Deep Dishes

songfengBodhi Vegetables

Dongguan’s newest vegetarian restaurant held a soft opening on June 1, and its strategy of value and ambience has been filling seats ever since. During a weekday lunch, we arrived five minutes before noon to discover the first floor dining room packed to capacity, and the place abuzz with the commotion that, in China, only a good deal on a quality buffet can create.

The Buddhist style restaurant is located directly behind the Dreams On Department Store (formerly known as the Rainbow Department Store) on the second story. The large, green English signage is easily noticeable after climbing a long single flight of steps. After the climb and upon entrance, the staff will likely hand out welcoming smiles, but as tempting as it might be don’t dig in right away. Pay first RMB 15, and then grab a plate to help yourself. Also do for yourself when serving food, beverage, seating and table clearing. This is a minimalistic operation in the philosophy of the Buddha to which the establishment claims patronage.

In this vein the management is adamant about not allowing customers to waste food, but enforcement is non-violent. If you try to sneak out without finishing that red bean baozi, be prepared to receive an adept guilt trip. This is the official policy, and after the third guilty look don’t expect to be let back within its adobe brown stucco walls.

Though the mood and music are exotic, the dishes are not ethnic in style, unless cafeterias can be considered a place of origin. But don’t be put off by that analogy, the dishes are cooked with home style care and the flavors are quite complete. Only one tofu dish suffered from blandness, though that may have been the point.

After serving yourself with food and choice of Chrysanthemum or goji berry tea, find a seat upstairs in the tea house. Its vaulted ceiling and red or lima bean sofas feel a little lonely for a moment. But by 12:15 it will be filled, leaving only awkward young professionals hoping to fill in the spaces.

Find Bodhi Vegetables in the HERE! Dongguan Business Directory