In my years of walking down Elizabeth Street in the city, I have seen more businesses shut down than the number of handbags I could count in my wardrobe (believe me; I have quite a few handbags, haha!). For some reason, businesses just didn’t seem to get it right. When I drove down Elizabeth Street last week and saw that a new establishment called Bonsai Botanika had opened to give a shot at surviving on Elizabeth Street, I was excited and also curious whether it would outlast its predecessors.
Bonsai Botanika is located at 107 Elizabeth Street, just a few doors down from the Elizabeth Arcade. The iconic feature bike, designer interior and elegant vibe tells you that this is THE place to be. This concept was inspired by Japan's cafe scene/trend where organic, wholesome foods are proving very popular indeed.
The drinks menu had plenty of variety with many options that I have never seen before - they even served drip coffee, something which I had only seen at the dining scene in Sydney and Melbourne.Their cake cabinet also had plenty to offer and diners are given to option to dine across two levels of the restaurant.
While we were getting carried away by the its aesthetic pleasure, we were less impressed by the service. We had politely requested the waitress to help us take a group photo, to which she appeared somewhat confused but hesitantly agreed to help.
We proceeded upstairs to order our meals, as we decided on a small serve of Chicken Katsu ($10.50), Vegetable Tempura ($14.50) and the Kyushu Ramen ($18.90). The entreés were tasty and portions were generous, though my preference would have been for a lighter batter. The ramen was acceptable but pricely for what it was. I would probably head to one of the ramen joints such as Hakataya or Nagomi for some delicious, authentic ramen at a fraction of the price.
Chicken Katsu (S) - ($10.50)
Vegetable Tempura - ($14.50)
Kyushu Ramen - ($18.90)
Bonsai Botanika is a casual, yet trendy establishment which is full of potential in becoming the next rendezvous for city-goer's and the like. The restaurant must be applauded for its creativity and contribution in livening Brisbane's dining scene. However, there's still some much needed fine tuning on its customer service, organisation and quality of its food.