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Bodhi in the Park

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 55 reviews )
Contact 02-93602523

2 College St, Cook & Phillip Park CRN, Sydney, New South Wales, 2000

Serves vegan yum cha, which is best when the kitchen is busy and things are coming out regularly. Also offers fresh juices. Try the passion fruit donuts. Note that a few beverages might not be vegan, including cocktails, wine fined with egg products, etc, so ask. Tranquil setting with amongst Hyde Park by St Mary's Cathedral. Open Mon-Sun 11:00am-4:00pm, Tue-Sun 5:00pm-10:00pm.

Category: Vegan-friendly, Chinese, Juice bar, Beer/Wine, Asian

Reviews (55)

First Review by Petesternz

Delicious Yum Cha - Edit

I've had yum cha for lunch here an many occasions and it's always been delicious. When I've ordered mains for dinner they've been great too. It's in a beautiful location inside a park and has indoor and outdoor seating.

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omnis loved it - Edit

I took two skeptical male colleagues here for dinner and they were gob smacked by how good the food was. The following week they were telling people in the office how great it was. WIN.

Pros: variety, tasty

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my new favourite place ♡ - Edit

We went here on the recommendation of a few people (vegan and non vegan) and they weren't wrong! We were very impressed with everything on offer...great range of yum cha and tapas type dishes to share...delicious flavours and textures and beautifully presented. The desserts were something else again...I went to heaven!! Fantastic place... friendly, vibrant and delicious...this won't be the last visit!!

Pros: Vegan food made in heaven

Cons: A little noisy but the staff were so sweet to apol

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The best vegan yum cha in Sydney! - Edit

Bodhi is one of my top favourite vegan restaurants in Sydney.

Great for Sunday yum cha or dinner and cocktails.

- Gluten-free, vegan dumplings
- Sesame prawn rolls
- Passionfruit Chinese donuts
- Caprioska cocktail

Pros: Gluten-free options, 100% vegan yum-cha, Great cocktails

Cons: Pricey, Busy, Service can be slow

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Stunning food but poor cocktails - Edit

Bodhi offers a beautiful setting, chilled atmosphere and divine food, though the service was lacking and the cocktails were pretty poor.

Pros: Vegan prawns , Affordable

Cons: expensive and weak cocktails

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Delicious - Edit

Attentive and happy wait staff. Fast service and excellent food. Size of meals was ok. We ordered 3 entrees and a main we still had room for more food but we do normally eat big meals. The prices are kind of expensive but the quality of food and atmosphere makes up for it. Recommend booking a table if you want to sit outside as it's very busy.

Pros: Great quality food , Nice atomsphere , Fantastic service fast and friendly

Cons: Fairly expensive , Medium serves , Busy

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amazing vegan food!!!!!! - Edit

We ordered 5 appetisers for the two of us and honestly every single dish was very tasty!!! I absolutely loved the food there. The only downside is that we were sitting outside and I was getting bitten alive by the mozzies so we didnt have any desserts!!!!! I will be more prepared next time!!

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Great Yum Cha - Edit

Heard so many great things about Bodhi and was excited about having a yum cha lunch. Wasn't a fan of the faux prawn, but found the rest of the selections delicious and very flavourful. We loved the fresh spring rolls, spring rolls, peking "duck", BBQ "pork" buns, "chicken" buns, footballs, and ginger dumplings. The pumpkin dumplings were ok. The sausage rolls were our favourite and tasted so much like the meat ones, that we had to double check that it was definitely vegan! :) Shame they weren't doing the mango pancakes that day, as we were looking forward to them. Only problem was that half way through our sitting, the waiters kept skipping our table assuming we were done. It was a bit annoying to keep asking for them to serve us, especially when it wasn't that busy. When I brought it to their attention, they just said "ok", and then kept doing it. I expected the service to be a bit more attentive for the price.

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Overrated - Edit

Bodhi is something of an institution in Sydney, and they have a very exciting menu, so it's disappointing to have to say that I've never really enjoyed my meals here. It's expensive, the portions are small, and the food itself tends to be quite bland. There is better vegan Chinese food in Sydney.

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Mediocre at best - Edit

The beet and tofu salad was not available. The slaw that I orderd instead was drenched in so much soy sauce that is was edible only when mixed with the noodles my partner ordered. The vegan ice cream I had for dessert was the highlight of the meal. I would not go again next time in Sydney.

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Yum Cha - Edit

The is easily one of my favourite restaurants in CBD! I have always loved yum cha so it is so great that I can still have this delicious treat!
I have only ever been for lunch but my favourite dishes have been the fresh rice noodle rolls and passionfruit Chinese donuts!
Unforutnately it is a little bit expensive, as yum cha usually is, so I usually just go for a light lunch or afternoon tea.

Pros: All Vegan Yum Cha!, Attentive wait staff

Cons: Expensive

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AMAZING!!! - Edit

This is by far my new favorite restaurant!

The staff were very helpful and knew all the allergens on the menu, which is refreshing!

The food was incredibly fresh and the service was exceptionally quick.

We stuffed ourselves silly and we didn't even get to the mains part of the menu! We will have to come back soon and try some more dishes!

An excellent restaurant and I highly recommend to everyone :)

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Stunning and original - Edit

We were blown away by this restaurant. Four of us, including one vegan and three vegetarians, went for a birthday lunch on the spur of the moment. There was an excellent range of dishes arriving continuously to choose from. I particularly loved the curry puffs and ginger dumplings. The desserts were amazing. Highly recommended. I did not check if the wine was vegan.

Pros: All vegan, Great range of dishes, Continual yum char service

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First Vegan Restaurant - Mindblown - Edit

First time at a vegan restaurant! Been to cafes but never proper lunch/dinner food and went for their lunch yum Cha. Absolutely amazing, everything was beautiful and tasted superb. Little bit freaked out by the fake meat but it just felt wrong because it tasted so real and it's been years since I've had it! Beautiful atmosphere and location, perfect to go with two people because dishes come out with three serves (dumplings etc.).

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Hidden gem! - Edit

Loved my experience at Bodhi. Went with a friend (my only meal in Oz that wasn't solo) so I was delighted to be able to order things off the sharing menu! Can't remember what we had but it was all delicious and kept coming out as it was ready. Really nice atmosphere outside in the evening with the fairy lights. It's a little hidden away as it's on the lower level of the park and not visible from the road.

A must visit if you're in Sydney!

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Just great, exceeded expectation... - Edit

I was pleasantly surprised at how good the food was at this place and at how full I was afterwards. Of course the atmosphere was fantastic (in spite of the mosquitos on a warm Sydney late-summer evening). It did take us a while to be attended to when we wanted to order but the food was worth the wait. The dishes we ordered could at first glance have been pretty much what we’d had before at other places – although the ‘mushroom, asparagus, red capsicum, soft tofu and cashew nuts tossed in a creamy coconut lemongrass sauce in an Asian pastry nest’ stood out as exciting – but everything we ordered was impressive and better than we expected. The ‘Australian mushroom gow dumplings’ were delicious, more than your everyday dumpling. The ‘glass noodle spring rolls’ were as good as any spring roll I’d had before and the ‘smoked soy, orange, coconut, chili and coriander betel leaves’ were fresh and tasty. The cost of the meal was under $60 - what you’d expect from a restaurant like this, if not cheap. We didn’t have room for dessert this time but will definitely be coming back again on future visits to Sydney.

Pros: Vegan food of a high standard, Fantastic atmosphere

Cons: A bit of a wait for service

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AMAZING!! - Edit

The food was absolutely delicious and had the most amazing flavours! We went for dinner and the setting looking out at the park was reay pretty and very relaxing!

Pros: Amazing Food, Inexpensive, Inviting Staff

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Melbourne: Take Note - Edit

Listen up all Melbournians, yes we may be the vegan capital of Australia, but let me just say, we do not have a Bodhi in the Park, and for this fact, our status is diminished.
This little place is absolutely awesome. What fantastic food, fantastic ambience and fantastic customer service.
It's not easy to find…we were looking for it, but then stumbled upon it just as we thought we were well and truly lost. But it was worth it. We got a tonne of tapas for dinner, and yeah it was pricey, but it was worth it. We took a meat-eating relative and she kept say 'you should check if this is really vegan' because she couldn't believe it. We got ten tapas all up and I was desperate to have dessert but I couldn't fit it in.
Worth coming to Sydney just to go here. A truly award-winning restaurant.

Pros: Lots of vegan options, Taste, Atmosphere

Cons: Pricey, Some items are a bit oily (deep fried)

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Still a winner - Edit

I have been going to Bodhi for over 20 years and I still love it! From the number of different moves, the menu changes and price changes, it is still fabulous. When vegan asian food was a novelty in Australia, Bodhi got me through and I still visit it when back in Sydney.
The location is just beautiful, the meals are still great.
I love yum cha. The only thing that isn't so fabulous is the increase in price, but I guess to pay for the location and it is in Sydney the price is fair.

Updated from previous review on Saturday August 17, 2013

Pros: Yum cha variety, location, great place for non-vegos

Cons: Bit pricey

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delicious! - Edit

This is one of my favourite restaurants in Sydney. I highly recommend it. Great service and delicious food! It is quite hard to find though and you would only be able to find in on foot.

Pros: Excellent food, Good toilets, Nice staff

Cons: Can be expensive, Hard to find

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Agreed: Alright but overpriced - Edit

I still go to Bodhi once in a while for two reasons: first is because its fun to be able to do the Yum Cha thing once in a while; second because of its pleastant location.
As others have noted, the food is pretty overpriced, and the flavours tend to be more on the sweet and bland side. They dont have real chilli, they dont have real vinegar- only the sweetstuff.

Pros: Vegan yum cha experience, BEautiful setting

Cons: Overpriced, Too Sweet, No Spice

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Not that good - Edit

This place is quite upmarket in its vibe, which is nice in a way, but I've been there three or four times, and each time the food has been pretty so-so, and very expensive for Australian restaurant food (one of the times it cost me $55 for yum cha, and I mean it cost that for me, not for me to pay for a group to dine with me). I found that there were a few really good dishes (from memory they were wontons, some kind of spinach dumpling, and an especially delicious dish made from rolled up bean curd skin with vegetable pieces inside it). I would maybe go back to have those dishes again at some point, but otherwise, the average service and food at the large cost you get them for mean that this restaurant isn't one that I'd recommend. Try Green Gourmet if you're looking for good vegan Asian. They don't do yum cha as often as Bodhi, but they do do it, and it's great. They're also a helluva lot easier to find than Bodhi.

Pros: Vegan, Some good dishes, Nice vibe

Cons: Expensive in a mostly unwarranted way, Hard to find

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Too posh and westernised to be worth it - Edit

Bodhi serves reasonably tasty, fresh food. But it's just lacking in interesting or authentic Asian flavours, throws in too much oil and sugar, and charges far too much for the park-side views and posh lampshades. Yum cha's a more pleasing experience than the main menu, but Green Gourmet in Newtown is tastier and cheaper (yet unfortunately only open from midday).

Pros: fresh food, nice (if fancy) atmosphere

Cons: expensive, uninteresting food

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lovely but pricy - Edit

I've been here a few times and it's been great each time! It's nice for special occasions since it is expensive and portions are small. I also went here for a friends birthday party where she rented out the whole place and there were people walking around with little tastings of a bunch of things. As for their regular menu, the mock duck wraps will delight anyone vegan or not :)

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First yum cha! - Edit

Since becoming vegetarian at a very young age, I've always avoided yum cha since it's (usually) decidedly meaty - so I was really excited to come to a place where I didn't have to worry about what was in anything! All their outdoor seating suited us well on a sunny lunchtime. We tried 4 savoury dishes and 2 sweet between 2 people, which was a perfect amount and came to about $20 each. If you're eating on a budget, make sure you stick to a limited number of dishes - it can very easily add up, especially if you get lots of "special" dishes.

Pros: Leafy setting, No worries for vegans

Cons: Can get $$$

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Twice Awesome - Edit

First time I came here I was happy with their all vegan dinner menu with dishes mostly under $20 and a beautiful romantic park setting. The second time I came here around midday for their Yum Cha & it was also awesome! The desserts were especially wonderful. The staff were friendly & attentive & the place is licensed. It's an excellent place for a slightly more special occasion but still very affordable.

Pros: Vegan variety, Beautiful park setting, Affordable

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great food poor service - Edit

we were at bodhi in the park for dinner tonight.We chose this restaurant because is 100% vegan and wanted to try something new.I ordered a jasmin martini to drink and I was really happy with my choice because it had a fantastic flavour.As entree we took prawn tempura and dumplings I have to say the fake prawns tasted like real!!Well done also the dumpling,tasteful and light.As main course we had sweet and sour chicken-and it was so good we had another one!!!- and BBQ duck really good,too.Three flavours ice cream tasty and unique.The food was really excellent but we were not pleased by the service.This was the first day after reopening and the only expert waiter was training other 2 waitresses and that made for a very poor service.Table too small and chairs unconfortable.Very nice music,though.

Pros: excellent food, good music, nice location

Cons: poor service, bit expensive, unconfortable seating

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Hard to find, easy to love - Edit

I don't normally like Chinese food, but I gave this place a shot because it's 100% vegetarian. I don't regret it a bit and have already been back twice! The food here is a fusion of different Asian cuisines. A little pricey but certainly worth the effort! Ambiance is elegant and sophisticated. Staff are friendly.

A hint to finding the restaurant is that is located at least 50-100m back from the main road, set down low sort of beneath and to the side of the cathedral that's nearby, and also adjacent to the aquatic centre and a park-like area. You won't see this place from the main road, you'll need to find it on foot.

Pros: 100% vegetarian, Great vegan options, Tasty food

Cons: Expensive for what it is, Difficult to find on your first visit, Asian cuisine only

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Bodhi in the park - Edit

I love it here! The food is always great, in a nice location, the staff are helpful, and while it is expensive, you get what you pay for. A great place to take friends.

Pros: Great food, Great Staff, Great Location

Cons: Hidden, Expensive

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One of my favourites - Edit

I love this place: the location is wonderful - especially in summer. The yum cha is good but I really the evening menu. I'm always happy to bring my non-veg friends here. A bit expensive, but I guess you're paying for the location.

Pros: Location!

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Not impressed, you're paying for location not food - Edit

Had dim sum there and the food was terrible. The skin of the dim sum dishes is very thick (more indicative of a quickly and cheaply made) and the dishes don't have much flavor. Overall, this place doesn't deserve either the 4 cows it currently has or its reputation. It's more because of the location and one of the few places that non-vegetarians know about.

Pros: Location

Cons: Food Quality, Food Taste

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Excellent food, great service - Edit

I went to Bodhi for a business dinner and all of us really enjoyed the atmosphere and the food was fantastic.

The staff we very attentive, helpful and were very enthusiastic about the food (and rightly so!).

The restaurant is a little hard to find and is tucked under plaza next to St. Mary's cathedral. The outdoor seating in the park is great but we did get a mozzie bite or two.

Anyway, highly recommended and price-wise you get what you pay for - great food with attention to detail comes at a modest premium.

The staff mentioned the restaurant is soon to operate as a bit more of a bar, but will still keep the great food on offer. It's a great location which will suit a bar/restaurant well.

Pros: Amazing food, Great staff, Nice atmosphere

Cons: Mozzies, A little hard to find the first time

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Overpriced but friendly & great atmosphere - Edit

I'd never had yum cha before, so it was a great experience, especially since it's located smack downtown in a pretty park and is all-vegan.

The staff were very friendly and helpful (though they didn't explain the yum cha thing right away, and I was clearly initially confused).

The dishes were hit and miss. I highly recommend the deepfried prawn and potato cakes. They put the yum in yum cha.

Also, as has been pointed out, even medium looking appetizer-sized items were counted as large, and at $7.50 I walked away having paid nearly $30 for my meal.

The pigeons know this place well, and they jump at the chance to feast on leftovers when diners leave.

I had blast and would love to have brought my ladyfriend here if I could go back (but was traveling).

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Yummy Yum Cha - Edit

Fabulous food, great service, good value for money and the only inner city restaurant where you can't spy a road or a building! What more can you ask for? Have been coming here for years and will continue to do so!

Pros: Food, Service, Setting

Cons: Chairs!

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  Contributions +46

Simply an oasis - Edit

An oasis for vegan and vegetarian who normally being left out on yumcha. Simply delicious and environment supports the serenity, right in the heart of sydney! Busy lunch time and get more choice of food.

Pros: Very good and easy to find

Cons: Food is fast, drinks may be a while.

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My favourite - Edit

I have been to many different yum cha restaurants in Sydney & the bodhi is definitely my favourite. The food is tasty the staff are friendly & always there to answer any questions. All this and great value too.

Pros: atmosphere, food

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Excellent Vegetarian! - Edit

I am a tourist from Sweden & I was researching about vegetarian restaurants on Google in Sydney & I came across the bodhi restaurant. We arrived at the bodhi at lunch time today & was greeted by a very friendly waitress. She sat us down on an outdoor table & very promptly the waiters came out with dim sum food. I was a little confused about how this restaurant worked so I asked a waiter & they helped me with all the questions I had. I have enjoyed my stay in Sydney & I was very happy with the service I received & the quality of the food.

Pros: Delicious Food, Friendly staff, Location

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Underwelming - Edit

Haven't been there for a year. I know the owner. Nice lady but the menu needs updating. Too expensive for what you get and not creative enough

Pros: Location to the city, Nice atmosphere, Plenty of room

Cons: Food is not very tasty, Food not creative, Expensive

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Great location, good food but could try harder - Edit

I've been going to Bodhi for about 10 years. It's a fantastic location in a peaceful park in the middle of sydney CBD. It makes for an excellent lunch break from the hustle and bustle of the city. The yum cha here is more interesting than most vege yum cha places. Less spring rolls and more innovative dishes. I particularly like the desserts including the donuts which are a rare treat for vegans.

Now for the bad. I find the staff have always been a bit useless here. I'm probably being a bit harsh but I find that often dishes are not hot enough, drinks take a very long time to come and if you turn down a few dishes the wait staff stop coming to you quite quickly. I still enjoy the meal but I think it could be better. One thing I think they need to improve is the speed at which things get to the table as you can't have fried food being anyting other than hot and fresh or it's becomes soggy and unappetizing. This only happens occasionally but it's not normally a problem in yum cha places so I'm sure they can improve it. It's expensive for yum cha so I don't feel too bad being fussy.

All in all definitely worth a visit for the interesting dishes and fantastic location.

Pros: Tasty vege yum cha, Great venue, Interesting dishes

Cons: Food a bit cold sometimes, Waitstaff not overly helpful, Quite expensive

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Definitely worth a visit - Edit

I've been there to eat twice and was satisfied both times. As it's Yum Cha style food, it's probably best to go there with a few others so that you can take several different types of dishes together and share. Otherwise for one person it gets pricey.

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Outstanding Steamed Veggies & Ambiance - Edit

We went here two nights in a row because its in such a good location (just opposite the park built into back side of a really cool swimming/recreational complex, thus explaining all the healthy options!!! Don't let the rec complex fool you, its an ultra futuristic place with tons of water features and a tranquil setting in a park. Bodhi's furnishings are very modern and sleek. You can sit outside or inside, but at night I recommend inside because the park is teaming with native wildlife! The juices are great, but since its such a nice location we also had beer and wine because they so appropriately fit with the candle lit atmosphere. The service is bar none, they'll basically do/alter/prepare you what ever you can come up with if they have it on hand. The steamed buns are amazing, don't miss those! Both nights we ate an off menu item of steamed asian greens with brown rice (splitting one order since it was so massive). Absolute rarity to get healthy food in such a nice setting with such friendly service!

Pros: healthy, classy, friendly

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Yum Cha - Edit

We checked out Bodhi on the day we arrived in Sydney. It was a Sunday afternoon and the outdoor seating was lovely with nice Spring weather. We were starving, so we accepted just about everything that come out, but in hindsight, we should have waited to see what else was to come as we stuffed ourselves and then saw items we wanted afterwards. I started with a watermelon juice which was quite refreshing. We shared noodles, steamed buns, spinach dumplings, pumpkin dumplings, potato balls, sweet potato cakes, sticky rice cakes and lemon tarts. While everything was good, nothing seemed amazing. I wanted to go back another time to try other stuff, but we weren't able to before we left.

Pros: lots of variety, nice outdoor area

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  Contributions +34

Excellent "pork" buns - Edit

I've been to Bodhi in the Park a few times and I always enjoy it. I prefer Green Gourmet overall but this is a nice alternative. It is a little more expensive but the general vibe of the place is much nicer as well. Especially on a nice day when you can sit outside.

My favourite thing on the menu are the "pork" buns which are so good that even now - living in a different country - I still dream about them!

Definitely worth a visit!

Pros: Steamed buns! , Great View of the park

Cons: a little pricey

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Great for a special occasion - Edit

Bodhi's isn't an everyday lunch for most of us -- it is a but pricey for that. But it's situation is fantastic, and the food is really very nice. It's a good place to meet a friend or your partner for a long relaxing lunch. Look out for the steamed veges, though, as there's a preponderance of deep fried goodies that can leave you feeling a bit greasy (as with most yum cha).

Pros: lovely setting, good service

Cons: a bit $$$

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Had our wedding reception here - Edit

Bodhi is a great place to come for brunch on the weekend. The atmosphere outside is just lovely and the food is always delicious.

They also serve coffee now, which is great if you are craving caffeine.

We had our wedding reception here and it was just perfect. They were so helpful and it was incredibly cheap.

Pros: All vegan, Delicious food, Great for groups

Cons: Can be a little pricey - around $20 pp., Staff tend to forget your drink orders

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Well presented, worth a visit - Edit

I didn't get there for Yum Cha which sounds great. Instead we went for dinner. Is lovely sitting in the park and eating. My friend and I had veggie kebabs and tempura mushroom for entree. They were ok, how can you go wrong with tempura mushrooms, but the sauce seemed a little out of a bottleish. Then we ordered their two most expensive mains, the Crispy Duck and the Pork Belly. They were beautifully presented, particularly the Pork Belly, but the flavours were just a little lacking. The side salads were iceberg lettuce, carrot and bean sprouts with a very subtle almost undetectable dressing, which was pretty unadventurous and did nothing to accentuate the meal. I might recommend they use some red cabbage, mixed leaf and maybe something interesting like coriander in their side salads, and find a more interesting dressing...it shouldn't just be plate filler. The pork belly itself was ok but tasted a bit like stacked pancakes. The crispy duck was good, but again nothing adventurous.

I don't regret visiting, the staff were lovely and the setting is great. Nice place for a date, but thus far I didn't think there was enough complexity to the flavours of the food. Will head back for Yum Cha though, as I can't resist it and will maybe write another review :)

Pros: Scenery, Staff, Presentation

Cons: Flavours fairly bland

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Not overwhelming - Edit

We have been to Bodhi a few times for weekend yum cha in the past. We liked the food but thought that it was quite expensive. And there was no way of keeping track of how much the individual dishes cost.

A couple of weeks ago we tried Bodhi for "a la carte" dinner for the first time and I don't think we'll be going back.

The dishes were well presented but they tasted disappointing. And the food was really expensive.

We went for an early dinnner so our party of three was the only guests. Still one dish was served about 10 minutes before the two other dishes and the rice. Even asking 3 times for the rice to be served didn't speed things up.

The outdoors setting of the restaurant is nice but overall Bodhi is not overwhelming.

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  Contributions +176

Pricey but great for dinner out/Buffet Lunch - Edit

Somewhat pricey for dinner, only a few options, however, great food once you get it, can take it's time sometimes. The food tastes great, so that makes up for it, nice setting, relaxing (located right next to the entrance to Cook & Phillip Park Pool). The lunch is good, however, you don't know what you're going to get, perhaps good to ask prices or questions as the waiters don't mind. Sometimes it is a good idea to miss a couple and have the nicer tasting onces! Experience is the key (lucky I went with some which knew what was good!).

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Food was awesome - Edit

Went here with a group, so I didn't have to order anything. Can't comment on past reviewers and their views on how the ordering worked... But the food was outstanding. Really delicious overall, with about 8 different dishes sampled. Truly top notch Asian fare on every level.

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