PROFILED BY DEGROOTS MEDIA
It’s a well accepted theory that cheap Formica can disguise an authentic dining experience and this modest little restaurant is a prime example. Bo De Trai (the lake where Buddha sat) is run by Buddhists from the local temple and offers vegetarian food, specialising in imitation meats. Most are gluten based such as the imitation saute prawns, abalone and mushroom stir-fry or clay-pot lamb which are intriguing and curiously good, but it’s also worth trying the deep-fried mudfish, made from eggplant fritters.
If fake meat isn’t your thing, there is a plethora of straight vegetarian dishes although tofu still abounds. Sit down to your thermos of hot tea and start with the eight jewels soup or the mixed vegetable rice paper rolls which burst with freshness and flavour. Next up, make your choice from a variety of rice or noodle dishes. Also popular is bun hue which is spicy and satisfying traditional Hue-style rice vermicelli in hot soup. It’s all exceptionally good value as well as being healthy and appetising, and takeaway items such as mixed vegetable stew or imitation barbecue pork are also available from $4.50. Bo De Trai is staffed by volunteers and while their English is limited, don’t be afraid to point, whether it be at the menu or another diners’ plates, it will result in a flavoursome and enjoyable meal.