Monk Bodhi Dharma

Saturday, March 19, 2016 Sharon Halim 0 Comments

My weekdays brunch besties are both into really healthy food and they were interested in trying full vegetarian and vegan friendly cafe, that's how we finally ended up at Monk Bodhi Dharma. Monk Bodhi Dharma is named after 5th century Indian Monk who begun the concept of zen. When we arrived at number 202, we were confuse to find a dental practice instead of the cafe and we finally found the place when we decided to walked down an alleyway around the corner (near woolworths). It is located next to the woolworths loading dock and in front of a parking lot.


The place it self was very small with rustic hipster vibes, open kitchen, hanging light bulbs, paint stripped brick walls, it used to be a 1920's bakehouse. They have a long wooden communal table for a large group of people even though I will not recommend this place for a large group since they are almost always busy and it would took a long time for larger group. They also have several counter table with a front row shows of their barista and several private table for 2-4pp.


Blackpool breakfast trifle basically layered of mixed fruits with pressed granola, yoghurt and jam. In my opinion this dish falls average, I don't really like their pressed granola. It loss the crunchiness and become a bit soggy and sticky.

Special of the day is Trinidadian Callaloo Soup. They come in a big bowl with generous portions of both the rice and the soup. The soup taste like curry and filled in with various vegetables such as eggplants, potatoes and carrots. Honestly, it taste much better than what I expected. It has a thick based with a rich, punching flavours.

We ordered Yucatan Beans by mistakes, I order umami mushrooms and somehow she heard it differently. When it arrived on our table, I was confuse cause umami mushrooms is one of the reasons I came here. Sadly, the staff refuse to change the order so my only options is keep the Yucatan beans and order the umami mushrooms as an additional meal. The Yucatan beans it self taste really good, it's a lightly spiced beans, tomatoes, carrots with feta on top and two thick slices of sourdough. It would be perfect for cold winter dish. Seriously, Monk Bodhi Dharma absolutely surprised a meat eater like me with delicious vegetarian meal.

It takes around 15 minutes until the Umami Mushrooms arrived on our table. It is a mix of creamy slow roaster oyster, swiss brown mushroom, shitake, fried enoki mushroom on house made pumpkin, spinach and sundried tomato polenta bread. It is a rich and very filling dish. All of the ingredients works really well together even though the fried enoki was too dried and loss it's flavour. I did not regret ordering this meal even though I have to take away half of both meal and turns out my brother and my husband love both of it. Disclaimer, this dish might be to rich or heavy for some people.


The real star of this place is coffee. They test the beans every day by pouring hot water over the beans and tasting the water after it has soaked up the flavours, it's called lo-fi technique. As expected I love their coffee. The baristas knows their beans and happy to assist you in choosing your own flavour profile.


Prices for the food are relatively reasonable, all of brunch dish are below $20 with a generous portions. For a full on vegan and vegetarian fans, there is a good news for you. Monk Bodhi Dharma on Friday nights served vegetarian and raw degustation dinners, they consist of 11 courses at $100pp with two seatings at 6.30 and 8.30pm. Reservations are recommended for dinner and can be done by phone or on their websites.



Overall, I wouldn't mind having a vegan and vegetarian brunch if it's taste like most of Monk Bodhi Dharma dishes. Even though I still prefer my meat. If you are looking for something similar, Monk Bodhi Dharma's sister cafe called Admiral Cheng Ho at Abbostford served similar menu such as Umami Mushrooms. For the meat eater out there if you want to try your first vegan and vegetarian brunch, I recommend you to start here.

Score: đŸ’‹đŸ’‹đŸ’‹đŸ’‹ đŸ’‹đŸ’‹đŸ’‹đŸ’‹
Monk Bodhi Dharma Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
 Monday-Friday: 7am-5pm
Saturday-Sunday: 8am-5pm

Monk Bodhi Dharma
www.monkbodhidharma.com.au
+61395347250
202 Carlisle St
Balaclava
VIC 3183

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