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

Just ‘bent’ around the corner

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[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

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

. . .
[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

. . .
[ 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

Main street, main attraction!!

[Main street Cafe, 505 Main street,Mordialloc]



Soooo, after a very long flight from Germany to melbourne via (Doha) I pretty much wrote the next off the next day sleeping and vegetating which was well needed as I would be working as of the day after!!!

The first beautiful Saturday after arrived was the perfect opportunity to catch up with my beautiful “brazilliant” friend Shyam. (yes that is a wordbaby of “Brazilian & brilliant”… Shy isn’t REALLY from brazil, just looks it, but he is just so brilliant!!) I was absolutely dying to feast on perfect Melbourne poached eggs accompanied by a perfect soy chai latte…and as Shy lives near mordy, he suggested “main street cafe” right in the heart of Mordialloc, Melbourne.

I caught the train down, and was literally greeted with the buzz that is “main street cafe” as I exited onto main street. So a big gold star for ease and accessibility.

Shy opted for a very healthy poached egg on sour dough with spinach-without hollandaise (Benedict without the guilt). And I in true form, ordered the “veggie patch”

When my chai latte came out, I was dancing in my seat as I had been craving it all this time in Germany.

Then I tasted it… It looked like a chai latte, was spicy like a chai latte but it was missing SOY!! I absent mindedly had thought all chai lattes were a beautiful marriage of soy and honey….fail… But it was a pretty good full cream milk chai latte at least…

Next, (more seat dancing) our amazingly presented meals were brought out by this gorgeous french waiter.

The 2 free range poached eggs were beautiful and wobbly and as I poked my fork through, the most luscious oozing of warm egg yolk soaked my sour dough…. I was in heaven…. Gooey, yolky, delicious heaven!!

This breakfast destination is no secret, nor is it even that new anymore… But to me, being my first breaky since Qatar plane food, I felt I had uncovered something really special….

The space is airy and buzzing with energy, smiles and satisfied tummies, easy to get to and easy to find, and most importantly-filled with cute waiters/waitresses… Oh!!!! I mean served a mean breakfast ;).

I hope to be frequenting this place often over the summer, and who knows I might be fluent in French by the end of it!! 🙂

. . .
Tastefully yours,
Joanna

Weihnachtsmarkt [Christmas Markets] in Germany

[Trier, Germany]

Its beginning to look a lot like christmas… 🙂 [I’m totally singing to myself right now]

A lot of people seem dislike this time of year, for various reasons. But for me, I reaaaaaaaaaaally really love it!. Its energetic, frantic, emotional and usually a sign that schools, uni, work and WINTER is coming to a halt…however in the northern hemisphere, winter is FULL STEAM AHEAD… but less steam, MORE SNOW!

Being my first German Christmas/winter, everything is wonderful, and new and awe-inspiring. It truly is  a winter wonderland. Everything makes little more sense celebrating the holiday season when its ‘brain-freezingly’ cold. Like, singing ‘baby its cold outside’ when its ACTUALLY cold outside…

However, I crave the sun, the heat and wearing floaty shimmery dresses to christmas lunch/dinner and all December long.

For me, there is something very odd, but beautiful about rugging up to head outdoors this time of year… making sure you’re layered up like an onion and putting on your hats and scarves. But I think, as much as I adore it and admire it, I would take slipping on a floaty number, popping on my haviannas and wearing SUNSCREEN over a scarf any day…

Yes, I may sound a tad homesick, and maybe thats b/c in a few days I’ll be in Melbourne and sweating like a ‘p***’ eating my words :)…ahh *sigh* the grass is always greener…

Anywho, whilst being in the most random place in Europe, we discovered the joys of European Christmas – the Weihnachtsmart [Christmas markets]. But especially the on in our town – Trier Weihnachtsmarkt. And the sheer joy of Christmas market food!

*Gluhwein [mulled wine]
*Hot chocolate with baileys
*Eggnog

*Poffetjes [dutch pancakes]
*waffles
*crepes

*Schocofruecte [delicious chocolate covered fresh fruit]
*Mushrooms/panfried potatoes
*Potato cakes with apple sauce

and SO MUCH MORE!!!!

If you’re on a diet – forget about it. Indulge in deep-fried, sugar-coated salty numbers and pile on the christmas weight to keep you cosy for this jolly season.

Heres a Christmas mishmash of delicious yummies and the magical backdrop that was my home for the greater part of this year….Trier

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If you don’t celebrate christmas, I hope you enjoy your holiday season and for those who do, wherever you are I hope you’re enjoying some good food and taking time to reflect on the year that has been…2010.

. . .

Tastefully yours,

Joanna

Angels in London [part 2]

[The Regent Public House, Angel]
201 Liverpool Road, London N1 1L

Sundays are my favourite days for a lazy breakfast whilst discussing the night before enjoying an all day breakfast affair. Whether it is sweet or savoury, hot or cold….[and in this case healthy or not so :)], there is nothing more enjoyable than good simple food in good company.

Sometimes, there is nothing more delicious than fresh hot Pizza on a Sunday arvo-boys watching football and Liesel and I thoroughly enjoying some not necessary tasty morsels for the hips.

 

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For drinks, some dabbled in the beer variety, Liesel and I tried Luscombe’s Elderflower Bubbly. 🙂 It’s a beautiful harmony of ‘just the right amount of sweet’ & ‘just the right amount of bubbles’ to brighten up a miserably cold and grey London Sunday. [and to aid me from my Primark suicide trip I was about to embark on, brace yourselves for some retail crowd surfing!!]

Prices were friendly and so were the staff. The venue is equipped for a lot of football watching, so beware if you’re up for a more lively atmosphere. It’s so couchy and so relaxed [except when someone shoots a goal]  it ALMOST feels like you’re in the sun enjoying a cold bevvie. ALMOST. 🙂

This weekend, team London are venturing to the German side for a bit of Chrissie marketing. The Weihnachtmarkts are in full gear, and up until a few days ago, the town was a winterwonderland. AND not to mention the coldest I’d ever experienced – getting a brain freeze walking to the station is NOT OK! 😐

However, the snow has almost all melted and now we are left with drizzle and grey…I guess I’d rather the SUPER FREEZE as it comes with a beautiful white blanket… keeping our hearts warm :).

We’re heading to Cologne this w/e, so I’ll keep you posted with sugar-coated lovelies.

 

. . .

Tastefully yours,

Joanna