While not surprising due to Australia’s close proximity to Asia, Sydney has an impressive array of authentic Chinese, Taiwanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Malaysian and Japanese restaurants. In fact, a quick internet search yields over 800 Chinese restaurants and 750 Thai restaurants in and around Sydney. With a few slight modifications to the standard Asian fare, it’s very easy to find delicious and fresh vegan, plant-based Asian food in Sydney. However, the most impressive vegan Asian meals we had were at two restaurants that feature vegan dim sum, also known as yum cha.
My husband and I are huge fans of dim sum, but when seeking out healthier, vegan dim sum at traditional Chinese restaurants, we find that we’re often limited since most traditional dim sum contains animal products. In these situations, we end up eating the same vegetable dumpling over and over. Don’t get me wrong, I love vegetable dumplings, but it’s refreshing to have a greater and more interesting selection of dim sum from which to choose.
Bodhi is located in a quiet, shaded section of Sydney’s Hyde Park. You’ll know you have arrived at Bodhi when you see the red lanterns swinging in the breeze on the outdoor patio. The quiet ambiance will make you forget that the bustling city center is just a block away. The entirely vegan yum cha restaurant has been around for 24 years and has always emphasized using organic and locally grown produce.
Here are a few delicious items from the menu. The ingredients were incredibly fresh and were combined in unique ways that made for an impressive visual and gastronomic experience.
English spinach dumplings
Satay salad sprouts, mint, carrots in a bean curd pocket
Carrot and ginger dumplings
Watermelon, apple, ginger and mint juice
Soft bean curd skin rolls and black-eye bean wantons in ginger-miso sauce
Black sesame seed buns
Here are the details for Bodhi:
Address: 2-4 College St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
Hours: Yum Cha 11am-4pm 7 days, Dinner 5pm-10pm Tuesday – Sunday
Phone: +61 2 9360 2523
Green Gourmet is a located on King Street in the heart of Newtown. It’s well worth the short bus or train ride from Sydney’s city center, especially for the weekend yum cha. While the decor and general vibe is a bit dated, Green Gourmet’s yum cha is nonetheless tastefully presented, reasonably priced and full of flavor. Here are a few of our favorites.
Bean curd rolls filled with vegetables
Chia seed dumplings
Rice paper rolls with sweet chili dipping sauce
Plan on coming back during the week for the lunch and dinner buffet. Here you’ll find an array of entirely vegan dishes, ranging from curries to noodle dishes and rice paper rolls. Don’t be too overwhelmed by the 16-page menu. The restaurant staff will gladly make a recommendation or two.
Here is the extensive dinner buffet:
If you’re looking for something sweet, try one of Green Gourmet’s raw, vegan cheesecakes or vegan brownies. And save room for the homemade tofu (GMO-free) ice cream. The black sesame, green tea and earl grey-fig flavors were excellent. They had the creaminess of traditional ice cream without being overly sweet. All desserts are made in the bakery adjacent to the restaurant.
Here are the details for Green Gourmet:
Address: 115 King Street, Newtown NSW 2042, Australia
Hours: Lunch 12-3pm (Monday – Sunday), Dinner 6-10pm (Sunday – Thursday) and 6-11pm (Friday & Saturday)
Phone: +61 2 9519 5330