Living in the suburbs has its ups and downs. One of the main downfalls is the lack of any kind of nearby food or entertainment within walking distance. So when Cokebaby noticed Monsoon Café had opened up on Parkland Drive in Clayton Park we had to check it out. It’s in the very same spot that several cafés failed before: first as Bean Sprout which had a drive-through and play area for kids, then as the Almond Café which didn’t last long enough for me to even check out.
The decor got a facelift thankfully. There’s nothing worse than going to a new restaurant and feeling like the only thing that’s changed is the menu. Seating includes a good mix of a couch, club chairs and bar stools around matching tables. There’s sort of a modern Asian flare to the place.
The menu itself is simple and the cuisine East Indian fusion. It was lunchtime so Cokebaby and I opted for the lunch combo: a choice of three banh mi sandwiches, mulligatawny soup, a cookie, and tea/coffee for $10. If you’ve never had mulligatawny soup, give it a try but only if you like the taste of curry and pepper. It was my favourite part of the meal.
Banh mi is a Vietnamese baguette sandwich filled with thinly sliced pickled carrots, daikon, cucumbers, cilantro, chili peppers, mayonnaise and either meat or tofu. Cokebaby had the satay chicken sandwich and gave it his nod of approval. I decided to go for the veggie sandwich and was a little disappointed that there was no protein. Comparatively speaking, Indochine Banh Mi on South Park Street serves up better vegetarian options. That said, I’d go back again and try something different or just order a bigger bowl of soup (it was that good). The atmosphere was laid back, the service efficient, and the food was good value for the money.