Marwin Shaw, owner of Balaclava’s Monk Bodhi Dharma, is behind Abbotsford venture, Admiral Cheng-Ho, which serves up top fair-trade teas alongside seasonal, single estate coffee.
The impressive coffee counter operates six simultaneous grinders filled with different single-origin beans, which sometimes features an ultra-premium bean that can go at about $20 a cup. For your more every-day coffee, you can grab a cup of something filtered or a cold brew of the other five types on offer.
Staying true to the devoted clientele that trek to Balaclava for their Monk fix, Shaw has carried over signature dishes and created notable new ones such as the zucchini fritters – sautéed kale with seasonal vegetables with a tangy beetroot relish and basil cashew cream. And for those that love dessert for breakfast, the raw banoffee pie makes for an indulgent yet almost guilt-free meal.
The fit-out and furnishings are handmade by Shaw from salvaged timbers and recycled materials. The interior is a patch-worked nod to the cultural corners of Melbourne, with the attention to detail that is evident in Shaw’s entire approach; the south wall features coloured planks of timber with a beach shack feel, the east wall has a white minimalist look, and the west wall features a rustic exposed brick.