Satisfy the “bodhi”, mind and soul.

. . .

[Monk Bodhi Dharma, Rear 202 Carlisle Street, Balaclava]

Open: Mon-Fri, 6.30am-4pm; Sat-Sun, 8am-4pm

I’m not vegetarian, but don’t really eat that much meat (unless of course its Jamón ibérico, then its all a bit of “excuse me while I undress”) and Vegan? I doubt I could ever go there as I get my “bake on” way too often, and you have to agree almost everything that makes you go “mmmmm” has butter in it. (mmm butter…I’m really a heart attack just waiting to happen)

However, I will be honest say that and didn’t even notice Monk was a culinary heaven sensation for vegans anonymous. (what a mouthful, could’ve just gone with “vegan cafe”)

I often find Vegetarian/Vegan food and menus to feel like they are “missing” a key ingredient (derr, obviously), however on this day my eyes feasted, and my tummy left feeling loved, nourished and super satisfied. (yes, SUPER satisfied :))

Good deed for the day? *tick*

Juxtaposed on this beautiful day for breakfast lovers was my “newest cafe find”coupled with my oldest friend in the world!

I met this man when we were children – I was 5, he was 6, and it was lovely to see him again. It’s always surreal to reminisce about yesterday, be in the moment for today and ponder about tomorrow with someone who knew you a lifetime ago.

Lots had changed, and change is a beautiful element of life. Nothing is permanent, and we are ever evolving.

For instance, when I was 5, I hardly spoke any English and articulating my thoughts into words was a challenge… (I still find it difficult to say EXACTLY whats on my mind…pictures help :))

Today, I write this without much thought as to the words on this electronic page, but to the story I wish portray…(yes I waffle on a bit)

So…on to the main attraction, the food and coffee? Here goes:

No ridiculous latte art, just a beautiful creamy latte made with love:

Yucatan “peasant” beans, toasted carbs and vibrant Chilli jam that kicks a punch:

This deceivingly petite dish is a reminder not to judge a breakfast by its portions. It was very filling, and satisfying, and you have to say the colours were delicious!

Marlo sweetcorn ricotta hotcakes:

These were perfect balance of flavours, and were visually exciting too-I’m one to eat with my eyes first, and little Mr Marlo Sweetcorn here was easy on the eye ;).

Some cafes are great, but there is no urge to work your way through the menu from start to finish. And some – like Monk, are a real treat and keeps you coming back to try new dishes and/or relish in your “sunday favourite”.

Breakfast lovers beware, it is a little hard to find (in an alley, behind a carpark….very Melbourne) But I assure you, whether you are Vego/Vegan or not, you will enjoy every minute of this beautiful little hideout and will leave having satisfied your “bodhi”, mind and soul…

Tastefully yours,

Light reading:

About the Monk “Bodhi Dharma”: click here
Broadsheet review: Click here
Age review: Click here

Monk Bodhi Dharma on Urbanspoon

Can I be the girl that you met at the coin laundry?

. . .

[ Coin Laundry, 61 Armadale St Armadale]

phone: (03) 9500 1888

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Miss H and I caught up (a little while back now) with her man to finally try this “new” place out. (I say “new”, as I’ve been away for the majority of 2010, which was when it opened. So really it was only new to me)

She had brought this gift for me which was very fitting given the location we were in.

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Coin Laundry is situated in very family friendly, very polished Armadale and it actually used to be a Coin Laundry – fancy that! 🙂

We had been here just after New year period and sadly was closed for renovations, so being there today to experiencing all the “new and lovliness” was like the smell of freshly washed laundry…. mMMmmm. I’m a sucker for amazing smells like fresh laundry, baking bread, rain on a summers day…or a new puppy… :). Things that make you go “ahhhh” 🙂

Externally, the aesthetics are simple and a tad quirky as the establishment still holds the original “Coin Laundry” signage.
You then walk into the most serene, white, fresh atmosphere with a very strong positive, yet relaxed buzz. So fresh, so clean…
Perfect scene for a boy meets girl…

The menu was amazing and tantilising.
The decor is like a breath of fresh air, relaxed and easy on the eye… much like the waiting staff. 😉

I ordered corn& manchego fritters…. YUM!!!!!!!!!!

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Visually beautiful, and a mixed flavour sensation. The manchego does make it a bit heavy, but the fresh greens are nice to break it up.

Washed it down wit a perfect “Calmer sultra chai” (sexy chai)

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Beau ordered scrambled eggs on toast. Scrambled…. I didn’t think men over 12 ordered scrambled eggs, however the meal proved me wrong – it was delicious especially with the roesti accompanying it.

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Miss H ordered the fluffiest, smoothest, sexiest pancakes in town! Varied textures and sexy flavours make this dish one to go back for!.

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The atmosphere is light, bright, postive and clean.
The decor is clean, aestethic and fresh like clean laundry

The menu is varied, interesting and easy to read

Its really a ‘lovely’ place, for lack of another word, to catch up whether with friends or alone with the paper.
Going to the laundry has never been so satisfying!!

. . .

Tastefully yours,

Joanna

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Coin Laundry Cafe on Urbanspoon

A little European mid-week adventure

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[The European, Spring street Melbourne]

Open: 7.30 to 3am

“…Breakfast to supper, 7 days a week, The European serves honest, simple food, sourcing only the best produce from Australia and Europe. This institution is a must visit, even if it’s just for one of this cities finest coffees…” (http://www.theeuropean.com.au)

It wasn’t our initial intention to be at The European (although, it is always a delight being there), Miss H and I started our day eager to try an ACTUAL breakfast at Cumulus inc

We’d previously been paralysed with culinary joy at a share platter of something sweet and savoury, but had never returned due to my adventure to Germany, so luck & fait were our ladies that day as Cumulus was a bubbling over with way too many people and we made our way to try something a little more “European” as there is nothing more frustrating than “enjoying” a breakfast whilst tactfully “crowd surfing”, and NOT eavesdropping on a billion (very fast paced) conversations. (What I didnt get was, they were all in suits – hello work anyone? hahah)

So, when we stepped foot into a less “stock market vibing environment” to a more relaxed one at The European, our tummies were looking for some yummies!

It was particularly humid on this day, and a hot breakfast was not really looking appetising – although, being inside the warm hues of The European, you immediately get transported to somewhere very Winter in Europe and long for that glorious aroma of “home-style, slow cooked” meals.(I immediately was transported to many a cosy feast in France, Luxembourg, Germany…)

So.. Miss H ordered her favourite Brioche with assorted jams:

And I opted for some fresh fruit salad:

It was very exiting to see the “usual suspects” of a fruit salad were absent, rather a myriad of delicious bite sized delights which simultaneously stimulated my 5 senses were very much present. 🙂

It was AS bursting with flavour as it was bursting with colour, aroma and the assorted textures. Uniting the flavour differences was a delicious natural yoghurt, and whimsically presented pot of honey.

I was in culinary, breakfast heaven. 🙂

There is nothing like the sheer, unadulterated joy of a simple, yet flavoursome breakfast. (or any meal really) Its exiting when the produce is so good, it really doesn’t need much else.

Upon leaving The European in one of my post breakfast bliss moods, we made our way to explore a little bit of Melbourne city that I had missed!.

Living in Melbourne allows us to experience such treats that transport our senses to another place. We live in tumultuous times, but its nice to know that a little adventure to Europe is a stones throw away.

. . .

Tastefully yours

Just ‘bent’ around the corner

. . .

[Bent Espresso, 2/385 Centre Road Bentleigh ]

Phone: (03) 9557 1339
Open: Weekdays 7:30-3, Saturday 8-3, Sunday 7-2:30

I’m looking at the opening hours..and to be quite frank, I think I’m lying (got the information from here, so blame them :))

So Caz and I used to frequent this cute place in Hughesdale called “turtle” cafe like all the time!! (no, not the one in Elwood) And it was getting worrying that we only knew ONE place to breakfast. Then, it closed. Problem solved!!

On this fine day, we decided on somewhere local – we chose Bent espresso round the corner from us. We exchanged stories of the past year and what we’d been up to and enjoyed the mix of young and old (and middle) in a little cafe tucked away on Bent street in Bentleigh. (I’ve been here with Jess before I left for Germany, and had some amazing light treats) It was nice to do a full circle.

I’ve been on this savoury breakfast bandwagon for a while now, and as a result chose ‘corn fritters with bacon and 2 poached eggs.


(loving the way this looks right now)

Now, I dont want to spray too much negative commentary as the service is immaculate and I hear the coffees are to die for… I just think they were having an off day. Which is unfornutate, as I happened to experience that.

The meals were beautiful presented, the vibe was right, the service and clientele relaxed yet chatty… but the EGGGSSS!!!!! the beautiful poached eggs had been sitting a tad too long waiting….and consequently started to cook through.

Its really not as bad as I make it out – but there is something so sensual and exiting about a beautifully poached free range egg as you break through the whites to get to the gold inside…. The gloriously aesthetic yoke slowly oozes out like a volcano and I just can not with to taste it… not this time folks!!

I break thought the white eagerly and…


it just sat there all sad and solidified… my breakfast looked embarresed…

To give it credit though – its not as bad as Riverland…. oh god, Definately not as bad as that!!!!

I really don’t enjoy saying bad things about a cafe that is sooo good in so many other ways and especially since my previous experience was immaculate, but I’m sorry consistency is important. There’s no point having great eggs only when the good chef is working… 😦

The sad thing is, I loved my morning there with Caz, the atmosphere was buzzing and it was great to not be working on a “school day”. To me, the poached egg should be perfection, and its also saddening that everything else (atmosphere, service, fritters, bacon…) were all amazing. I just happen to be a poached egg freak!.

. . .

Tastefully yours,

Bent Espresso on Urbanspoon

From Luxembourg, with love

. . .
[Dead man espresso, 35 Market Street South Melbourne VIC]

Phone: (03) 9686 2255
Open: Weekdays 7am-4pm; Weekends 8am-4pm

Broadsheet review: click here

With my special orange parcel all the way from Luxembourg in hand, I went to meet Ash (or ashie, if you’re my mother)

This little Mr had been waiting patiently for a very special gift from a very orange shop… you may know? Hermes?? 🙂 They had run out of stock of a particularly gorgeous scarf (or tie if you’re from Lucky coq), and as a result ordered it from Luxembourg to be preciously hand delivered via Germany and Qatar- a well travelled little tie. Scarf. 😉

We ventured down to his local- ‘Dead man espresso’ and enjoyed the sun, company and some quality melbourne service and food.

What I should’ve done is ordered a coffee to taste this special dead man blend from seven seeds, but instead I very unsurprisingly ordered a Chai latte (soy ofcourse)…. I just can’t help myself. Its either that or an ICED chai latte…no icecream, just plently of ice and chilled – seriously amazing sh*t.

Ash’s Latte: 

We both decided on toasties – and I must say, dunno if Ash agrees or not, I chose very quickly! 🙂 I normally take so long, the waiters will try to order for me….awkward.

Ash ordered an eggy bacony lovely number.
Before:

After:

And I was craving some smoked salmon, so I went with that:

The bread was fresh and smelt amaaaazing, lightly crusty exterior and soft and bouncy interior, fresh smoked salmon, spanish onion, mint and cream cheese.

Life is pretty sweet when you’re sitting in the semi sun, enjoying a gold ol’ catch up and taking it down the slow lane.

Dead Man espresso, is off busy Clarendon street, on a very quiet corner. This foodie’s sanctuary is exactly what the doctor ordered for a lazy sunday brunch or even a quick coffee on the go. Its buzzing with energy, happy satisfied tummies and the aroma of fresh beans linger softly against the humming of conversation.

enjoy!

. . .

Tastefully yours,

Dead Man Espresso on Urbanspoon

Melting white chocolate dumplings??? oh YES PLEASE!!

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[Oriental Tea house, 455 Chapel street South Yarra]

[From their website]:
Welcome one, welcome all! Feast your sense on the Oriental Teahouse – Melbourne’s premier tea and yum cha destination. A magical, culinary myriad of taste, aroma and atmosphere, here to welcome you with open minds, open arms and open menus.

Stace and I had a reunion over brunch the other day, and as I hadn’t seen her beautiful face since 2010, it was certainly an afternoon filled with laughter and tears of joy.

She took me to this beautiful YUM CHA style restaurant, Oriental Teahouse. Now this isn’t everyones ideal place for breakfast, and to be quite frank I did have ‘my first meal of the day’ already…. however thats what breakfast is all about isnt it? Indulging in it all day…. DROOL!

We drove to Chapel street (in Melbourne) to feast on yummies, as stace divulged in her stories of ‘yummies’ over the summer. 😉

We both decided, as the sun was high and scorching, an iced tea would be suitable.

I ordered iced toothpaste and licorice tea …(peppermint/aniseed… what a mistake!!!)

And Stace ordered a dreamy berrilicious tea

For food, we decided on a banquet for 2:

“Big dumpling lover” ($21.00 pp)
* Seafood basket dumplings
* Chive & baby pea leaves dumplings
* Variety Basket dumplings
*Pork shu mai & Buck wheat vegetable dumplings
*Satay Pork dumplings

and let me tell you, they tasted as good as they looked!!! YUM!!!

Prices:

after all that, we decided, YES we are still hungry. how?? I hear you ask? I will tell you how!

check out this: Steamed white chocolate dumplings ($5.90 for 3 pcs)

OH YUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!

we’re definately going back for the CHOCOLATE steamed dumplings. WHOAH!!

. . .

Tastefully yours,

Joanna

High street, not low street

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[ Grapeseed cafe, 1084 High street Armadale]

I have a friend called Angela, and all throughout highschool we called her Ang – and spelt it without an ‘e’ at the end…all of a sudden she decided to add the ‘e’… it has totally thrown my meaning of life… I guess its another reminder that nothing is permanent and I will have to get used to the change…

Change can be a wonderful thing, but often isn’t the easiest thing… so in the spirit of change, Ang(e), I have decided NOT to write about a certain amazing visit to Carlton, but in fact to complete the back log of yummies to get all up to date.

This gorgeous little place – actually not so little inside, is situated on High street near the corner of Kooyong and is a hub for the ‘yummy mummy’ type mixed in with the ‘pre-child young couple’ type and 20 somethings that wonder down for a quick bite or ‘lartay’ – clearly thats Ozzy for cafe Latte for those playing along at home. 🙂

I was here to meet my ‘little sister’ of Dining Room Diaries for a great big ol catch up since it had been a while.

We joked and ate and shopped all morning and just enjoyed the relaxing energy of High street.

She ordered 2 Free range poached eggs on Sour dough with a side of Avocado

And I ordered what I believe was from the lunch menu: Avo/Tomato/Crumbed fetta on toasted turkish bread. But in the spirit of ‘available all day’, who says you can’t eat ‘lunch’ for breaky?…. unless the waitress specifically says so, then i guess you’ve been told. *awkward*

I have to say, a little bit more on the presentation would have just done it… it was missing a gorgeous drizzle of olive oil for taste and aesthetic value. (Same goes for lil H) But it was still very delicious and very melbourne…and thats really what I was after.

And ofcourse, to wash this all down I ordered a fabulous soy chai latte which was pretty damn creamy and tasty 🙂

Prices are very average and anyone on any budget can find something delicious and quick to munch here, the service is quick and very friendly, and if you’re there on a sunny yummy day like ours – you’re mostly likely to sit back and soak in the warmth of the sun and energy of high street.

Now Ang(e), I do promise you will be ‘famous’ :), but as they say patience is a virtue… but you’re right, basically I need to stop procrastinating and get my groove on with these blogs!!!…

Please take a moment to pray for/think about the victims of the Floods in QLD and now Victoria… its time like these you realise your problems aren’t as big as others.

Please donate to the Queensland government to show your support. Click here for website

[If you’d like to view a review: click here]
. . .
Tastefully yours,

Joanna