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Bonsai Botanika

Home > Brisbane > Cafes | Chocolate | Coffee | Food and Wine | Tea
by Alison Muirhead (subscribe)
Doting grandmother and grey nomad who should join Volunteers Anonymous and is greatly in favour of a ten day week. So much to do, so little time.
Published May 14th 2021
Turning Japanese fusion in a quiet corner of Brisbane


Wandering along Elizabeth Street with my tour guests, I passed a footpath sandwich board I had not noticed before. One word jumped out at me – DECAF! Make mine a half-strength, decaf, lactose-free, latte, otherwise known as a "Why Bother?" How many other cafes in Brisbane make decaf coffee a selling point? I thought, it must be good.



Having divested myself of my tour guests, I returned to Bonsai Botanika to check out the coffee. My first impression on entering was this was a place for hipsters, not septuagenarians, but the staff put my trepidation to rest. The young woman behind the counter was not fazed by my specific request, and I retreated to a comfy wooden table and chair nearby. A gentleman, Covid safely 1.5 metres away from me, was engaged with his phone, and I followed suit.



Although issued with one of those buzzers, my coffee and the apple biscuit I chose, having had a filling sushi lunch elsewhere, was graciously delivered to my table. Apparently table service is more honoured in the observance rather than the breach. (Thanks, Shakespeare.) The apple biscuit could have been a little crisper, but the coffee! I had a world of cakes and biscuits at my command as you can see.



Initially, I was overwhelmed by the décor but I soon realised that it gave the place a certain ambience enhanced by suitable softly played background music. It is off the usual beaten track of the Brisbane CBD but that gave it a more relaxed feeling. The café is designated Japanese fusion but I couldn't find that echoed in the décor, although the menu had a number of Japanese flavoured dishes and drinks.







The menu begins with breakfast, the café opening up at 7.30 on weekdays. There is a broad range of drinks, including Japanese, with a great emphasis on chocolate. What could go wrong? Evening hours are extended at weekends so one could enjoy a drink or a bite to eat after the movie. The café is wheelchair accessible and meals can be taken in house, taken away or delivered by doordash.com.





If you choose to enjoy a meal, a wide selection of alcohol is available or you can BYO. The main meals on the menu are definitely Japanese fusion and are most reasonably priced. How does Crispy Chicken Salad and Wonton Skin for $12.00 or 3 Chilli Crab Claws for $7.80 sound? I'll be back for a meal. And a Why Bother!


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Why? To enjoy a relaxed and delicious break from the hurly burly of the Brisbane CBD
When: M-Th: 7.30-1800; F:7.30-2300; Sat: 830-2000; Sun: 9-1800
Phone: 07 3210 0059
Where: 107/109 Elizabeth Street, Brisbane City 4000
Cost: Various and reasonable
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