15th September 2014

Review: The Botanist

Jennifer Leung and Dorin Cucoș sample deli cuisine and delights at The Botanist, Deansgate.

The Botanist, on Deansgate, is a surprisingly stunning party place regularly sought out by those craving after work tipples or a bite to eat before a big night out. From the outside, The Botanist looks rather sweet and quaint with really pretty green leaf decor hugging the front gate, the first sign of nature’s influence at this classy floral restaurant. Given first impressions, you’d think The Botanist to be a quiet and tame city centre eatery. Yet looks can be deceiving.

With proximity to the classiest bars and clubs, it was almost like we were entering a party as we were immediately greeted with pumping music filtering in through from the bar. Many smiling and laughing faces mingled around the restaurant, generating that TGIF feeling on a Wednesday night. This beehive of activity was not what we were expecting at all.

In no time, we were escorted to a quieter region of the restaurant that allowed us to admire the open kitchen and gorgeously girly decor, bordering the boundaries of modern and antique: floral lattices, logs and wall hangings with lots of soft blue lighting. In all, The Botanist has a very exciting Bohemian feel.

We never had to wait long to be served and there were short intervals between courses, a welcome change from the usual waiting times in restaurants. To start, we opted for two of The Botanist’s speciality drinks: The Botanist and a Grape, Raspberry and Elderflower cooler, both inoffensively sweet and refreshing drinks. Within minutes, our starters were laid lovingly down on our table: olives and pork cracklings. My date was in food heaven, celebrating them as the best starters he’d ever tasted. I was especially charmed by the delicious chilli, spring onion and sweet apple sauce that accompanied the pork cracklings and was served in a miniature wheelbarrow! We quickly realised that the dining experience would be one that would linger long on our taste buds.

Tempting main courses arrived at our table as soon as our starters had been cleared away: Lamb Tagine and The Botanist’s signature deli board: Turkish flatbread with a choice of four (or more) accompaniments. My date chose Lancashire Cheese, Greek Salad, Couscous and Roast Ham. In three words? Delicious, sweet and filling. “Enjoying your food then?” our waitress beamed as she passed our table with a proud smile. Oh yes, oh yes we were.

Desserts were paired with a live acoustic set that filtered in from the bar. I tucked into a yummy strawberry and marshmallow kebab with chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream whilst my date enjoyed a banana and coconut kebab with toffee sauce and vanilla ice cream. “This was the best meal ever!” my date exclaimed once it was all (sadly) over. We will definitely be visiting again.


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The Botanist,
78 Deansgate,
M3 2FW

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