Run by a warm and friendly Japanese and Thai husband and wife, Bonita is a cute homely café, which has been decorated to transport you to an old fashioned American living room. From the traditional wooden dressers, to the fringed corners lamps, to the tapestries on the wall, no detail was left unturned down to the two cats. The radio plays softly in the background, and we were greeted by the gentle smell of garlic – we really did feel like we were guests in someone’s home rather than in a café. In fact we practically were as the Katsuyama's live upstairs, and do everything themselves from taking food orders, to cooking, to serving the dishes. This truly is a family run restaurant.
Run by a warm and friendly Japanese and Thai husband and wife, Bonita is a cute homely café
The menu has both Japanese and American influences, inspired by their time living in Southern California, and the menu comes with a warning that dishes may take a little while to arrive as they “prepare food with love after your orders” but that only adds to the relaxed homely atmosphere. Customer care is their number one priority – it is easy to understand why Bonita has been in Trip advisor’s top ten Bangkok restaurants since it opened 18 months ago.
Cafe is like an old fashioned American living room
Each dish on the menu is vegan, but instead of the usual tofu curries, there were dishes such as whole wheat pancakes, a hotdog plate and various pastas, burgers and sandwiches. We left it to Katsuyama to recommend his favourite dishes and boy were we in for a treat!
Bonita is the perfect place to enjoy a relaxed evening with family or friends
We started by sharing a Caesar salad (140B for a large plate) and a club sandwich (290B) – vegan eggs and bacon were used in both dishes. If we had not been, we never would have guessed the Caesar dressing was vegan – it possibly is the best we have tasted. The club sandwich was packed with vegan scrambled eggs, vegan bacon, avocado, sun dried tomatoes and lettuce, and was served on whole wheat bread – impossible to eat without a knife and fork! We then moved on to what was arguably the best dish of the evening – the teriyaki burger plate (200B) – it is easy to see why this is Bonita’s bestselling dish. The homemade burger pate is made of tofu, onion and teriyaki sauce and tasted just divine. Similar to the Caesar dressing, the sauce in the spaghetti carbonara was so rich and creamy it was almost impossible to accept as the menu suggested that this had zero cholesterol and only half the calories of the traditional dish, and whilst we didn’t feel the taste was as similar to a carbonara sauce, it still hit the spot and was our second favourite dish of the night. By this stage our stomachs were close to well and truly bursting, but we still managed to try the curry and brown rice, Japanese style (180B) – packed full of vegetables, this hearty dish is really the essence of home cooked food.
Bonita's club sandwich and Caesar salad
We didn’t need our arms twisting too much to agree to try a mouthful of their popular deserts – the carrot cake was moist but light and is one of the few dishes on the menu not made by the Katsuyama's but instead a business partner (Veganerie) – both the chocolate mousse and chocolate pudding were outstanding – nice and chocolatey as they should be without being overly heavy or rich.
Bonita is the perfect place to enjoy a relaxed evening with family or friends and manages to combine the healthiness of a Japanese diet with the homeliness and heartiness associated with America.