wasabi lime sauce.
Image of Avocado tartare at Gobo Vegetarian restaurant in NYC, New York
The green color of the avocado and the sauce was vibrant and the dish looked appetizing. They were served with some sort of homemade chips to give some crunchiness to an heavenly good and creamy dish. The wasabi lime sauce perfectly enhanced the flavors and was not spicy at all.

The second dish was the crispy spinach and soy cheese wontons.
Image of crispy spinach and soy cheese wonton at Gobo Vegetarian restaurant in NYC, New York
This was pretty good: the phyllo dough added some crispiness to a very soft filling. The soy cheese did not have that much flavor alone, but was well complemented by the sauce and the spinach.

The third dish was the roti canai.
Image of Roti Canai at Gobo Vegetarian restaurant in NYC, New York
Roti canai is a specialty inspired by Indian cuisine, found in Malaysia and Indonesia. The first time I tried it was a Wild Ginger in Maplewood, a Thai restaurant that is fantastic. The bread (the roti) was served with a Malaysian curry. In fact, we kind of made a mistake by also ordering a slow cook Malaysian curry....
Image of Malaysian Curry at Gobo Vegetarian restaurant in NYC, New York
They were both similar and we did not expect it! The protein served with the curry was seitan that is made with soy. It was just ok for me. You could recognize the flavors of a curry and the curry sauce was delicious, but the seitan was not my favorite...

The last dish ordered was the scallion pancakes.
Image of Scallion pancake at Gobo Vegetarian restaurant in NYC, New York
They were served with a homemade mango salsa. I devoured it! Although a bit greasy, it was crispy and delicious with the mango salsa that added some freshness to the dish and was original. This was a hit.

With the meal, I drunk some soy milk, that I love when eating vegetarian...
Image of Soy milk at Gobo Vegetarian restaurant in NYC, New York
They served a lot of it for $3!

Although I did not like the curry, the rest of the dishes were very good, especially the avocado tartare and the scallion pancakes. The service was so so: they did not check if everything was ok with the food, if we needed anything and brought us the bill straight away without even proposing a dessert!

Gobo is definitely one of my favorite spot for vegetarian. What about you?

Enjoy (I did)!

Gobo on Urbanspoon