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Reviews (9)

First Review by Broomer

Like in Vietnam - Edit

After travelling in Vietnam recently and eating in LOTS of Buddhist vegetarian restaurants, I'd now say with some confidence that the food at Bo De Trai is pretty true to that culinary tradition. Like a lot of Vietnamese veggie food, the dishes come sparsely seasoned and you add extra spice at the table.

I enjoyed at Saturday lunch with family here a couple if weeks ago. Like other reviewers here, I appreciated the new paint job. The bright green, pink, and red brings out the plants (some real, some fake) in the window and the colourful, glossy Buddha figurines inside. Between the 4 of us, we shared a serve of rice paper rolls with veggies to start. The veggies in their rice paper rolls are stir fried and I missed the fresh, fragrant greens but the peanut dipping sauce is creamy and delicious. We also ordered the stir fried mixed veggies which included a few tofu chunks, and bean curd with lemongrass which rivalled any we ate in Vietnam. The ginger chicken dish was probably my favourite - succulent and yet crispy, served with a little fried rice that might have been flavoured with coconut and a refreshing soup (or are you supposed to pour this over your rice?). Serving sizes are small but they're served with plenty of fluffy white rice so we left satisfied.

Last weekend I happened to be back in Footscray for an event do I popped in again for lunch and went for the ever popular wonton soup. I think this is hands down the best dish on the menu for only $9. The broth is light and peppery, full of coriander leaves and stems for extra flavour, a few dried mushrooms add a deep earthy flavour, a few chunks of tofu for protein and the starring wontons - deep fried crisp and filled with mostly grated root veggies, they soak up the tasty broth. Served with a fresh lemon wedge and sliced chilli, I dumped in the whole lot and was sweating by the end.
Updated from previous review on Thursday April 16, 2015


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Cheap and cheerful - Edit

The recently refreshed interior of Bo De Trai does make for a very welcome change from the drabness and peeling paint of days gone by. The place is now bright and welcoming!

The menu seems to be shorter than it used to be, but it does come with sufficient choices of mock meat dishes, tofu, and veggies. The prices are mostly on the low side, so diners should not expect outlandish portions or rare ingredients.

We came here for a quick lunch. Our orders were delivered promptly, though one dish came about 5 minutes ahead of the other two. Our waitress did not speak sufficient English to explain to us what some menu items contained; suffice to say that if this sort of thing bothers you, then give Bo De Trai a miss.

The food was plain yet tasty. Lunch portions are generally not massive, but we left happy - and with little damage to the hip pocket.

Pros: Upbeat interior, Reasonable portions, Great value for money

Cons: Staff may not speak English, Simple fare


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Good, reliable vegan Vietnamese food - Edit

I've been going to this place for years (as it's in my neighbourhood) and never written a review of it. I went in this weekend and was surprised to find they had transformed the colour scheme (mint green with pink trim), so I figure it might be a good time to write one now. This place is no-frills operated by volunteer Buddhists and reasonably priced. My staple here (apparently shared with a lot of others) is the (savoury and aromatic) wonton soup with noodles. Contrary to a previous reviewer, I prefer the yellow noodles myself. (Don't worry, vegans, I checked and they're not egg noodles.) This place is largely vegan except for a few milky coffees and desserts from what I can see. There is a fairly extensive menu but some dishes are better than others and mock meats feature strongly. Anything with tofu, mushroom or satay generally hits the spot for me. Beware of gluten and nuts if these are an issue. Servings of steamed rice are sizeable. Most dishes seem to be pre-made and simply put together before serving (sometimes involving a microwave FYI if this matters to you). Some staff don't speak English or speak it as a second language, so if, like me, you don't speak Vietnamese, you may need to point to the menu or use other modes of communication. As soon a you walk in and sit down you will be greeted with a menu and a complimentary flask of barley tea. My next step is usually to order a serve of spring rolls. This is a place to come for a good, cheap meal and will continue to be a regular haunt for me.

Pros: Largely vegan, Extensive menu, Reasonably priced

Cons: Dietary requirements not noted


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Transports You to a Monastry Restaurant in Vietnam - Edit

This place is not flash. However, it's an authentic Vietnamese culinary experience complete with temple musice in the background. I am not super fond of mock meat so I love ordering the wanton soup. This consists of a generous portion of fried wontons, bean sprouts, flat rice noddles (make sure you get the white flat noodle option) soaking in a fragrant spicy broth. So nurturing...


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Great noodles - Edit

I'd try and go during the beginning or middle of the lunar month. Mainly cuz of the specials. Still, during the week they do good noodles and the ginger chicken rice is a bit of a quilty pleasure for me.
Price isn't bad. Come here for the food.
Try their lamb hot pot.
Affliated with the local Buddhist temple.

Pros: Food, Price, Location


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A bowl of pho for Chinese New Year - Edit

Went to Bo De Trai in Footscray yesterday for Chinese New Year. There was a chef's special for pho, which is not on the menu and I have never seen offered before. It was delicious, the contents such as some fungus, yam and other faux meats all having their own texture and taste. The pho came with bean sprouts and mint, but I thought they could have supplied more sprouts from my experience of the usual serving size. Someone else said it was a bit salty but enjoyed the dish and ate it all except for finishing off the broth.

Also had a side dish of dumplings which were also delicious and I was happy to have for the first time (I don't think they are on the menu but someone else asked for them), but I thought maybe the spring rolls are better value as they come with lettuce leaves and mint along with dipping sauce.

Delicious food enjoyed in a happy environment on a special day of the lunar calendar.


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Good for food - Edit

If you've got a craving for Vegetarian Bo, this is the place. In fact, it might be the only place. Regardless, it's a bit of an instituation.

I go every weekend. Food and pricing is good.

I recommend trying their Bo Hue. Lamb pot isn't bad either.

The restaruant is supported by/supports the local Buddhist temple.

Pros: Food, Price, Location

Cons: Ambience


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