Thursday, 24 September 2015

Zen Den, Eltham

I was looking for a place to eat in Eltham so of course I turned to Zomato to find out what was the number 1 café in Eltham. A search on my phone resulted in Zen Den but finding it in real life was a different matter... We drove past a couple of times but Google Maps told us we were in the right place. We therefore assumed that this nameless café in front of us was indeed Zen Den. We were greeted, seated and provided a menu which I was happy to see had Zen Den listed across the top. Although the outside is unassuming, the locals obviously know about this clandestine café as we only just managed to obtain a seat. The café is split into two rooms which have a very cool vibe with an eclectic mix of furniture and accessories. The bread is from the Abbotsford Convent Bakery and the free range meats are supplied by Gary’s Quality Meats.  

·        Green with Envy – kale and watercress pesto scrambled eggs with slow grilled ham hock, fresh chilli and basil, served on sourdough ($16.50)
·        Hashta La Vista – potato hash stacked with wilted spinach, buttered thyme mushrooms, toasted pine nuts, hollandaise and poached eggs ($16.50) *gluten-free
·        Pizza – poached pear and prosciutto thin crust pizza, dressed with baby rocket and olive oil, micro herbs and sharp blue cheese ($16.00)
·        French Toast Eh? – golden pan fried eggy bread, topped with free range bacon, caramelised banana and real Canadian maple syrup ($18.50)

The menu consists of many healthy but delicious options that will make you feel very zen afterwards. There are also more indulgent dishes for those who feel like something a bit naughty... I decided to have the ‘Macro Bowl – grilled tofu served with kale, roasted pumpkin, red cabbage, chickpeas, nuts and chia seeds on organic brown rice, drizzled with soy infused tahini ($15.00)’. I’m not on a vegan or gluten-free diet but this dish happened to be just that. The soy infused tahini provided so much flavour! Care was taken with each element and the pumpkin and baby carrots were perfectly cooked. An extremely generous serve of almonds added crunch. It was an incredibly filling dish but tasted so good that I managed to finish the lot!  

Macro Bowl

My dining companion picked the ‘Fresh Mex – Cajun spiced market fresh fish served with a zesty lemon infused Mexi-slaw, avocado whip and a chipotle mayo on two soft tortillas ($16.00)’. This was also a brilliant dish with large portions of succulent fish. The zingy slaw and spicy mayo made a winning flavour combination with the fish.

Fresh Mex

An iced flat white ($3.80) would be perfect when the weather warms up or you might prefer a ‘Bananarama Smoothie – banana, raw peanut butter, cacao nibs, raw oats and almond milk ($8.00)’. My latte ($3.80) made with Atomica Coffee’s Tiger Ray Blend was lovely with floral notes.

The place was buzzing with people but the service was very efficient. 

Address: 736 Main Rd, Eltham, VIC

Phone: 03 9439 8838

Trading Hours:
Mon – Sun: 7.00am – 4.00pm

Cafe Zen Den Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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