When is a review not a review when it’s an introduction to, as in this case to The Botanist recently opened on Temple Street Birmingham.
I was kindly invited to the media lunch before it opened officially to try some of the cocktails and Vegetarian dishes.
The Botanist is very impressive to look at, it has a cool chic feel about it, almost cosy pub, but offering more depth and discoveries the further you go in. When you walk through the wrought iron gates you discover an inner conservatory area that I like a lot, a kind of posh parlour. Then through a door into the bar area.
Introducing The Botanist, think Gardeners world studying plant life and indulging in cocktails and food, and no carrots and rhubarb in sight. (Well maybe on the menu).
The decor untreated wood floors, a mix of vintage looking furniture, quirky chandeliers, watering cans, lamps that are constructed from rope pulleys, and a glorious sky light in the bar area that lets the natural light into an already light bar.
On entering I was offered the cocktail menu, which is long (and that’s not just the style of cocktail) which was like reading the what’s what of cocktails and who’s who’s who at the same time. I liked that though. It allowed me to follow my test of asking for a recommendation based on the Martini part of the menu. Ed behind the bar suggested I tried The Botanist Pornstar, ( black cow vodka, and Passoa shaken with fresh passion fruit, strawberry purée, rose syrup, pineapple juice, and lemon, served with a shot of prosecco.
It was excellent, fruity, herby, with a powerful kick and with a good amount of vodka. An interesting combination of fresh fruit, and purées, a lovely introduction. Thanks Ed😊🍸
The bar area is quite large, but feel intimate and has a really light airy feel about it. From there you can just about see the restaurant peeking out beyond, which I feel gives a feeling of temptation to move over to that part of The Botanist to try the food, and to explore. The Botanist has an open kitchen which is also fun.
It was good to see fellow food bloggers there and after been seated in the restaurant, which is a mixture of table types with some benches, and very nice and light, we were able to choose the food from the menu.
I mentioned the menu in my last post. See here http://t.co/xN8TYij74M and mentioned the Vegetarian options.
The dishes I ate were:
From the starters and nibbles section Pan Fried garlic Mushrooms. With crusty bread and truffle butter. A nice dish beautifully presented in a small wheelbarrow. The mushrooms were fresh, well flavoured, and with a good strong garlic flavour running through made for a lovely starter.
Salt and Pepper onion petals: A good nibbling sharing dish, salty, with a nice sour cream to dip into.
Flatbread: very good bread, fresh and good for breaking.
For my main course I ordered the Hanging Kebab with Halloumi and couscous. With a sweet chilli, ginger and garlic butter.
A spectacular looking dish, very theatrical. The waiter poured the sauce over the kebab from above so the sauce filtered over the veg and Halloumi onto the cous cous. The sauce added a nice tasty bite to the dish (there was an option to have the kebab with chips instead of cous cous but I felt that wouldn’t work so well as the chips may become soggy and wet fom the dripping sauce). We were given a small plate that the veg and Halloumi can be eaten off with the cous cous.
The Hanging Kebab with the cous cous worked well as the sauce gave it a coating that made for a fuller rounder flavour. The Halloumi was well cooked, but could have done with a couple more pieces in my opinion. The veg was cooked perfectly and the dish looked fun and smart.
I also ordered The Botanist cocktail green mark vodka, Havana 3 Rum, elderflower liqueur, red amarinth, mint, jasmine syrup, and lime juice topped with lemonade. I really enjoyed this cocktail, the combinations of vodka and rum worked well and with the mint and juices added a fruity touch that was delicious.
I didn’t order a desert on this occasion but hope to on my next visit.
I ordered an Americano coffee that was very prettily presented in nice flowery mugs.
It was a lovely introduction to The Botanist the service was good, friendly and very informed of the menu and cocktails offering recommendations and having a good knowledge of the dishes on the menu. I would on reflection like to see maybe at least one more vegetarian dish on the main menu, maybe two as not everyone takes to the smaller plate trend and may not like the kebab. As a chain, that I’m often suspect of, The Botanist seems to have that quirky botanical difference that makes it feel special and unique in the city, fresh like the herbs. Here’s hoping it stays that way, but as a cocktail venue its possibly the best in Birmingham, and offered the most thoughtful and eclectic menu of passionate botanist indulgences and this along with the solidly good Vegetarian food is to be applauded.
I was invited as a guest to the preview media lunch at The Botanist and hence the food and drink was complimentary. Thanks to the Botanist and to WPRAgency for the invite.
Thanks for reading
For menus see below link:
The Botanist, 14-16 Temple Street, Birmingham, B2 5BG