breakfast degustation, why aren’t more places doing it!

While we hadn’t officially met, Tresna and I had been conversing on Twitter and I’d found out through her updates that a place was offering a breakfast degustation. Doesn’t that sound like the best thing ever?! Breakfast that just stretches for courses and courses…mmm yes.

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So myself, Tresna and Ceri from Healthy Party Girl blog found ourselves at Monk Bodhi Dharma in Balaclava, just across the road from my beloved Local Taphouse. For $30 we would be served four courses with our choice of tea or coffee. It turned out that Tresna and Ceri had met at the Eat Drink Blog inaugural conference and were chatting like old friends when I arrived late. I am so out of sync when it comes to travelling in peak hour traffic by car, whoops.

The first course had just arrived when I did – an Algerian citrus cleanser paired with a Tunisian apple and celery salad. Close up, a shot glass of berry yoghurt with a miniature mint leaf. Various citrus fruits (mandarin, grapefruit, lemon) were used and then topped with a pomegranate seed. A very invigorating and healthy start to the North African themed breakfast.

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With our appetites very much whetted, we were greeted with a more substantial course next – a Moroccan mushroom harvest on flatbread with sumac goats’ cheese. As a largely happy omnivore, I don’t want to say that this dish was just like eating meat, but when I do say that, I mean that there are indeed vegetarian-only flavours that are highly pleasing to the omnivore palate. Mushrooms, for example are definitely up there, as are chickpeas which this dish also had. Lovely!

Moroccan mushroom harvest on flatbread with sumac goats' cheese

Time for some coffee! We all chose the syphon of the day, an Ethiopian Yirgacheffe. A very subtle-flavoured coffee with touches of floral and maybe even some citrus notes? I’m just going on what I could taste as my coffee knowledge is sorely lacking. I drink more tea than I do coffee and found this well suited to me. I don’t really like my coffee to kick me in the nuts first thing in the morning!

syphon coffee of the day - Ethiopian Yirgacheffe

Before the next savoury course, we were given a tomato soup cleanser with miniature basil and advised to drink up our coffee before trying it. Gosh, this was so good – how can something so healthy taste so glorious! There were suggestions that it could be ‘spiced up’ with some vodka…ooh yes. An excellent pick-me-up.

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The spoils still haven’t stopped! Our last savoury course was a butterbean and baby asparagus tart with heirloom tomato salad and pomegranate lime dressing. The tart was creamy in texture and a great match to the acidity and sweetness of the mango chutney. The tomatoes were heavenly – sometimes vegetables with simple dressings are the best. At least, those are the sorts of salads I tend to prefer.

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Just one last course! A North African orange blossom rice pudding with an apple crumble in a beautiful tumbler. At first the rice pudding seemed a little stodgy, but duh me, that is what the shot glass of cream is for! Add that, stir and enjoy the dreamy texture. Don’t be afraid to mix, folks!

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The lovely barista chose a pourover for me as I couldn’t decide what coffee to have next – he gave me a full-bodied Kenyan (I confess the name wasn’t obvious to me…sorry about that!). This was very much the opposite to the Yirgacheffe we all started with – robust, rich and thicker.

Kenyan coffee pourover

Tresna sadly had to leave and missed out on Ceri and I nomming some truffles which brought our decadent breakfast degustation to a close. From right to left, you have your standard chocolate, in the middle is pistachio and the colourful one is candied fennel. How wonderfully unusual does that sound? It reminded me very much of anise or liquorice (which I happen to love, though I know a lot of people don’t).

truffles

Some fantastic food on offer here for the breakfast degustation and keen for a repeat visit. If you are interested in trying the degustation, do note that you should allow an hour and a half (though they can start at 7.30am) and it’s only offered on Thursdays and Fridays. If you’re vegan, not to worry – dairy substitutes are available (Ceri in fact requested vegan substitutes). Be warned, you might not have space for lunch later in the day!

You can also read Ceri’s account of the breakfast at her blog. I’m sure all three of us can attest that it was worth getting up early for – this coming from the worst morning person ever.

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19 thoughts on “breakfast degustation, why aren’t more places doing it!

  1. Billy

    You’re fast becoming the consummate breakfast blogger! The ood at this place looks awesome. I’m gonna have to drag Mr N down before we both move Westside!

    Reply
  2. Gem

    Wow, looks like I’m not the only one enthused by the concept!

    @Billy I hope you made a gang sign when you said “Westside” and yeah, you should go! Apparently I can be a morning person when I don’t have insomnia, who knew hehe.

    @Penny & Ashley go! It really is as good as it sounds!

    @Joyce a sweet and savoury course for breakfast does indeed sound like an excellent concept. That’s one of the reasons I love French toast with a side of bacon, mmm 🙂

    Reply
  3. Nathaniel Stockley

    I love the way they’ve taken degustation dining and adapted it to breakfast. All the courses looked and sounded lovely. Keen to sample it some time soon.

    Cheers
    Nathaniel Stockley

    Reply
  4. Esz

    Innnnnteresting. $30 aint too bad – now just have to take a day off somehow and make it to Balaclava early in the morning. Innnnntressssting

    Reply
  5. Gem

    @Nathaniel yeah, hopefully more places will start doing it! It’s a great idea.

    @Esz they open at 7.30am so you could conceivably try to get there that early and turn up late if you can wrangle it 🙂 I was just lucky I started later in the day, whee!

    Reply
  6. Kate

    Thanks guys for the wonderful write up and lovely comments! Our next breakky deg will be on Tue 17 & Wed 18 Aug. It’ll be slightly different for the next one and we’ll focus a little more on the tea too this time, making it a little teagustation perhaps!

    Hope to see you again!
    Kate xx

    Reply
    1. gem Post author

      @Emma and vegan, if you require too!

      @Kate I’m glad I got to visit, will definitely be in again to try out the changed menu.

      Reply
  7. Pingback: (live, love) eat, drink, stagger » more breakfast degustation wondrousness

  8. Pingback: HOT: Monk Bodhi Dharma, Rear 202 Carlisle St, Balaclava | MEL: HOT OR NOT

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