I am a freelance writer currently reading Classical Literature and English at Leeds University. I hope you enjoy!
Published January 18th 2015
Test your taste-buds and enter the world of The Botanist
The Botanist is the au-naturel counterpart to the flamboyance of its sister restaurant The Alchemist. Situated two floors below The Alchemist on the ground floor of The Trinity, The Botanist's food menu is a simple concept - starters, deli boards for lunch, and for mains, choose anything from rustic classics to their infamous hanging kebabs.
Upon arrival you are greeted by the aromas filling the air from the semi-outdoor kitchen, and the copper sculptured trees that line the passage and shelter the outdoor terraced area. Once inside, you go back in time with old copper pans lining the walls and old lanterns dangling precariously from the ceiling, a piano raised beside the bar promising live music to follow.
Whether you come for lunch or for dinner, there is a mouth-watering selection to take your pick of. The deli boards are vast and delicious. Make your lunch unique by selecting a different item to go with the standard Turkish Flatbread from each of the four sections. My choice - roasted red and yellow peppers, pomegranate and minted pearl couscous, roast ham, and Inglewhite Blue cheese. Delicious! Whatever your choice of platter, the deli board is excellent value at £9.75.
And in the evening? Delicious additions to tasty starter nibblers; pork crackling sprinkled with the Asian flavours of chilli and spring onion, dipped in lashings of tangy apple sauce...
Starter prices range from £2.95 for some olives, to £7.50 for their Moules Marinieres.
And for main? While their classics range from home-made pies to scampi and chips, their house favourite, one which defines the reputation of The Botanist, are their hanging kebabs. Pick from haloumi, chicken, lamb kofta, prawn or beef. The meat skewer dangles above crispy fries as the sauce, either sweet chilli, ginger, or garlic butter, is poured into a small saucer above. Watch as the skewer begin to drip with sauce coating the meat and chips. The Botanist's hanging kebabs are sure to leave you coming back time and time again.
And if the hanging kebabs are not enough to entice you, the cocktails have established the reputation of The Botanist. The Botanist, like the name suggests, is influenced by the outdoors, with fruity offerings set off with notes of sage, hints of mint, and spritzers of orange zest. The concoctions are modern, delicious, and the menu is endless. The Botanist prides itself on modern takes on classics. The blends of spices and unusual herbs make your taste buds tingle, leaving the deliciousness to nature rather than the scientific wonder of its sister, The Alchemist. Averaging £6.95 per cocktail, the price is reasonable.
Looking for something strong and fruity? Choose from their Grapefruit and Apricot Martini with apricot liquor and beefeater gin set off by rich apricot liquor and a tangy pink grapefruit notes. If you want something sweeter but equally as strong, my favourites are the Cherry Blossom with elderflower and cherry and subtle notes of rosemary
Looking for a classic? Head for a Strawberry and Cucumber Breeze, a delectable pallet cleanser that is sweet and sugary with the rich tang of strawberry from start to finish. With notes of vanilla, apple, cranberry and cucumber, it's hard to believe that there is a large slug of gin.
Looking for a classic that is more refreshing than fruity? My favourite is their English Mojito, a blend of apple liquor, fresh cucumber, lime juice, mint, apple juice and gin. Delicious on a hot summers day on the terrace.
The Botanist is a crowd pleaser; the atmosphere is bustling with the different rooms connected by the ebb of live music and the aromas of the hanging kebabs swinging through the aisles. Plus, once the cocktails have started to flow you will find there is a hanging fruit and marshmallow kebab in front of you for desert before you can say no.