Run by the team behind SoCal and Bondi Hardware, the Botanist is a relaxed watering hole, combining a little history (Botanist Fothergill once occupied the space) with a contemporary feel. And while its more bar than restaurant, you can easily find plenty to eat with some unexpectedly good small bites, and a few larger sharing dishes. Once upon a time, and for many years, fine diner Milsons occupied the space. It now feels bigger, warmer, and more inviting, with plenty of botanistical (ok that is a made up word) touches in the décor. There are some clever cocktails and also ‘shared cocktail jugs’ if you’re with a group.
First up we try crab and prosciutto croquettes – delicious little balls
Next up some sliders – classic beef and cheese with gherkin and relish, & southern fried chicken with aioli and sweetcorn. I heard someone say recently that sliders are “so yesterday” but hey, who is listening to them, sliders are still great bar food
Then some filo parcels. I don’t remember what was in these, but even though it is a couple of months since my visit, I still remember how incredibly light and flaky that filo was.
Then some kingfish tartare with avocado, jalapeno, and marjoram. This one had too much acidity which overpowered the kingfish
Next some grilled haloumi with pomegranate & bulgur wheat tabouleh – nice salty haloumi, with freshness from the pomegranate, though would have like a bit more of it.
And finally some spiced lamb skewers – this one missed the mark with overcooked lamb and a little bland
There are also some very well priced group banquet menus.
A pleasant little spot to have a nice relaxed catch up with friends.
The Botanist, 17 Willoughby St Kirribilli, Ph 02 9954 4057