I had the opportunity to try food and cocktails from the menu and was told to just order what I usually would. This was quite a challenge as everything looked so good!
Before I even ordered a drink there were so many pretty things to look at. The Botanist is light and airy but intimate, pretty and flowery but with an industrial edge. It's not a pub, but you'd happily sit there for hours chatting, with a cocktail in hand. Clever design means the front section would be a great area to sit in summer as it is open to the outside with some pretty railings separating you from the elements. However it would still be cosy enough to sit in in the winter due to the heaters and comfy seats.
The drinks list is extensive. Beers, ciders, wine, spirits and an excellent cocktail menu. I think most people will be heading to The Botanist for their cocktails, which are heavily influenced by the title of the bar! Think interesting garnishes, herbs, flowers, fruit, beautiful martini glasses and some different combinations- red pepper martini anyone? All made with great quality spirits and not badly priced either- between £6.95 and £9 so something for everyone. I thought their G&Ts seemed a little expensive- they went up to about £9 also- you may as well have a cocktail!
I'm off to the launch party this week so I will be writing about the cocktails in more detail in that post.
Yes that is a pepper- also I'd had a bit to drink of this- they aren't that stingy!
You can also test out the staff by going 'off-menu'. We tried Espresso Martinis which were excellent- that shows the skills of the mixologists!
Food! Of course, that's what I was here for...The lovely blogger ladies I was sat with were all being extremely polite but I think it was pretty clear that we wanted starters as well as mains! The Botanist have got some exciting sounding sharers which you can use to make a platter, which I'm planning to try out next time I go.
This time I decided to pick calamari for my starter. Now this is a dish which many places get horribly wrong, so I thought it would be a good one to try to test out The Botanist.
The presentation isn't going to be for everyone but I loved having my lemon mayonnaise in a cute little watering can! I'm pleased to report that the calamari was excellently cooked and the coating was crisp and well seasoned. The mayonnaise was a perfect pairing.
For my main I picked another of my favourites- prawns in sweet chilli, ginger and garlic sauce. At The Botanist they specialise in these Hanging Kebabs (they've even trademarked the name) which you can get in prawn, chicken, lamb kofta, beef or halloumi format. At the bottom is a plate of chips which soak up all that lovely butter without becoming soggy. A few of us tried the kebabs with different options and all had a lot of fun pulling the different parts off. I'm pleased to say it tasted good as well- the butter was divine and the mushrooms and red peppers worked perfectly with the properly cooked prawns.
There's lots of other options available on the menu. I've got my eye on their fish and chips, half roast chicken and gammon, pineapple and egg! I've also heard good things about the lamb tagine and Malaysian chicken curry. As you can tell, the food is unfussy but well cooked and quirkily presented.
I didn't think I'd have room for pudding but I was persuaded to try one out. I went for the strawberry and marshmallow Hanging Kebab with Sailor Jerry chocolate sauce. This was a cute dessert but it didn't blow me away. If you're umming and ahhing between dessert and a cocktail or starter and dessert, the other options win hands down. I do need to try out their Rum baba though!
Do you fancy checking out The Botanist? Book online at www.thebotanist.uk.com/birminghamwelcome to get 25% off your food bill until the end of April.