Last Saturday I made the long-awaited trip to The Bodhi Tree, Nugget Point’s resident Burmese restaurant, and what a treat it was. I had little prior knowledge about anything Burmese, let alone the food. What I had in mind was something similar to Chinese cuisine, what I got was a perfect marriage of fresh and exciting flavours … a pleasant surprise! We arrived at the hotel’s welcoming lobby which even featured an open fire (a nice wee touch that was also present in the restaurant) and were shown to The Bodhi Tree.
Being vegan there’s always the worry that I won’t be able to find something suitable on the menu. Usually I call ahead and always fear the dreaded response when I ask about their food, ‘you can have a garden salad… or maybe the soup but I’m not sure’. The Bodhi Tree however, was a totally different story. Not counting specialised vegan restaurants, The Bodhi Tree has the widest and most varied range of vegan friendly food I have ever seen. Over half of their menu is either already vegan, or able to be customised sans animal products. I was literally spoilt for choice. The knowledgeable and friendly waiting staff explained that the dishes were entrée sized and meant for sharing. She recommended 2-3 dishes each plus a portion of rice to share. Me being me I ordered 4, but hey, no regrets!
One of the starters on the menu was described as ‘our famous tea salad’, so naturally I had to give it a go. Even now I’m not 100% sure what I ate, all I know is the mix of lentils, peanuts and tea leaves was a taste sensation. I then ordered crispy tofu, roasted mushrooms and shallots and split blue peas. Dishes came out as they were ready and I really appreciated this aspect of Burmese dining as we weren’t inundated with food and were able to enjoy each dish individually. It also meant the food literally didn’t stop coming so I was one very happy customer! I personally loved the sharing atmosphere and smaller portions as it meant I could try more things off the menu. The waitress’s recommendation of 2-3 dishes was also spot on!
After we were suitably full to the brim… we ordered dessert! Now I have to say, on paper, semolina cake doesn’t sound all that exciting, however in reality it was one of the nicest vegan cakes I have had the pleasure of eating. My boyfriend chose the muddy mud chocolate cake which would usually fill me with envy, but on this occasion the dairy-free option came out on top! Everyone try this dessert!
I really could not fault anything with The Bodhi Tree. The food was outstanding, the service quick and friendly and I would happily recommend it to vegans and meat-eaters alike as there is something for everyone on this menu. The flavours were intense and the obvious freshness to all the dishes made for a 10 out of 10 experience. I urge anyone making the trip to Queenstown to take the time to try out this unique gem and experience the delights of Burmese cuisine… trust me you won’t be disappointed!
Thanks for reading!