After successfully follow Cindy & Michael’s suggestion of trying Bayte cafe for brunch I had no hesitation trying out another cafe that they raved about in recent weeks – Monk Bodhi Dharma in Balaclava. Tucked away down a back lane way off Carlisle Street I probably would have never found this place, but I’m very glad I did! The have an entirely vegetarian (and egg free) menu and most items are able to be vegan-ised, made gluten free and in some cases sugar free as well. Impressive!
The place is pretty small but we were lucky enough to grab a spot at the main communal table for Sunday brunch and I was immediately taken by the interior decor. Lots of great hanging plants, exposed brickwork and messages about their sustainability ethos. I felt right at home!
They had an extensive tea and coffee menu and it’s clearly something they take very seriously. Being creatures of habit we went with our usual offerings of a soy flat white for me, and an English breakfast tea for B. The coffee was delicious and I loved the teapot and cup that B’s tea was served in.
Onto the food! B went with the Sweetcorn Ricotta Hotcakes which came with slow roasted cherry tomatoes, basil pesto & sour cream ($16.50) and he was kind enough to let me try a bit. These were really delicious, with B particularly impressed with the cherry tomatoes – with good reason! The hotcakes were thick and fluffy with lots of both the ricotta and sweetcorn so they were full of flavour. The serving size was really good too – large enough to feel satisfied without feeling like you’ve overeaten!
I went with the Avignon Apple Pancakes which were buckwheat apple pancakes and came with cinnamon ice cream, maple syrup, vanilla bean whipped cream and dehydrated apple chips ($18.50). These were equally delicious – the pancakes themselves weren’t overly sweet so you could sweeten them to your liking with the maple syrup which was perfect as overly sweet breakfasts aren’t normally my thing. The cinnamon ice cream was really tasty, smooth and creamy and full of cinnamon flavour which worked perfectly with the pancakes. The addition of the whipped cream, dehydrated apple and strawberries was also excellent as it allowed me to create different flavour combinations for each bite. Delicious!
Overall we were very happy with our meal, and whilst it wasn’t the cheapest of brunches I didn’t need to eat again for quite some time so there were no complaints from me! Now that we know this place exists we’ll be back again for sure!