Friday, June 08, 2012

RESTAURANT: Bodhi in the Park

I've been curious about checking Bodhi out for quite a while, since it always seems to pop up on all of those derivative "best of lists" as a sort of whacky yum cha/vegetarian/alternative setting sort of place. I hadn't really known it was full on vegan, organic, etc, etc, but that's not the sort of thing that will phase me; I'm not the sort of person that needs to eat meat with every meal.

No one mentioned that there were French waitresses. This seems like an oversight. Your heart will immediately melt like butter. Which is ironic, given that vegans don't eat butter.

We kick things off with a bunch of entrees, many of which are from their lunchtime yum cha menu (albeit at a higher price at dinner). Salt and pepper faux prawns appear to be something of a signature dish here. It's a tasty, fried dish, though the prawn flavour definitely isn't a fresh prawn flavour, which strikes me as odd given they could manufacture any flavour.

Steamed sticky rice flower buns and the assorted steamed buns are winners, with nice texture to the bun and good flavour to the filling.

Tempura mushrooms in BBQ sauce are pretty much that and, while nice and fried, aren't anything that will set the world on fire. Better is the smoked tofu and pineapple on betel leaf, which comes packing some great flavour, albeit not as much as many other meat-laden Thai betel leaf starters I've hard.

Steamed sticky rice parcels are nicely filling among a bevy of protein based dishes, packing a good texture and a very tasty filling.

On to mains and we kick of with another apparently signature dish of peking faux duck. It's a pale imitation of a peking duck proper, with the faux duck really only resembling duck that has been overcooked and deep fried to the point of not being duck. Pancakes look a little sad and sauces aren't anything special.

All is forgotten when the stuffed mushrooms arrive and they're bloody amazing, filled with something creamy and salty and covered in some black bean dressing. They also come with stuffed capsicums that are similarly successful.

Though all is forgotten with the faux duck salad with watermelon. I did not care for this. At all. Faux duck, with a few sad cubes of watermelon and some lettuce leaves. Presentation wasn't great, with the salad sitting in a small bowl on a long plate, with a few cubes of watermelon and drizzles of dressing at the other end. For around $20 for a handful of food, it didn't scream good value either.

Stuffed and fried eggplant came well recommended from the staff, but fell a little flat. The stuffing was nice, but the rest of the dish tasted a bit like oil and lacked flavour, as eggplant often does.

I could see myself returning here for the yum cha lunch, especially when the weather is nice and the outdoor seating is viable, but I could never see myself--a person that eats anything--returning for dinner.

The food wasn't really filling and the prices seemed high for what we got. Service was attentive but probably over enthusiastic, with the wait staff being almost cloyingly sweet, overpractised and helpful at times. And the place had a bit of a weekend cafe vibe about it, with loud voices echoing along the narrow room and vegan kids roaming unchecked.

RATING: Okay, may go back [?]

Bodhi in the Park on Urbanspoon

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