My Food Place of the Week: The Botanist

The Botanist has been the talk of the town recently, or city, and I was lucky enough to be invited along to a lunch time preview and launch party.

It is located on the left-hand side of the Tesco Metro within Birmingham's City Centre, on Temple St, and you cannot miss it. It has these beautiful looking gates surrounding it and it just catches your eye (scroll down to see what I am talking about).

 


A botanist is a scientist who studies plants so it makes sense that everything inside The Botanist is garden/plant themed, from the beautiful menus, interior, toilets and even chandeliers.





I fell in love with this chandelier and want it in my home.


I always like to check out the toilets of anywhere I dine, I feel it expresses the cleanliness of the restaurant and shows you how much they pay attention to details. So far, Tipu Sultan has really impressed me but I can now add The Botanist to that list.

Ok, onto the good stuff, the food (or drink in this particular case).

They have an impressive list of non-alcoholic cocktails aka mocktails and I had to try one (or five) to see what they were like. To start with I chose the Carrot and Ginger Crush, which is fresh ginger, mint, carrot juice and apple juice with a dash of tabasco. It was sweet when you first sip from it and then you get a hint of the ginger and tabasco in the aftertaste, which is a great kick and it worked really well together. I cannot describe it very well because it doesn't taste like anything else I have tried before and it definitely one of those "you just have to try" things.

Whilst we were waiting for our starters to arrive, we were presented with some olives, which were not pitted but were full of flavour. There was around six of us on the table and I ended up  having I had the majority of them (there was another bowl so I wasn't being a total selfish cow, I swear!). I do love olives. Let us just take a second to appreciate how pretty their crockery is!



Upside down metal baskets were the lamp shades on this side of the restaurant, can you sense a theme here?!

The next mocktail I tried was the Forest Fruit Fling, which had blackberry, raspberry and blueberry purées, apple juice, cranberry juice and lemon juice. This wasn't your typical berry juice mix, the lemon juice and apple make it slightly sour and zingy, which is a perfect kick for me. Another mocktail winner.

For my starter, I chose the Homemade houmous board with crudites and flatbread. This was the only option that I could have for a starter, as the rest contained dairy or non-halal meat, but it was a pretty good option. A huge portion of houmous, that the waitress did recommend that I get extra bread for but I thought I would see what it was like first. The houmous itself was a tad bread and because of the peanuts on top it was quite dry. I think a little oil or an addition of paprika would be fantastical. The flatbread was soft and warm and a great accompaniment to the houmous. As well as the crudites, which was mini pieces of veg, carrot, cucumber and celery. I think the houmous portion should either be smaller or have more bread accompanying the dish. I think overall the dish is something I could make at home so I think I would leave the starters next time.

For the mains, I decided to go for the Pan fried seabass fillets with pico de gallo and spinach. The other dairy free and non meat option I could've had was the Fish and Chips, but I was intrigued by the seabass so went for that. The fish was creamy and the skin just peeled off, allowing me to devour it easily. I loved it with the spinach, sauce and lemon wedge. I didn't have the tomato or onion, even though they looked awesome, they just do not float my boat. This really reminded me of a dish that I love at Bodega, the Mahi Mahi fish, and because of that I was craving sweet potato mash. However, overall this dish was beautiful and it all went really well together. I will definitely have this again but I do need to see what the fish and chips are like too.

To fill the sweet potato mash hole and my envy at seeing others have them, I went for some fries on the side too, with barbeque sauce obviously. They had the skin on, had a lovely spice on top, I think it may have been a salt and pepper mix, and were crunchy and soft at the same time. Just fantastic.

The third and last mocktail I tried was the Grape, Raspberry and Elderflower Cooler, which is raspberry puree, elderflower cordial, grapes, sugar syrup, orange and cranberry juice. This was very refreshing and light, it made me think of a lazy summer day. I like the addition of grape because I don't see that very much in mocktails. Another winner on the mocktail list, seriously this place aces it in the mocktail stakes for me. 

Food - 4/5
The food was high quality and the options on the menu are varied but yet in keeping with the organic theme of the restaurant. I have given them a 4 because although what I had was high quality, I still felt as if something was missing with both the starter and main. However, if you are wanting a great mocktail, then this definitely the best place to splurge on.

Dairy-free options? - 2/5
There are only 1 option for the starter and 2 for the mains, however if you do not mind about your meat then there will be more. There is no dairy-free option for dessert but there are a selection of teas on offer.

Allergen Menu? Yes
They have a extensive allergen menu that shows nearly all allergies so there will be no problem finding something that caters to you.

Service - 5/5
The staff were friendly, knowledgeable and very easy to interact with; a real asset to the venue.
The two people that served us were Nile and Alice.
At the launch party, the place was jam packed but the bartenders remained in happy moods, whilst being knowledgeable and the service was quick.

Cleanliness - 5/5
The place is sparkly clean, partly due to it being a freshly opened and also to the staff keeping on top of the cleaning, there wasn't a thing out of place.

Location - 5/5
Easy to find and get to in Birmingham City Centre. Just on the left of the Tesco Metro and on the same road as Temple St Social.

Value for Money - 4.5/5
Each of the cocktails were £4.50, my starter was £4.95 and my mains (with the fries) was £15.95; a grand total of £34.40, which isn't bad for the portions and high quality.

Worth trying? Yes
Do not miss out with the new addition to the great eateries in Birmingham.

Instagram worthy? Yes, one of the best.

Overall score - 3.5/5

And that is it folks, sorry for the delay of this post but I hope it was worth the wait.

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