The Botanist : Autumn Menu Review
As soon as you walk into The Botanist you know it’s a special place. I’ve never visited any of their restaurants before but on arriving at their York branch the vibe was stylish, cosy and inviting.
The concept behind The Botanist is somewhat olde worlde. Taking guests back to a time of adventure and exploration. A place where new and exciting concoctions of food and drink are crafted by the in-house ‘botanists’. Essentially, a secret garden of food and drink offering a sanctuary of delicious indulgence and escapism.
The Botanist have recently revealed their Autumn Menu which is filled with wholesome dishes inspired by flavours of home and the cosiness of Autumn. They’ve also made huge efforts to ensure the menu caters for everyone with plenty of vegan options & gluten free delights including their entire deli pie range and vegan hanging kebabs. All items are clearly marked on the menu as to whether they are dairy free, gluten free, vegetarian or vegan making decision making that little bit easier. We were thrilled to be invited to sample their new menu last month so here’s the lowdown on our experience:
Menu choices for starters include a blend of traditional and more exotic dishes. There’s a range of options you’d expect to see such as garlic mushrooms (£5.50), chunky vegetable soup (£4.50) and cheesy garlic bread (£5.25). Then there’s the dishes that are a bit more unusual like cauliflower wings (£4.95), Cumberland scotch egg (£5.95) and salt and pepper wings (£6.95).
We ordered Calamari with creme freche and sweet chilli dip (£6.95) and Frank’s® hot wings with ranch sauce (£6.95).
The Calamari arrives beautifully presented on a wooden platter with the calamari sat in a scallop shell surrounded by a garnish of crispy seaweed and spring onions. The dish is bright, fresh and colourful and looks great. I really enjoyed the seared squid pieces as I’ve come to expect calamari rings, this was a pleasant surprise. They tasted as good as they looked with a crisp but tender texture complimented perfectly by the crispy seaweed and chilli dip.
Frank’s® hot wings came with a celery garnish and a side of the ranch sauce. The generous portion offers excellent value. Biting into the wings the skin was perfectly crispy. The dish had a hot’ kick’ but nothing too overpowering allowing them to suit most palates. The ranch sauce paired well with the hot wings adding a creamy tang to cool the zing from the wings. Another thumbs up from us!
Mains include a wide selection of hearty dishes for cold days. Again there’s plenty of familiar dishes such as Bangers & Mash (£9.95), beef stew & dumplings (£10.95) or a cheeseburger (£11.50) as well as a good range of new flavours including Jackfruit curry (£9.95)and the Botanist Bowl – roasted veg, chickpeas, quinoa and avocado (£11.50).
We had heard great things about the Botanist’s range of hanging kebabs so opted to try their Surf and Turf version as well as their Steak and Ale pie which is also part of their gluten free range.
The Steak and Ale pie (£11.50) comes with mushy peas, gravy and a choice of mash or chips. The shortcrust pasty reveals a rich filling of steak pieces in a gravy sauce. The mushy peas sit on top of the pie with a traditional hint of mint. Wholesome and filling this dish is the perfect winter warmer.
Their surf and turf hanging kebab (£15.95) come with a side of ‘properly seasoned chips’ and a portion of garlic butter. Hanging on a rack with a dish for the sauce at the top this dish makes quite an impression as it arrives at the table! The garlic butter is poured from the top covering the meat as it drips down. Removing the pieces from the skewer was actually easier than you might think with the combination of king prawns, beef, pork, peppers and onion all tasting incredible.
Children’s meals at the Botanist cost £6.95 and include a main course, a mini salad and a dessert. Drinks are charged separately. Once again the menu offers a good range of choice with the likes of spaghetti and meatballs, flatbread pizza, Cumberland sausage and chicken and red pepper mini hanging kebab to tempt little diners.
We ordered the burger and spaghetti and meatballs for our kids. Both were generous portions with a cute wheelbarrow full of veggie sticks. As you can see from the photos everything was happily devoured!
Children’s dessert options include nutty banana split, rice crispy pumpkin cake (although this wasn’t available when we visited) and warm chocolate brownie.
The Botanist is well known for it’s fantastic cocktails and mixology. They have an incredible Cocktail menu with the likes of Passionfruit Colada, Strawberry & Elderflower Mojito and Apricot Mai Tai.
As we were dining as a family we thought we’d better not indulge in too many cocktails…but we were strongly recommended the Ferrero Roche cocktail after our mains. It would have been rude to refuse!! The Ferrero Roche is a delicious blend of frangelico, whiskey and coffee. The perfect finish to an incredible meal.
I was impressed with every aspect of our visit to the Botanist. Their restaurants are filled with curious antiquities and floral blooms creating a rustic yet stylish atmosphere and design.
They have clearly gone to great lengths to ensure their menus cater for a wide range of diets yet still manage to offer a good choice for all diners. Our children loved their food…and as every parent knows..if the kids are happy then everyone’s happy! All this for a really reasonable price. We’d certainly visit the Botanist again, sadly we don’t have one local to us..so who’s with me in a campaign to open their next branch in Sussex!?
Huge thanks to The Botanist for inviting us to try their Autumn Menu. You can keep up to date with all their latest offers here.