Monk Bodhi Dharma is a little bit special.
A hidden gem off the main road on Carlisle St in Balaclava. It’s unassuming from the outside in what was a bakehouse in the past. Today it is what i can only describe as a vegetarian heaven.
“Reeeaaally!? Agaaaiin?!” is what my friends usually say in response to my Saturday lunch suggestion.
I can’t help it, you can actually taste and feel the love that has gone into the dishes. Food is sourced locally, the ceramic tea pots are handcrafted by a local artist and the staff are friendly. It’s winning all round.
Salads, soups and stews rotate depending on the season. Which is one of the things i love! Although luckily my favourite Umami Mushrooms is a staple all year.
The vegan ceasar was a summer winner with the generous amount of avocado, crunchy lettuce, seeds and croutons. It has now been replaced with the Roasted beetroot and kale salad. The beetroot is beautifully sweet and still slightly al dente, the kale is cooked to perfection and the addition of walnuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds turns this salad into a fulfilling and nourishing meal.
Seasonal Soups and Stews
For the breakfast loyal, there are unique offerings that really pack a punch, the Apple Bircher is delightfully sweet and crunchy at the same time.
For something nourishing and indulgent i recommend the Dharma Banana. This banana bread is the only banana bread I order in Cafes. Most are too cakey and full of refined sugars. This is a little different.
Truth be told it is a weekend indulgence but the goodness is evident. Soft and sweet banana bread is married perfectly with caramelized banana and walnuts, toffee-like crunch, coconut yogurt and berries. It is sweet but the yogurt and berries balance it perfectly.
Monk is also open for dinner on Friday night, where you can be treated to raw vegan snickers for dessert. This is full of nuts and is sweetened with dates. It may contain nourishing ingredients but it is definitely better shared. Sharing is caring when it comes to these raw desserts.
Now for the nutrient analysis..
Irrespective of which dish you order, there is a heavy load of plant matter in every meal. Vegetables, beans and fruit are served in generous portions. Consuming Monk Bodhi Dharma meals is like giving your gut a loving hug.
The warming stews contain a mix of vegetables or beans, depending on the day. So, you can be sure to meet the required daily vegetable intake with support from MBD.
Sweet potato tends to be a popular feature in their stews which is awesome news for balancing blood sugar levels and staving off sugar cravings.
Where Monk Bodhi Dharma really scores the points is in the little details, for this Nutritionist it’s their bountiful offerings of nuts and seeds. There’s nothing worse than seeing a token nut or minuscule sprinkle of seeds over the top.
Nuts and seeds are a power package of beneficial nutrients that boost circulation and heart health, lower cholesterol and improve skin elasticity.
If that wasn’t enough, nuts and seeds also contain beautiful proteins and carbohydrates so are a perfect post exercise snack or meal addition.
Their coffee seems to be popular but my love is their green tea (they score bonus points for brewing real green tea leaves). The chai tea is also a winner, full of spicy notes and if you like almond milk, the almond milk chai is frothy and spicy.
MBD serve real food with love, heart and soul.
5 out of 5
Sundried tomato polenta bread with avocado, tomatoes, fetta and vegemite