Monk Bodhi Dharma
Rear 202 Carlise Street,
Balaclava VIC 3183
03 9534 7250
Open 7 days. Open for dinner of Friday nights - bookings necessary.
Monk Bodhi Dharma has possibly ruined all weekend breakfasts for me - simply because their food and coffee is sooo good that we'll never be able to go anywhere else again.
Big call? Well yes it is, but mainly because MBD is in Balaclava and too far away from us to visit every single weekend. The fact that we do make the trek regularly though, is testament to the fact that they really know what they're doing. The menu is all vegetarian (dairy available, no eggs) but the majority of choices are vegan and everything is vegan optional.
I always get a vegan version of "The Avo" ($15.50) which is smashed avocado with mint, chilli and lemon on top of a vegan cashew sour cream spread on organic sourdough. The avocado mix is always stacked generously high and really is the most special avocado on toast I've had.
My sidekick always gets the vegan version of Umami Mushrooms ($18.50) which is a rather decadent mix of creamy slow roasted oyster, shitake and swiss brown mushrooms on house made pumpkin, spinach and sundried tomato polenta bread. The vegan cashew sour cream also makes an appearance on top of the polenta bread. It's just as delicious as it sounds and looks a work of art to boot.
If you visit Monk Bodhi Dharma it's also worth checking out the Coles on Camden Street, Balaclava for vegan Vienetta's (about $17 each) and other non dairy ice-cream treats and frozen delights such as vegan boreks. Rishon Foods at 23 William Street, Balaclava also has plenty of vegan foods including ice-cream desserts and homemade fresh fruit sorbets. They also stock some great vegan whipping cream (should you need to make a vegan chocolate ripple cake!) and plenty of other goodies. Rishon is closed Saturdays but open Sundays.