Recently, Helen (the talented Excuse Me Waiter designer) and I graduated from University (woo!) and we were trying to think of a unique restaurant to go celebrate at. Helen suggested a vegetarian restaurant near her workplace so we thought we’d check it out!
Bodhi is a very well hidden restaurant. It managed to cause all members of our party grief as we tried searching for it. It is located in between Saint Mary’s Cathedral and the aquatic centre near Hyde Park, but is not visible from street level. To access it, you have to go in between the Cathedral and the aquatic centre, walk away from the park and you will see two flights of stairs leading down. Take the right one, and Bodhi’s outdoor seating will be in sight, with the entrance and indoors seating visible if you keep walking. Your phone map can only help you so much here since it’s not on the street level.
The restaurant is quite big (thanks to the outdoor seating) and the interior is long and narrow. For a Friday night, it’s not busy at all even when we leave at 8pm. We take a read through the dishes and eye some “meaty” dishes, no doubt made with a vegetarian twist and can’t wait to see their interpretation.
Salt, pepper, chilli, coriander, tempura vegetarian ‘prawns’ (5 pcs) – $12.5
First up is our entree consisting of tempura prawns. These prawns tastes like calamari but not as chewy. The batter is also reminiscent of fish ‘n’ chips instead of tempura batter. It isn’t served with a sauce and I think it would go better with some sweet chilli sauce, but otherwise a good take on prawns.
Dry roasted peanut spices topped on deep fried eggplant with a celery, coriander, tofu mince and asian mushroom stuffing – $17.5
The eggplant is served fried in a batter similar to the previous prawn dish. It is big and crispy and goes well with the lemon wedge. The mushroom stuffing is also soft and juicy – another good dish!
Bodhi vegetarian peking ‘duck’, bbq sauce, cucumber and pancakes (4 pcs) – $21
Helen had been raving about the peking duck here so I was quite excited to try it. The pancake that is provided is thicker than what I am accustomed to and the peking duck surprisingly does taste like a bird! However, the meat is served crispy and fried similar to our earlier dishes. It’s a nice rendition but it lacks the juiciness of the real thing and I much prefer actual duck instead of this.
Malaysian curry ‘chicken’ with lychee, asparagus, pineapple, snow peas, cabbage, tofu, tomato, bamboo shoots and cashew nuts – $19 (add $3 for ‘chicken’ or ‘seafood’)
Our last dish is the curry. The sauce isn’t as rich as the real deal and the flavour is ok, but there are some problems with the fillings. Firstly, the lychee tastes really strange here. I’ve had cooked lychee before which has added sweetness to dishes but here it has absorbed some weird flavour and doesn’t work at all. In addition to this, the chicken tastes…interesting. We get conflicting opinions from our party, such as the chicken tasting like nuts, turkey or tofu, three completely different things. Either way, actual chicken tastes a lot better.
Overall I don’t think I’ll be returning here anytime soon. The dishes which were done well were the fried dishes, but otherwise I find that I really just prefer eating actual meat. I’m all for vegetables, but vegetarian takes on meat are not my thing.
Bodhi Restaurant & Bar
4 College St Cook & Phillip Park Leisure Complex
Sydney, NSW 2000
Ph: (02) 9360 2523