325 Johnston Street
+61 3 9534 7250
It was on a Monday public holiday when The Angmoh and myself met up with Libby (The Very Very Hungry Caterpillar) for brunch at Admiral Cheng-ho. Sister to Monk Bodhi Dharma, the younger cafe maintains its vegetarian ethos with the menu being extremely animal-friendly, with most items being vegan. This was perfect for Meatless Monday.
As we sat on the communal table deliberating our choices, I couldn’t help feel the heat built up. The morning rays coupled with the small space made it warm and almost stifling really quickly. We started with drinks with The Angmoh’s magic and Libby’s café latte looking like a great way to wake up, and my chai being wonderfully spicy with strong notes of cinnamon and ginger. Yum!
I’d initially worried about The Angmoh’s carnivorous appetites but he seemed really pleased with his bircher. Having had one from the Admiral’s older sister, I can vouch for the deliciousness of this popular breakfast dish. The muesli is pre-soaked in apple juice without losing crunch. The crisp green apples and yoghurt provide a tangy and textural contrast. It may look small but it sure was filling.
Libby ordered the Umami mushrooms and for those who have yet to discover the taste of “umami”, this dish will explain it all. The mushrooms were bursting with flavours and the goats cheese and chilli oil enhanced all of that earthiness. I thought the accompanying polenta bread was a little on the dry side.
Umami Mushrooms – slow roasted king oyster, shiitake, oyster and swiss brown mushrooms on a house made pumpkin, spinach and sun dried tomato polenta bread. Served with goats cheese, thyme and red chilli oil $18.50
My dish of zucchini fritters comprised of different components that worked well as a whole. The fritters weren’t too soggy and the tangy beetroot provided an uplifting contrast. My favourite bit was the basil cashew cream, which tasted so smooth and creamy, making it hard to believe that it didn’t contain any actual cream!
Admiral Cheng Ho is a great place for vegans, vegetarians and carnivores too. The food is wholesome and delicious and I think even meat-loving folks will walk out feeling full and satisfied.