The husband and I ate at The Botanist the other evening – it was really enjoyable….the food was good, the cocktails were good and the place had a lovely atmosphere. I’ve been to The Botanist for a few cocktails with work before but never to eat, so I went there with no real pre-conceptions. The Botanist kindly paid for the meal and drinks in return for an honest review, which I’m very pleased to provide.
If you haven’t seen The Botanist, it’s located kinda underneath The Trinity shopping centre in Leeds, just next to The Trinity church. There’s an outside bit where you can eat and have drinks which looked nice but would have been a bit chilly on the evening we went!
Inside, the ambience is great. Lots of people of mixed varieties really….looks like a good after work crowd, groups of girls, couples and a few families. The bar was busy and a guitarist/singer was playing. I’m not usually a fan…he was quite busker-esque, but actually I thought it totally worked. He did a pretty damn good ‘Fireworks’ by Kerry Perry. Hats off to him! When he wasn’t on, pop music played.
The Botanist have thought carefully about the decór. It’s, of course, very garden and nature related….to go with the name.
Drinks at The Botanist
The cocktail list. It’s extensive! There are the usual classics on there, but also some twists on those and altogether new ones.
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I went for a Cherry Sage Sling, which was delicious. If I was to criticise I’d say the cherry flavour over-powered the sage. The cherry was strong and sweet…quite tart, which I liked, but the sage flavour didn’t really hit.
My husband is a big mojito fan and went for the English Mojito. It was really lovely….refreshing with a fairly strong cucumber taste. He ordered a couple of these!
If you’re with a group, you can order a ‘watering can’. The table next to us did get one of these, so I got a snap. Gimmicky? Yes, but I love it.
Thought it was best to get some water too to go with the cocktails, it was a ‘school night’ after all 😉
The jugs are really pretty (does that sound rude?)…..nice presentation seems to be a theme here.
Food at The Botanist
On to the food menus, which again provide lots of choice! Here are the starters:
I went for the pork cracking, which was beautifully presented….look at that cute little wheelbarrow! I’m a sucker for anything cute like this!
The apple sauce was great, the pork crackling was OK. It wasn’t really crackling to be honest….it was more like pork scratchings. I did like it though…the chillies and spring onion flavours with the pork and apple went really nicely. I couldn’t quite figure out if I was meant to eat with my fingers or with the fork? I tried both and went for fingers…..far easier!
My husband went for the pan fried garlic mushrooms. Again, beautifully presented….the trowel is a nice touch. My husband did point out that the trowel is actually quite an expensive one! I can’t comment for myself on this dish because I don’t like mushrooms….but he assures me it was very good. The truffle butter really came through and he loved it.
He did end up eating a bit of saw dust with his toast, but it was worth it for the presentation…..ha!
The Botanist does have an impressive range of starters and the sharing boards looked really good too. We didn’t sample (otherwise we would have been rolled out of the door), but I’m looking forward to coming back with a group of friends to try these. They are totally customisable, which you don’t often see and I think is a great idea. Spoilt for choice really.
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For mains, you have yet more to choose from. You can go for the ‘Home Comforts’, The BBQ, The Rotisserie or you can go for a salad…
We decided to go for the dishes The Botanist is famous for….the hanging kebabs. A friend had told me these were good. I went for the lamb kofta hanging kebab and he went for the beef.
OK, so the idea is that you have your dish hanging and you pour your sauce into the dish above which has a small hole in, meaning the sauce drips down onto your food (and chips and the bottom). What’s not to love?!
Please excuse the bad pic…it swings back and forth and my camera got a bit annoyed with the movement!
The peri peri sauce with the lamb was beautiful, just right. I think it was maybe a bit too viscous to get through the hole fast enough at the top though, I did have to waggle my spoon in there a bit to get it to come out.
I thought a little Instagram video might give you a better idea of what was going on…
The beef hanging kebab was really good. The meat was beautifully cooked and had a bit of a sweet taste to it (which I think I liked better than my husband) and the garlic and herb butter was lovely.
For a side we got the corn on the cob. Some places don’t get this right at all, the corn is often overcooked and tasteless….The Botanist get it perfect. The garlic butter that went with it was really good.
Dessert time! I’ve been trying to be good lately, but for the sake of this review, I thought it would be best to try one… 😉
I felt on a roll with the hanging kebabs and the strawberry and marshmallows with chocolate sauce called my name.
The chocolate sauce poured down quite quickly and it tasted pretty good! It’s fun and sugar tastic….and that’s what I wanted!
Here’s a little snippet:
My husband had the chocolate fudge cake. It’s his favourite but he thought this one was a bit too sugary for his liking.
We did have a few more cocktails afterwards. I went for a chilli and chive martini…..it was…..odd! I knew it would be. You get different flavours every time you take a sip.
My husband went for another mojito and was impressed that you can customise it
So….in summary, we had a really good time at The Botanist. Perfect for after work, as a couple, with lots of friends, with family. Whatever really. They’ve got dishes that will tempt most people, the presentation is great and it’s a fun place.
We’ve told friends about it and they’ve been and enjoyed for themselves. We’ll be back soon too.