Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bu Da Lounge - Lunch - Revist

I was downtown the other day again, back on Mass Ave, but wanting to try something new. Or at least sort of new.  I have been to Bu Da Lounge before for dinner, and honestly didn’t even know they were open for lunch until I checked it out at a friend’s suggestion.  He has also repeatedly told me about how good their shrimp wonton soup is, and it was kind of a grey day, so it seemed a perfect opportunity to give it a try.
They open at noon, and I was a few minutes early, so I ended up spending time browsing (as well as more money than I intended) at Mass Ave Toys.  I know I have mentioned it before, but how cool is it that we still have such a nice independent toy shop?  But then I walked in to Bu Da right at noon, hoping to avoid any potential crowds (really any potential cigar smokers) and succeeded at least at first. I was the only one there for the first little while, and I quickly ordered my soup ($7.95).  It is a large bowl, and it was so hot (as in temperature) that I may have singed my tongue a little on that first bite.  Seriously, it was hot. Once I let it sit a bit (and blew on a few spoonfuls), I got to the flavor and I really enjoyed it.  The base is a flavorful broth, one of the more flavorful Asian broths I have had—it was dark in color and deep in intensity.  In it were not just the 4 or 5 large shrimp-filled wontons, but a bunch of egg noodles as well.  The combo made it more filling than a lot of wonton soups.  There were also several large pieces of pork and some bok choy.  They gave me a little bowl of chili oil to add in for more spicy heat, which I did.  But I appreciated regulating it myself.

My only complaint about the soup was (and I can already hear people gearing up to tell me how to properly eat soup) was that the wontons, the bok choy, and the pork pieces were a little big for me to eat in one bite and since I only had one of those little Chinese restaurant spoons and chopsticks, it was hard to get them into a more manageable size without either taking a bite of only half or attempting to cut things with a spoon that looked like this. So I basically pretty much made a mess.  (Hey you know me, I notice these things).  But the flavor of the soup was really good. I truly enjoyed it.  I would really like it if I were eating it without anyone looking and a knife.  The egg noodles I didn’t mind sort of slurping up, but especially with the heat of the dish, the wontons were more challenging, although quite delicious and packed with shrimp meat.
As I ate though, a few more people came in including one who lit up a cigar (it is a cigar bar after all).  So I quickly finished up and paid.  I did overhear the owner (I am assuming) tell others he was going to be relocating into a much larger space here sometime soon.  I am hoping for a smoking and non-smoking section in the new place—because the food is worth going for, but I hate cigar smoke (or really any smoke, unless it is being used to smoke the food).  But this is a restaurant worth checking out for the food if you can deal with the smoke. And a nice lunch alternative I didn’t know was out there.
Bu Da Lounge
429 Massachusetts Ave
Indy 46204

Bu Da Lounge on Urbanspoon


  1. One of my favorite soups in town. Agree that the pieces are a little difficult to navigate. I am not a big fan of smoking, but they have some of the best sushi in town. To be honest, the rest of the menu is top shelf as well. Glad that you listened to your friend, you should continue to do as such!

  2. No Smokin' Joe in Montgomery OHSeptember 29, 2011 at 11:08 AM

    I've looked at the place and wanted to try, however, smoke in any form and I'm not there.

    Am wondering when Indiana will join the other "civilized" state and enact a comprehensive ban. Florida's had one for 20 years.

  3. Awesome! I was totally looking this place up and pondering going here to try some sushi for my birthday tomorrow...and then here you are, doing a review on it. Thanks for the info...can't wait to try it out for the first time :)

  4. Wibia and Joe, yes, I am not a fan of the smoke either, but it does bill itself as a cigar bar, so there you go. I get it, but would love to see a non-smoking area in the new place because the food I have had has been impressive.

    Erin, did you go? Would love to hear what you thought.

  5. They are moving to Market St! I'm not sure of the exact address but I just learned that not long ago. I've yet to try it, so I'm looking forward to it. They are having a 'shut the front door!' party at their old location this weekend I believe. Cute, huh!?