Monk Bodhi Dharma
rear 202 Carlisle St
Balaclava, VIC 3183
03 9534 7250
I had a sip of I-Hua’s El Salvador latté. It was less astringent than the zen blend, with a slight hint of grape acidity and a fleeting cherry aftertaste. I-Hua simply sipped it, looked at me and said “the cherry is lost on me…” Lol!
While I wasn’t too keen on the coffees here because they’re somehow not as creamy or full-bodied as I’d like, they do leave a nice aftertaste and I think you will like this place if you enjoy your coffees strong.
This dish looked impossible to pass up on the menu. I had to have it, what with my absolute love for mushrooms of any kind. And there they sat on my plate, all the Asian varieties that I love, so exciting!
However, I found the sauce on the sweet, rich and creamy side and it sort of overwhelmed the delicate shrooms, making the dish quite heavy and filling. The sweetish and dense polenta bread hiding underneath didn’t help lighten things. I think this dish would have worked better if the sauce was less creamy-sweet and served on the side instead of being slathered over everything.
We did temporary plate swapsies mid-way, so I had a taste of I-Hua’s hotcakes. They looked amazing. I found the hotcakes somewhat heavy but the cherry tomatoes helped cut through the richness. And how’s this for subjectiveness in taste? I-Hua actually found her hotcakes very light, on the contrary to my ‘dense’ interpretation! Maybe it’s because I still had the rich mouthfeel of my mushroom dish in my mouth. Either way, I think she enjoyed her dish. She liked the pesto but didn’t touch the sprig of fresh basil sitting on top because “unprocessed greens are poisonous”. Ha ha!
I-Hua finally wrote this place up 3-4 months later. Read her take on this place here. Love how the same visit can bring about such diverse tasting thoughts.