The other week a friend from work returned from a four week trip overseas. To welcome her back and hear all about her trip, we organised a lunch. The restaurant, chosen by said friend who happens to be a vegetarian, was so good I went back with Boyfriend the very next day. It was so good that when I returned to work after the first visit I was so elated (“OHMYGODYOUGUYSSSILOVEFOOD”) I almost wondered what they’d put in my food.
The restaurant was Bodhi’s, a vegan Chinese restaurant tucked behind the pool and St Mary’s Cathedral near Hyde Park in the Sydney CBD.
I’m not a vegan. I’m not even a vegetarian. Neither is Boyfriend.
But we both agree that this is the best yum cha we’ve had in Sydney.
The food was light and flavoury, exceptionally delicious, and we left without the omg-greasy-heavy-I’m-so-full feeling we always leave with after yum cha.
I HIGHLY recommend this restaurant for vegans and non-vegans alike.
It’s both indoor and outdoor, but I sat outdoors both trips. Outdoors is a nice, serene environment with plenty of trees and plants and hanging lanterns.
So, uh, the important stuff. What did we eat?
I think the more appropriate question is what didn’t we eat?
Bodhi’s actually has a really large selection of dishes and some of the things I’d eaten the day before I didn’t see this time round, and vice versa. But we managed to get through quite an impressive amount and everything was just incredible.
Pan fried dumplings – we can’t for the life of either of us remember what was in these, but rest assured it was delicious.
Carrot and ginger dumplings. Amazing.
Hot dog. That’s not a real frankfurter. It does not contain meat. But it sure as hell tasted like a real frankfurter. Culinary magic.
(Not to mention – how cute does it look?! The pastry was so light and flaky and delicious too.)
Rice noodles with “pork”. Again, this wasn’t real pork. It was a sneaky concoction made using tofu and soy. Again, amazing. I should just copy the word “amazing” right now ready to go because literally everything we had was – wait for it – amazing.
“Pork buns“. Again, not real pork. Again, IT TASTED LIKE PORK. These were so yummy and probably some of the best pork buns I’ve had, real or otherwise.
Potato and prawn croquettes. These were one of my highlights which I had on both visits. The pastry was light and flaky and the filling soft and delicious. The prawns looked like real prawns and I am unsure whether they really were real prawns, but their website menu refers to the prawns as “vegetarian”. So I assume again, that they have a wizard in their kitchen creating prawns that look, taste and feel like prawns but are actually not.
Beetroot and ginger dumplings. So. Good.
Spicy noodles. Just the right amount of spice too. These were so good and also ingenius – the noodles were tied into little bows so all you had to do was pick them up with your chopsticks and pop them in your mouth. Slurp-free noodles!
Tofu and mash potato in sweet chilli sauce (I think). This is the very first dish I tried at Bodhi’s and I absolutely LOVED it. I insisted we have it again when I returned with Boyfriend and sadly it wasn’t his thing. But, I sure loved it and I would definitely say TRY IT.
Peanut and celery dumplings. This was the dish that sold Boyfriend when I told him about Bodhi’s and they were his must-try dish. When they didn’t come around on the trays we ordered them from the waiter. These dumplings didn’t disappoint and Boyfriend went as far as saying they were up there with the best dumplings he’s ever had. I wholeheartedly agree – they were so delicious. And peanut and celery? In a dumpling? Who thinks of these wonderful things??
So there you have it. Vegan yum cha at Bodhi’s. An incredible experience I urge you all to try, no matter how much you love real meat.
Would I go again? You bet I would.