It’s been one of the most hotly anticipated new bar openings in Birmingham this year, and the date has finally come as yesterday, The Botanist opened its doors to the public.
Already proving popular in Manchester & Leeds, Birmingham’s newest venue is situated on Temple Street. The façade features beautiful wrought iron details and big airy windows, the inside full of natural wood with a subtle green colour palette, patterned tiles, fresh herbs and plants and quirky details like this stunning lampshade made from teapots.
I was invited to an exclusive preview last week before the official opening to try some of their signature botanical cocktails and grill inspired food.
We were welcomed by the manager (formerly of The Victoria) and taken to the bar to see the cocktail menu.
There’s a huge selection, from long drinks and sharers to short drinks, Martinis and signature ‘Botanists.’ After looking through I decided to go for the Cherry and Sage Sling, which was absolutely delicious. The cherry flavour was sweet and tangy, but the sage added a perfumey note which complimented the fruit and the Disaronno surprisingly well.
We enjoyed a drink in the bar before moving through to the dining area, which is separated by a half wall and a walkways so you can enjoy your meal without being jostled by drinkers standing at the bar.
The décor of the dining area is lovely, reflecting the garden feel with picnic bench style tables and a lovely little outdoor area surrounded by the ornate wrought iron fencing.
Our waiting staff were attentive and friendly, and so obviously passionate about both the cocktails and the dishes on the menu which they could recommend, which was a lovely touch. We looked through the menu over some olives before deciding what to have.
As soon as I looked at the starters, I just knew I would have to try the Scotch Egg. I absolutely love them, so that was a no brainer. The mains were a little harder to choose from, with a burger, steak, kebabs and pies on offer. I decided to go for the Hanging Kebab with Halloumi, as I was excited to see how it would be presented. Spoiler alert, I wasn’t disappointed!
The starters arrived not too long after we ordered, and they looked fabulous.
The soft yellow yolks of the Scotch Egg looked beautiful kitsch blue and white plate. Served with homemade piccalilli and radishes, this was rustic food presented with finesse. The taste certainly matched the presentation too. The egg was seasoned to perfection, just enough to really bring out the flavours. The pork was delicious and the crumbed outside was crispy and peppery with the piccalilli delivering sweetness and tanginess which cut the richness of the egg. We were off to a good start!
We had a slightly longer wait between the starters and the mains, and unfortunately I couldn’t stay for the full afternoon, so after enquiring with the staff, they spoke to the kitchen and got my meal rushed through so I had time to enjoy it before I had to depart. I was impressed with this level of service, as I know from experience that many placed would simply expect you to wait, so I was pleased that they made an effort for me.
When the Kebab was served, it certainly turned some heads in the dining room as it arrived.
Served on a large hanging skewer over a cute little bowl of chips, it looked really impressive. It also came with a portion of melted garlic butter which the waitress poured over for me so it came cascading down the skewer and into the waiting chips. It was a little difficult to know where to start in terms of eating it, but once I’d manoeuvred the skewer and got the veg and Halloumi onto my plate, I devoured it pretty quickly. The veg had a lovely chargrilled taste, the Halloumi was warm and melting, and there was a sweet chilli marinade adding just a hint of sweetness and heat in the background. The chips were fantastic too, really crispy and moreish, and you could actually taste the potato which was quite astonishing! I loved the fact that some of them had absorbed the garlic butter too which made it feel very indulgent. I must say, I do feel like there should have been more Halloumi on the skewer though, as I felt for a portion of that size, 4 pieces was a little light, but that’s nothing which can’t be adjusted.
I thought that overall, the venue itself, the food and the service was fantastic, and I am excited to go back and try it out as a customer. The do it yourself deli boards look really enticing, and I can’t wait to try some of the sharer cocktails in watering cans.
You can try it now with 25% off the total food bill by booking online here while places last.
Bravo to The Botanist, welcome to Birmingham!