Thursday 28 January 2010

Badde Manors, Glebe

Every now and then you go to a restaurant or a cafe with high hopes and expectations. I had heard about Badde Manors and I had also heard that it was a vegetarian eatery. Being a vegetarian in Sydney, I was enthusiastic to try it out. However, it was with a fair amount of trepidation that Mr Ladybird and I approached Badde Manors on Monday evening. You see, we've had some bad experiences at vegetarian establishments. But this time I was positive to walk in with a good mindframe - I was optimistic (and hungry).

Mr Ladybird and I walk through the door and exchange the kind of glances that couples share that are almost a language in their own right. Mr Ladybird's face says, "Are you sure you wanna eat here?". Mine says "We should give it a chance..." The reason for our hesitation is the d écor, it is quite dilapidated and I see paint peeling off the walls. I turn a blind eye and we take a seat and start to peruse the menu.

I feel my blood pressure rising.... The menu is a mish mash of dishes - italian, mexican, western - you name it, it's there, but it's all very confusing and I see no direction. I take a big breath and tell myself not to be too harsh and to be open-minded. The waitress also shows us the Specials board. We place our orders and not too long after our dishes arrive.

I have the Eggplant Schnitzel with irish mash, mushroom sauce and vegetables ($15). I am a bit taken back by the presentation..but I won't go into that. The schnitzel is crispy on the outside, and the eggplant tastes nice. The mushroom sauce adds some good flavour to the dish. As I am an Irish-born Australian, I got very excited about the irish mash when I ordered, but alas it is nothing like the scrumptious Colcannon I'm expecting. What is irish about this mash, I don't know... The vegetables are not good, they are great big chunks of boiled vegetables.. I am getting flashbacks of school camp dinners.

My Ladybird has the Mediterranean Platter - three falafels on bed of rocket, served with home-made hummus, cucumber, tomato, fetta, roast eggplant and olives ($14.50). I can't help but wonder what is mediterranean about the platter (?). It is all served with a generous basket of turkish bread.

The platter's felafels impress Mr Ladybird and he tells me the felafels are the best he's had in his life! At once I demand to try some and they are indeed good - crispy on the outside and very flavoursome. He does say, however "What's up with this slab of fetta?!"

I really wanted to enjoy Badde Manors, but I left feeling a little sad. As a vegetarian it is always disappointing to visit a vegetarian eatery and feel let down. I also feel that such establishments perpeuate the stereotype of vegetarian food being hippy-ish and only so-so. It doesn't have to be. Vegetarian cuisine can be as sophisticated and exquisite as 'non-veg' food. There is incredible variety out there - I have seen it in places like India, Singapore and the UK. If only Australian restaurants/cafes would get with the program... and it is my hope that Sydney (being such a great place to eat generally) takes on the challenge- sooner rather than later. I think Australian diners are open-minded and adventurous enough to give something new a go - and if the food is good enough, the fact that there is no meat on the plate should be incidental. Good food is good food.

Badde Manors seems to be a place that people like to go and quietly read or write over a coffee and piece of cake or a quick meal, but I don't think I would go here for a dinner as such. Nor would I bring a non-vegetarian here. But in the spirit of keeping optimistic and giving second chances, I would not rule out trying their breakfast one day. We'll see...

Badde Manors
37 Glebe Point Rd
Glebe NSW 2037
Ph: (02) 9660 3797

Ladybird  x

Badde Manors on Urbanspoon


  1. Great review! I think my blood pressure always rises when I sit down to look at a days I usually ring beforehand to ensure they have something besides wedges for a vegan diet.


  2. i've heard that they might make good chai tea but have yet to try.

  3. Ahhh what a shame you felt let down! It's been years since I ate there but I remember the cute booth seating :)

  4. Awww, shame they didn't live up to what you were expecting but I agree that there needs to be more of a vegetarian culture here.

  5. The felafels sound nice. Pity it didn't live up to expectations..

  6. There are hardly any options for vegetarians. It seems they just get brushed to the side when it comes to dining choices, which is a shame.

  7. do try the chai tea next time you visit (if u ever do) cos its the best i've ever had

    and although i have come back a few times the food here isnt that great but bcos the whole menu is vegetarian thats why i keep coming back i suppose its also a cheap eat

  8. Hi Guys, thanks for your comments :)

    Well I guess I have to go back now after hearing about this chai tea!


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