From the outside, Fortune Centre at Middle Road/Bugis (beside the famous Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple) may seem like a run-down office building. But do you know that it is also a hidden gem housing eateries selling cheap and delicious vegetarian food? On the 1st and 15th of each lunar month, you’ll often see temple goers having their meal there after praying at the temple.
One such place is Bodhi Deli. Located on the third floor of Fortune Centre, Bodhi Deli’s dishes start from $3.50 – incredibly cheap considering its location, as well as relative to other stalls in hawker centres around Bugis. We were also surprised to see cashless options as a payment method – something unexpected for us as well.
One thing to note is their limited menu – only 14 dishes are offered. Despite that, though, they serve some vegetarian dishes that you don’t usually see, such as laksa and mee rebus. The cheap price also means that their food tend to sell out fast – especially the popular ones. There were occasions where we saw 2 or 3 food items marked as “sold out” during our visits, which happened to be the ones we wanted to try.
The mee pok, which we tried, had fried beancurd skin, mushrooms, and mock char siew. What’s special is the addition of mock pork lard, which is new to us. The addition of mock pork lard adds a welcome layer (and crunch) to the food texture. The dish is also accompanied with a bowl of what we think is herbal soup.
The cutlet in their chicken cutlet rice packs a nice crunch as well, and texture of the mock meat closely matching the real one’s. This dish is also accompanied with a bowl of soup.
In general, the biggest complaint we have is the lack of vegetables, as well the lack of colour and texture. Considering that Bodhi Deli is a vegetarian restaurant, one would assume or expect vegetables to be included. However, the reality is that only a small amount of vegetables are included, and the dishes are mostly processed food.
One of Bodhi Deli’s top sellers is their pumpkin porridge, which sells out frequently – even on days with few temple goers. Chunks of pumpkin can be seen in the porridge, the mock meat is savoury and flavourful, and the fried beancurd skin is crispy (before mixing it into the porridge). If you enjoy the toppings, you can choose to add more for an additional 80 cents.
Overall, Bodhi Deli (and Fortune Centre) is a great alternative for office professionals in Bugis looking for cheap and good food. Just be aware of the queue and waiting time on the 1st and 15th of each lunar month.
190 Middle Road #03-26A Fortune Centre
Daily: 1030am – 7pm
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