Thursday, July 31, 2008

July 25, 2008: Bodhi Cafe

It's no secret that I enjoy a faux meat treat every now and then, and Bodhi Cafe's been on my restaurant wishlist ever since Kristy blogged about it. We were surprised to see this sleek and inviting cafe empty when we arrived at 6:30, and expected that we might see a few more customers later.

The menu offers a handful of deep fried entrees then runs the gamut of rice, noodle and soup dishes. Most, though not all, include a faux meat - chicken, lamb, beef and seafood all get a mention.

We started off by sharing a duck roti roll ($5). It was a little small for the price, but undoubtedly tasty - the modest amount of salty faux-duck was combined with shredded lettuce and mayonnaise, then wrapped with a hot and flaky roti. Goodbye KFC cravings!

Bodhi also offers a wide range of flavoured teas and coffees. Kristy recommended the kumquat tea ($6) and I was willing to give it a go - it's cute and sweet, and had a pithy edge.

For my main meal I ordered the vegie chicken rice ($9) - "deep fried crispy vegetarian chicken with salt and pepper and some special sauce". Though I liked the flavour of the sauce, it was bathed in a rather unattractive oil slick (I've also had this problem making satay sauce at home). Worse, the chicken pieces were overcooked and very oily.

Yet again, Michael was giving me order envy! His Thai green curry with rice ($10.50) was fragrant and the chicken meltingly tender - proof positive that Bodhi can deliver the faux meat goods.

Unfortunately we didn't witness a spike in customers during our time at here - just a couple of takeaway orders. Perhaps the inconsistency we experienced is part of the problem? It's a shame because the overall impression this cafe made on me was a good one. With prices well below those at the White Lotus, I plan to return and explore the menu further.

Update 18/7/2010: Unfortunately Bodhi has closed down (sometime ago), I guess the number of customers didn't pick up.

Address: 241 Victoria St, Abbotsford
Phone: 9416 1889
Licensed and BYO wine
Price: entrees $4-6, mains $8-10.50


  1. When will they make faux vegetables from meat so that I can pretend to myself that I'm eating healthy.

    The decor of the place looks really good, I wonder why it's not more popular.

  2. That's so weird I drove past just this weekend and was thinking how quiet it was and how we have to go back.

    Glad you like the tea!

    Btw, I send you an email about the upcoming potluck :-)

  3. Yum, I'll have to try this place out. Have been to White Lotus a few times and was a bit weirded out by the "fake meat" but keen to try the other options! There's another one in Southbank called Enlightened Cafe (or similar) with the same sort of thing too.

  4. i love this place..i think they maybe just don't do enough advertising. although better for summer, the little outdoor area in the back is possibly cuter than the interior. and their flavoured coffees are strange but oh so yum!

  5. I've been there before! I thought it was pretty tasty.
    Have you tried Moroccan Soup Bar yet? I thought it was superb and the price is really reasonable.


  6. Haha, Thanh, that would be a sight (and taste) to behold! You don't *really* want broccoli-flavoured meat, though, do you?

    Thanks Kristy! We would probably have never discovered Bodhi if it weren't for your blog post. :-)

    Hi Jesska! Enlightenment Cuisine is nice too, on a par with White Lotus for quality and price (we've blogged EC here and here.) However they have some $9 "lunch on the run" specials that we haven't tried. I hear there are some good faux-meat options in Box Hill too - that's my next target!

    Welcome, Louise! Didn't notice the courtyard but I'm now keen to try it when the weather's warmer. Maybe I can convince Michael to try the crazy coffee while I work through the tea menu. :-D

    Hi Mable! Yep, we've been to the Moroccan Soup Bar a few times (and blogged it the first time we were there). It is such good value for money, and a really homely atmosphere. :-)

  7. Hey Cindy,
    I cant believe it is literally a few minutes walk from my place and i didnt know about it!
    After reading your post yesterday, we tried it out tonight.
    Without quite realising, we ordered exactly the same as you!
    A great little place, with such nice staff, thanks for sharing, im glad you did!

  8. Are you guys back? I tracked your break until it started making me so miserable about being stuck in rainy London!!

  9. Hiya wantingkneading! I'm thrilled that this post has already pushed one extra happy customer in Bodhi's direction. :-)

    Yes, Mallika, we're back at home (cold, rainy home - I feel your pain). Obviously you didn't make it as far as my post about Chattanooga - that might have at least inspired gratitude for the great food in London. :-D

  10. I need to make the trip over there. I was talking to Mel about this place just recently. Such a shame there are so few good places this side of the CBD :)

  11. I hope you do, Maffy! We've gotta fill this little cafe up, I think. :-)

  12. Awesome - just saw this place and it's around the corner from my work. Will be trying it this Friday! :D

    Thanks for that!

    I love FGY - they're kumquat tea! Amazing!

  13. Hope you enjoy it, Mel - there's plenty of great tea to choose from here. :-)