Rear 202 Carlisle Street, Balaclava
Sat, Sun & Public Holidays 8am-5pm
03 9525 3107
Another cool cafe in St Kilda? Yup? Monk Bodhi Dharma caters to a niche of gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, low-fat, health conscious diners. I personally find the fare very simple (with St Kilda prices) and liken it to a lot of my meals at home. But look, it’s pretty hard to find somewhere you can go out for breakfast, lunch or dinner and know that your meal will be healthy and wholesome, so no complaints from me.
On a recent visit I had the special of the day which was a vegetarian Nepalese curry that was spiced terrifically and served atop some quinoa with a chilli relish and fresh coriander. I had to ask for more chilli and I really think this dish needed it. My friend had an umami mushroom concoction served on house-made pumpkin, spinach and sun-dried tomato polenta bread and sprinkled with goats cheese. The natural flavours of the mushrooms shone through and the dish was very pretty.
The menu offers a succinct all day breakfast/lunch menu with a specialised dinner menu only available on Friday nights from 6:30pm. Worth mentioning, they don’t serve alcohol.
The mostly vegan and gluten-free cookies and muffins are hard to resist and the coffee is pretty great. A note on the coffee: Monk Bodhi Dharma describes itself as a “boutique micro roastery” and they roast all of their coffee in-house (terrific smell). Their coffee is direct trade, seasonal and mostly single estate.