Tasty tacos and cocktail concoctions. A night at The Botanist Kirribilli
Opposite Milson’s Point Station on Willoughby Rd you can find a quirky and sophisticated restaurant/bar called The Botanist, named after and inspired by Botanist Gerard Fothergill. The restaurant pays homage to Fothergill with food and cocktail menus filled with abundant offerings of fresh produce, herbs and spices and the interior emits a jungle vibe with green/grey tones, vases of flowers, hanging plants and a smattering of herbs, succulents and ferns.
The Botanist has been spicing up Kirribilli since opening its doors five months ago and on Monday launched a new innovative cocktail and food menu with a party for media, locals and celebrities (Spotted: Hayden Quinn, Elka Whalan and Phil Waugh).
Head chef Justin Walshe (formerly of La Grillade) has designed a global share plate menu and includes exciting additions with a Mexican flare such as marinated beef queso soft shell tacos (I could have eaten ten of these), pulled pork and southern style chicken sliders and the most delicious Italian sausage, potato and rosemary pizza, all of which we got to enjoy at the launch.
The cocktails, WOW! I had only planned to have one, (as it was a Monday night after all) but after one sip of The Flower Doctor (a cocktail made with Botanist Gin) I couldn’t resist trying the Le Bulleit Bleu too (blueberry infused Bulleit bourbon). The cocktail menu was constructed by co-owner Hamish Watts and continued to reflect the Botanist themes with simple and elegant flower and spiced infusions.
Monday’s launch also celebrated The Botanist’s sexy and responsive new web site design which can be viewed and used seamlessly across desktop and handheld devices. Check out the new website here.
The food was finger-licking good, the cocktails were dangerously delicious and the vibe was chilled. I will definitely be going back to The Botanist soon, I have the rest of the menu to work through.
I asked owners Ben Carroll and Hamish Watts about the history, vibe and their favourite dish on the menu.
How did you come up with the idea for The Botanist?
The concept plays on the history of the water front leafy suburb of Kirribilli, it was more about finding a theme that matched the suburb and the market, the venue came before the concept. The findings of Gerald Fothergills past assisted in cementing the deal.
How would you describe the vibe?
Our look bar act restaurant vibe created in our venues is something a little bit new to Sydney but is becoming more and more common. We are defiantly a fun upbeat mash-up between a bar and restaurant and we play off that with our drinks and food.
Favourite dish on the menu?
The new tacos are to die for, my hot tip is the chicken, however it is hard to look past our famous sliders.
Mexican Garden, the tequila is subtle and super refreshing.
This isn’t the first restaurant you’ve opened together. How long have you been working together and what’s the key to your successful business partnership?
Hamish and I have worked together for over 5 years but have only been in partnership for 18 months. The key to a successful partnership is communication, like a marriage you have some blow ups but it is important to talk it out and then head for a boozy night out.
The boys also own local favourite Bondi Hardware Bar and Restaurant, which has recently turned one year old. Happy One Year guys.
If you were to open a restaurant, what do you think you would call it?