Monk Bodhi Dharma (Carlisle St, Balaclava)

Vegans will feel right at home here. Great food options even for a non-vegan like myself.

When you see the words ‘monk, Bodhi, Dharma’, what do you think of?

Images of Buddhism…Zen…Nirvana.

Though I must admit that the interior of Monk, Bodhi, Dharma is anything but Zen-like. It’s a small space and it gets crowded on the weekends but I like the warehouse design of the place with the wooden fittings and furniture.

Moving on the food, I admit that I was adamant about this place because it’s really vegan friendly and I love my meats. Heck I don’t even see a poached egg here. So where can I get my much-loved proteins? Can I find anything that suits my taste?

I could have opted for the Apple Pancakes with ice cream, but I wasn’t craving for something sweet, so I opted for Marlo sweetcorn hotcakes – Sweetcorn ricotta hotcakes with slow roasted cherry tomatoes, house made basil pesto and sour cream.

I know there are some complains about the hotcakes being on the bland side. This is quite true. It’s not heavy on the flavor which is where the pesto, sour cream and cherry tomatoes step it – which provides an added kick and flavor to the dish. The pesto doesn’t seem to go to well with the wish. The sour cream and tomatoes to me would suffice. The pancakes were crisp on the side and soft, fluffy in the inside with a generous serving of corn and ricotta. I felt full with 2 pancakes and a bit of my friend’s dish. So it proves that one can go vegan and still get full.

My friend had the Umani mushrooms – Slow roasted king oyster, shitake, oyster and swiss brown mushrooms on a house made pumpkin, spinach and sun dried tomato polenta bread served with goats cheese, thyme and red chili oil.

This was more flavorful than the ricotta hotcakes impart due to brown sauce and a little sweetness from the roasted mushrooms. But I just love the bread. Soft, warm, delicious and hearty which goes perfectly with the sauce and mushrooms.

Within the tight space, Monk Bodhi Dharma fits a small roaster where they roast their own coffee. They call themselves a micro-roaster. I had their flat white. It was more on strong, bitter side which will definitely perk you up. Liked it pretty much.

Monk Bodhi Dharma is located just next to Woolworths/Safeway. It is not one the main road, but located just behind a building, so you would have to walk in a little to get to the place.

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