I am a freelance writer working and living in Brisbane. I write for the TV review blog the400club.org.
Published May 22nd 2012
In a city that is filled with enough cafes to service a large army, hidden away in a corner of West End is the quintessential and quirky Three Monkeys Cafe. So why go there instead of anywhere else? Simply put, it's fun.
I realised recently that while I'd been many, many times my wife had not. So we piled in the car and drove over. Parking is not always the easiest thing to find as the streets fill up quickly (always a good sign) but it's worth parking a little further away and enjoying a little walk while you drink in the natural charm of West End.
The menu includes a great selection of drinks (coffees, smoothies, hot chocolates, teas, juices, soft drinks and their famous Chai) and food that ranges from scones, muffins and cakes to more hearty meals like chilli con carne, enchiladas, and filos. The service is quick and friendly and while it can get pretty busy, especially late on a weekend night, you rarely feel rushed or sense the staff are stressed.
After ordering your food you have to find a table, which can sometimes be a feat when it's busy but it's such an interesting place to look at you don't mind strolling through. The walls are covered in pictures and paintings from all over the world (with a definite Mediterranean-Baltic skew ).
Combined with the soft lighting, low ceilings and eclectic collection of chairs, benches and sitting cushions the artwork helps create a relaxed and fun atmosphere that feels like you're hanging out at a friend's apartment. This is helped by a selection of boardgames that are available to be played at your table should you so desire.
So if you're looking for an reasonably inexpensive date or just a place to hang out with friends Three Monkeys is a must on your list. It's located at 58 Mollison St, West End and is open from 9am-11:30pm, and sometimes even later.
I love the atmosphere of The Three Monkeys but unfortunately I don't go very often (it's a good 45min drive for me) because I can't usually eat there (I'm gluten intolerant) unless things have changed there recently. Their food is all pre-prepared commercially and staff are VERY unwilling to check ingredients packs (in fact they flatly refused) and state they don't know what is gluten free, when asked if there is someone else they can check with, ask, someway to find out they refuse... (no one has had the forethought to prepare a list? train anyone? what the....)
One day I was lucky enough to strike a staff member who put together a specific salad for me as all their other salads contained something I couldn't eat....or the staff didn't know what was in the dressings....etc etc.
I'd be there every week if I could be guaranteed something to eat, unfortunately I end up at Coffee Club instead ....sigh...
By gilli - reader Wednesday, 30th of May @ 03:09 pm
This is my absolute favourite cafe in the whole of Brisbane. It is rare and hard to find a cafe where you can cozy up in a corner with a Hot drink, a good book, or your laptop, and feel comfortable sitting there for hours without feeling the pressure to hurry on and leave.
The three monkies has sooo much character - from the low ceilings, dimly lit lighting, eclectic furniture range, and interesting wall hangings - It is the kind of place that makes you day dream and take a deep inward breath and think "ahhhhh I am so relaxed here." It also inspires me to want to decorate my house in the same manner!
I believe cafes are 50% quality food/coffee, and 50% atmospherics.. The three monkies hits the mark on both accounts!
By Cheeky Chany - senior reviewer Wednesday, 30th of May @ 11:08 pm