Eat & Drink

Why Bodhi Lives Up To Its Hype As The Best Vegan Restaurant In Sydney

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I’ve been a vegetarian since I was six years old and could really put together that the lump of meat on my plate used to be one of the adorable cows I’d seen on family road trips and decided that wasn’t for me. I can tell you that until about five years ago, trying to find a nice restaurant as a vego was a real pain in the arse. Not any more.

Since the invention of hipsters (bless you all), plant-based meals and restaurants are delicious, varied and plentiful. I’ve tried just about all of them (in Sydney at least), but I think I just found the best one: Bodhi.

This vegan Yum Cha and Pan-Asian cuisine restaurant was established in 1988 and has been family-owned and operated for three generations since. Clearly, this has given them plenty of time to perfect the menu.

It was my birthday (aka the one day a year where I can force my meat-eating family, and in particular my tofu-hating Dad, to an all vego restaurant) so I picked Bodhi for dinner — both because I’d heard it was delicious and it was meant to be a pretty location beneath St Mary’s Cathedral next to Hyde Park.

On arrival, I realised the rumours were true, and the fairy lights, ancient Moreton Bay fig trees and surrounding sandstone made Bodhi very visually pleasing. The service is also prompt and friendly, so I was getting particularly excited for the food.


It’s not just hearsay that promises good food at Bodhi — they’ve won more than a few awards. The menu is really made for sharing, from Asian tapas to mains created to share. For that reason, the bigger your group, the more you get to try. And try I did.

Honestly, I don’t have a bad thing to say about anything, except maybe the ‘prawns’ but mainly because their texture felt too life-like to me and it put me off.

In particular, I could eat their ‘duck’ pancakes for the rest of my life. The same goes for their ‘chicken’ sliders. Bodhi perfects a rare thing in the plant-based food world — they manage to give their tofu completely different tastes and textures. They mimic meat so well that even my very carnivorous Dad manages to skip his favourite line every time he eats something vegetarian: “oh it’s actually not bad, but it’d be better with some meat”.

Oh, and did I mention the cocktails are also to die for? I personally went with the ‘Emotionally Unavailable’, which was far more available and delicious than any boyfriend I’ve had so far.

My only regret is that they don’t do takeaway. Then again, maybe that’s a good thing for the state of my bank account.

If you’ve never been before, now is a perfect time, given that it’s ‘No Meat May‘. A month that this non-for-profit of the same name challenges people around the world to eliminate meat from their diets for 31 days for health, environmental and social reasons.


(Lead image: Instagram / @bodhirestaurantbar)