Rear 202 Carlisle Street, Balaclava, VIC, 3183


Named after a Fifth-Century Buddhist monk from southern India, this modest establishment – hidden behind a dental surgery off Carlisle Street – specialises in coffee and tea, and also serves up hearty vegetarian dishes such as North African ratatouille and date stew. The lads behind the counter are well versed in the coffee-making arts, and will eloquently describe the various in-house brews in the manner of a knowledgeable sommelier.

We try two espressos. The first is from the Zambica Estate, in Zambia, and is extremely tangy and complex with sweet cigar and raw sugar flavours that resolve into an almost lemon-lime zing. It stays long on the palate and feels very clean, with a medium viscosity and no oil. Our second espresso is a Colombian blend that has an earthy taste with hints of nutmeg and a burnt toffee aroma. It lingers on the tongue and eventually becomes slightly sour and ashy. It’s richly viscous and clean in the mouth, even after all that complexity. Zen in a cup.

+613 9534 7250

Trading Hours
mon – fri: 6.30am – 4pm sat – sun: 8am – 4pm

Cafe: 23/25
Coffee: 24/25

Monk Bodhi Dharma


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