Not My Thing – Monk Bodhi Dharma

Are you more of a carnivore, omnivore or herbivore? I am definitely a omnivore learning towards a carnivore :P I do love my veggies but I still like some protein with my meal lol the only time when I’ll happily go vegetarian is when I have dessert for breakfast, lunch and dinner :D Which doesn’t happen as often you may think hehe ~

Anyhow, the reason why I asked this question is because yesterday for the very first time I visited a vegetarian and vegan friendly cafe Monk Bodhi Dharma for brunch with fellow blogger Peach Water ~ which is named after the 5th century Indian monk Bodhi Dharma.

I actually didn’t know it was a vegetarian cafe until we got there ~ I have read some good reviews about Monk Budhi Dharma and according to The Age Cafe guide it has a 5 cup rating, so I did have high expectations, which unfortunately wasn’t met. Jan and I got there at around noon and was very lucky to get the last table in the corner all to ourselves :)

Poor Jan was allergic to these flowers :(

Neither of us had breakfast so we were pretty famished, we had a quick look at the menu and immediately ordered drinks.

Hot Chocolate with regular milk $3.50AUD

Peach Water got her signature hot chocolate, poor girl can’t have any strong coffees if not she can’t sleep :( But it’s okay ~ hot chocs can be just as good if not better :P Really liked the square cup they used, I had a sip too and thought it was a decent cup of hot chocolate, however, it didn’t really have the deep chocolate taste I like.

Chai Latte $5.50AUD

Thanks Jan for being a great helper p.s. can u see her pretty new ring? :)

I don’t know why, but I didn’t feel like my usual mocha or latte… instead I went for a Soy Chai Latte :P something I’ve never really had hehe I occasionally have a chai but never with soy milk. This chai latte had very strong cinnamon notes and was relatively spicy, compared to the regular chai lattes I’ve had, I think it would have helped tone down the spiciness if they had added some honey.

Umami Mushrooms on housemade pumpkin, spinach and sun dried tomato polenta bread with goat cheese $18.50AUD

We were pretty decisive and promptly chose the dishes we wanted for breakfast, but this was when the trouble started…we had to wait for a good half hour close to 45 minutes before we got our food. Jan got the Umagi mushrooms with polenta bread and goat cheese. The mushrooms were really tasty with a creamy sauce, but I found the goat cheese to be too pungent for my liking even though it was quite smooth ~ Neither of us liked the pumpkin, spinach and sun dried tomato polenta bread. I don’t think I’ve had polenta bread before, but found it really crumbly and really weird tasting.

Sweet Corn Ricotta Hotcakes with cherry tomatoes, basil pesto and sour cream $16.50AUD

The second issue was my sweet corn ricotta hotcakes…I’ve seen pictures of these hotcakes on some other bloggers posts and thought it looked great ~ I’m a bit crazy about pancakes, crepes and hotcakes lately, so I knew I wanted to try these. Even though it tasted alright, I liked the texture of the hotcakes, it was a little bit on the bland side and I found the cherry tomatoes to be very sour and the sour cream and pesto just didn’t match :( But the main problem we had was the long piece of hair in one of the hotcakes, we told the waiter, who apologised and said the kitchen will remake it. We waited for another half an hour before the same waiter came over again holding a raw piece of corn and said ‘we wanted to let you know, that it wasn’t a piece of hair, it was a corn beard, but yeah they’re remaking it now’. This didn’t make me feel comfortable, because I’m pretty sure we know the difference between a piece of hair and corn bread and they way he confronted me :(

It then took them another 15 minutes before they delivered a new plate of sweet corn ricotta hotcakes, by then I wasn’t very hungry and only had one of the hotcakes.

Avignon Apple Pancakes served with raw cinnamon ice cream maple syrup and raw vanilla bean whipped cream and dehydrated apple chips $18.50

Before we ordered our mains, I had persuaded Jan to share the raw apple pancakes as desserts, it was quite interesting with the raw cinnamon ice-cream and raw vanilla whipped cream both which I’ve never had before. It looks goods and I know Hannah (Wayfaring Chocolate) would love this type of desserts ~ but unfortunately, it really wasn’t my thing :( The apple pancakes were slightly burnt and you can really taste that ‘burnt’ flavour and were really dense and flavourless…while the raw cinnamon ice-cream had a really chalky taste and texture to it. We actually didn’t know it was cinnamon ice-cream until we reread the menu. I didn’t mind the vanilla whipped cream but it wasn’t what I was use to either, because it is a vegan dish they used coconut milk instead of regular milk. I thought the coconut overpowered the vanilla taste  too much ~ It would’ve been a lot better if there were more maple syrup…but because service was so slow, we didn’t even bother asking for more :(

I personally wasn’t impressed with the food here at Monk Bodhi Dharma, maybe it was just me and vegetarian and vegan food isn’t my thing…but I really can’t forgive them for their service and it was quite expensive…we spent $35AUD each for brunch…while I’m sure we can get better food and service elsewhere.

Unfortunately, I can’t say that I will return to Monk Bodhi Dharma anytime soon…but I know Mr Bao is really interested in trying the coffee so may be we will…  just hope the service is more efficient next time.

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45 thoughts on “Not My Thing – Monk Bodhi Dharma

  1. peach water July 16, 2012 at 9:39 pm Reply

    *sigh* Your blog is spot on. I will

  2. peach water July 16, 2012 at 9:41 pm Reply

    Oops. Pressed post comment.

    Definitely not impressed. I’ve never felt so depressed over a breakfast before, and I think they’ve managed to do it >__<

    Great photos btw ;)

    x

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet July 17, 2012 at 10:46 am Reply

      Thanks love :) You were a great helper pouring the chai latte hehe

      I couldn’t agree with you more! I haven’t been SO upset and depressed for such a long time :( Seriously I’d rather just have my boring yoghurt and muesli than to go back again :(

  3. liannelow July 16, 2012 at 9:46 pm Reply

    what a pity that the food and service didn’t live up to it’s name. But that chai soy latte looks good! Normally, cafes would ask if you want honey with it? Funny how they didnt! I have to bring you to Galleon Cafe to have their chai, best yet! hehe I actually did put this in my list of to-go brunch places, but took it off after you said it wasn’t good. haha ah well! I still got heaps of places to try out! hehe

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet July 17, 2012 at 10:48 am Reply

      Yes please!!!! Where is Galleon Cafe? Take me take me hehe :) Are they open on the weekends? ~

      I was really upset that service was so bad and that food wasn’t great either…the burnt pancakes really turned meoff…but doesn’t matter like what you said there are so many other places we can explore hehe ~

      • liannelow July 17, 2012 at 11:47 am Reply

        hehe it’s at St Kilda’s! Yes it is open in the weekends! And always long queue! hehe Maybe we can go together with the mr one of the weekends after I’m back from Brissy! :P

        • Daisy@Nevertoosweet July 17, 2012 at 12:06 pm Reply

          That sounds good :) Ricky was complaining it’s always girls day out and girls night out hahaha and i have a feeling the boys will get along with each other really well :) they both each SO MUCH hhaha

          • liannelow July 17, 2012 at 12:12 pm Reply

            haha (: both love food! well we all do! hehe Sounds great! we will decide on a date after I’m back! hehe

  4. hotlyspiced July 16, 2012 at 9:56 pm Reply

    Oh Daisy, that just doesn’t sound good. To have to wait so long for simple dishes to appear and then to have a hair in your food and then to be challenged about it and then for sure those pancakes are burnt. That is really terrible. I think you’ve been very fair in your review and this restaurant needs to definitely improve in its service, cleanliness and timing xx

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet July 17, 2012 at 11:44 am Reply

      Hello Charlie :( Unfortunately, it really wasn’t a pleasant brunch but i did like my company though hehe ~ I’m still quite upset that they tried to defend themselves by bringing me a raw piece of corn…
      I really hope I wasn’t too harsh in my review because I just like being honest and think all customers have the right to voice out :)

  5. ironchefshellie July 16, 2012 at 10:17 pm Reply

    burnt pancakes… make me sad :( I won’t rush here even though it’s on my to eat list!

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet July 17, 2012 at 12:01 pm Reply

      They were so black :( i swear i didn’t edit the photo lol doesn’t matter there are so many other places to check out ~ maybe only go for a coffee if you’re ever around that area :)

  6. kellysiew July 16, 2012 at 10:26 pm Reply

    Even though I’m half vegetarian, I don’t really go to pure vegetarian restaurans… Nowadays most restaurants have good vegetarian dishes anyway especially when it comes to brunch options. It’s not nice for them to come specifically to tell you that it was a corn husk too….

    Though I must say Jan’s dish looks kinda interesting, but you can get similar version at Mr Tulk and I can assure you’ll like their version of fried polenta. Hehe.

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet July 17, 2012 at 12:03 pm Reply

      I’m actually surprised non-vegetarian places seem to be serving better vegetarian dishes than pure vegetarian restaurants and cafes. I have nothing account eating vegetarian and I know that it’s probably better for me that way…but the food here just wasn’t very nice at all :(

      Jan’s mushrooms was probably the best dish out of all three of them and now you’ve got me interested in going to Mr Tulks hehe

  7. Choc Chip Uru July 17, 2012 at 6:27 am Reply

    Wow besides the square cup I don’t what else to be happy about for you – so sorry :(
    You deserve way better!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet July 17, 2012 at 1:42 pm Reply

      It’s alright Uru :) not your fault hehe it just wasn’t a nice cafe but maybe it was just be and I don’t like vegetarian food?

      Anyhow hope you’ve had a nice first day back at school ~

  8. theragingcook July 17, 2012 at 8:16 am Reply

    Carnivore trying to move to herbivore… too much meat lately… and been making one too many desserts… so sugarvore too?

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet July 17, 2012 at 1:43 pm Reply

      HAHHAA I Couldn’t stop laughing at the sugarvore! I LOVE IT! Can i use it in my other posts? :D PLEASE hehe

      • theragingcook July 18, 2012 at 5:39 pm Reply

        Yes you can use “sugarvore” but you must credit me for coming up with it :D

  9. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella July 17, 2012 at 2:03 pm Reply

    Oh what a shame that it didn’t impress but thanks for the honest review Daisy! :D

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet July 17, 2012 at 2:05 pm Reply

      You’re welcome Lorraine :) i hope I wasn’t too harsh, because I just like to be honest :D

  10. Hannah July 17, 2012 at 3:50 pm Reply

    It’s so much about attitude. I don’t mind if something goes a bit wrong in the kitchen – we all make mistakes – but if the waiters are rude about it, I won’t go back.

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet July 18, 2012 at 4:08 pm Reply

      I definitely agree Hannah ~ it’s fine if they’ve made a mistake or maybe it was a piece of corn beard but I just think they could’ve been nicer about it :(

  11. Ames July 18, 2012 at 10:21 am Reply

    Aww sorry to hear it wasn’t a great experience – well at least you know and you’ve given us an honest review of the visit… that’s all anyone can expect :).

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet July 18, 2012 at 4:23 pm Reply

      Thanks Ames :) I was really worried that maybe i was being too harsh and that maybe the food isn’t too bad…but I really didn’t like it >_<

  12. Agnes July 18, 2012 at 11:00 am Reply

    Awwww. That\’s so sad that your experience there wasn\’t positive. I\’ve been to MBD a lot because it\’s close to work, and even though I\’m not vegetarian I\’ve always enjoyed their food (I really love that mushroom dish in particular). I don\’t think you\’ve been too harsh.

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet July 18, 2012 at 4:10 pm Reply

      Hi Agnes :) Thanks for dropping by my blog ~ I’m glad you don’t think I’m too harsh especially since you’re a regular patron there. I really wanted to like MBD and would go back if their service wasn’t so bad :(

  13. Nami | Just One Cookbook July 18, 2012 at 5:21 pm Reply

    Restaurant review includes the whole experience and if you didn’t feel comfortable and enjoy as much then this restaurant wasn’t good enough. You are not harsh at all. I think good vegetarian dishes should be tasty for non-vegetarian too! Good honest review!

  14. catty (@catty) July 18, 2012 at 9:24 pm Reply

    Shame you didn’t have a good time.. the umami mushrooms look good!!

  15. cara @ gourmet chick July 18, 2012 at 10:35 pm Reply

    What a shame about the poor service as like you I have heard some good things about this place. The hair story in particular is pretty bad – not a good way to deal with a problem like that.

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet July 20, 2012 at 9:08 am Reply

      Hi Cara :)
      A shame that we’ve both heard good things about MBD, I didn’t like how they dealt with the corn issue either…i felt like they were challenging me and that i was a trouble maker lol

  16. That is a shame. The apple pancakes are really burnt. That’s something I would do (burn stuff), not something you should put up with in a restaurant.

  17. penny aka jeroxie July 21, 2012 at 5:59 pm Reply

    looking real good… never had a chance to go when I was still in melb.

  18. Nic @diningwithastud July 23, 2012 at 7:46 pm Reply

    What a shame about the pumpkin dish – it looks really yummy :(

  19. MadisonJane August 2, 2012 at 9:53 am Reply

    Its a shame you didnt like this place we thought it was great?! Our friends had raved about it all the time so we decided to try it and we loved it! :)

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet August 2, 2012 at 10:28 am Reply

      Thanks for dropping by Madison Jane!

      Definitely a shame :) I’m not sure if it was just that day that they were so busy and that’s why they weren’t up to standard. And the attitude of the waiter wasn’t very nice :(

      But maybe I need to go back and give them a second chance ~ Glad to know that you enjoyed it hehe

  20. Froggy Legs August 3, 2012 at 12:34 am Reply

    I am a regular and find the waiters to be extremely friendly so they must have had a bad day and taken it out on poor you :( the hair issue doesn’t sound good but worth giving them another chance I think . Their coffee is one of the best in the area too ..

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet August 13, 2012 at 2:59 pm Reply

      Hello Froggy Legs thanks for dropping by my blog :) Maybe it was just that day and maybe I ordered the wrong dishes ~ unfortunately, I just didn’t enjoy my visit as much as I had anticipated. However, i do believe it may have been a one off experience :)

  21. kirk August 8, 2012 at 8:00 am Reply

    Hey Daisy, my name is Kirk and I am said controversial waiter. At the risk of pulling hairs (pardon the pun) may I shed some light on this scorching monologue.

    Finding hair in food is gross. It’s happened to me whilst eating out in the past and creeps me out. So naturally when you brought your little situation to my attention I didn’t hesitate to have in having it remade. My co-workers in the kitchen felt the same. When the kitchen showed me it wasn’t a hair, but a stringy piece from the corn husk it was a relief for all; no gross hair in food situation aka good news. I didn’t even realize corn had such stringy pieces in their shell (”corn beard” as you put it). By this stage your lunch was already being remade, no problem, but I thought you might like to know about this mix up to put your mind at ease if nothing else. It was a reasonable and understandable complaint you made and in all honesty there was no ill feeling from myself or co-workers. Showing you the corn string was my quick albeit clumsy way of trying to make you feel better about the situation, rather than worse. For what it’s worth, there was no desire to defend or to challenge or to make you feel uncomfortable. It was an extremely busy day from memory and I don’t remember having any attitude toward your situation beyond brief concern. Now that I’ve read your essay though I have to say that I’m confused how a simple mix up could cause you to feel ”so upset and depressed for such a long time”, or why you’d spend hours writing about a lunch you didn’t enjoy.

    Fair call on the wait. 30-45 minutes is a bit long to wait for food, even if it’s that busy.

    Good luck with the blog I hope it works out for you!

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet August 8, 2012 at 7:39 pm Reply

      Hello Kirk,
      Thank you for your comment and spending the time to reply to my review of the cafe that you work at.

      I hope you understand that my review was intended to share with my readers my experience at any cafe/restaurant at any given one time. And not to attack or cause you or anyone any distress. As I can only speak from my own experience and my experience may be different from someone else.

      It is true that I found your act of showing me the ‘corn’ rather confronting and the wait to be a little long hence, that was what I wrote in my review. I have always been completely honest with all the reviews I write.

      I also clearly stated in my review that it may have been an issue of personal preference and not necessarily an issue with the food MBD served.

      Really hope this will clear any confusions or misconceptions you may have.

      Once again thank you for your comment.

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