The Botanist, Leeds – Restaurant Review

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Botanist Leeds 2018

The Botanist, Leeds

Restaurant Review

by Steve Crabtree / @stevecrab

It’s one of the city centre bars best known for their cocktails, but there’s always been whispers and musings about the food at Botanist too.  So, on a cold Monday evening, my friend and I decided check it out, and go for dinner.

Situated on the exterior of Trinity on Boar Lane, we arrived at the Botanist 10 minutes before we due to be seated. It’s 6.20pm, and the place already has many diners in. Although it’s only semi-full, there’s a nice, relaxed feel.

Botanist Leeds 2018

“Some old favourites, some new dishes”

Beth welcomes us in and takes us over to a nice corner table. She explains that the menu is new with some old favourites, some new dishes. It’s a slightly stripped back, easier choice of eats for our perusal. “And the hanging kebabs are still there!” she tells us, as my friend salivates…

When I told people that we were eating at Botanist tonight, many of them said I had to try the Scotch egg. However, my eating buddy beats me to it, exclaiming that’s what he’s having for his starter. Fair enough – that’s me told. And never one to copy someone I’m dining with, I go for the Rotesserie Chicken Wings instead (£6.75).

For the main, and after a first day back at work after the weekend, I feel that hearty grub is what’s needed tonight. So the Steak and Ale pie that keeps shouting out to me is what I go for, and the Scotch Egg possessive sat across from me orders the Lamb Kofta hanging kebab. Labelled as ‘famous’ on the menu.

When the starters arrive, they’re both well-presented and look great. The Scotch Egg (£5.95) is sliced open, and accompanied with home-made piccalilli. My wings are arranged nicely, drizzled with scotch bonnet sauce and next to a blue cheese dip.

Botanist Leeds 2018

“Rave reviews”

The proof in the pudding is always in the eating, and I must say we aren’t disappointed. My friend says that the egg was worth the rave reviews it was getting, and I find the wings succulent. I can’t eat them all as the sauce is slightly spicier than I’d realised. Four of them are comfortable for me.

A live pianist is playing beside the bar, which complements the nice atmosphere here this evening. And more tables are filling up as we dine – I think Botanist is definitely an all-week favourite haunt.  Service, food and atmosphere… so far, so good.

Our cheery waitress brings our mains over with a smile. On first look I, and the egg thief, think the Lamb Kofta (£12.95) with harissa jam and properly seasoned chips looks quite small. My Steak and Ale pie on the other hand, does not. A substantial effort here, and in hindsight it was a good job I’ve only eaten four wings.

And the pie is good. It comes with no frills, and no wow-factor, but it’s how a pie should be. Well filled, and the hearty grub I’m craving. Served with chips, mushy peas and gravy, I’m pleased.

“Reliable, and won’t let you down”

In the end, my friend’s kebab turns out to be a decent size, despite initial appearances. It does the job, and tastes good too. The jam is poured in to the top of the vessel that the kebab hung from, and perhaps didn’t drizzle down the dish as much as my friend would have liked, but the meat is tender, and the aroma just right. All round, we’re satisfied.

To end the meal, Beth recommends I go for the Peanut and Chocolate Brownie Cake (£6.95). She eats it after work, so it must be fab!  My friend chose the Sticky Toffee Pudding (£5.95).

For me, the recommendation is perfect. My favourite dish of the evening. The addition of the salted caramel and vanilla ice cream really makes for a delicious combo. I’m not really as hot on Brownies as many are, but this one is fantastic. And my friend likes the Sticky Toffee Pudding too. Not as much as the Scotch Egg I bet, but we’re both more than pleased about how our meal has ended.

There’s a nice vibe in Botanist on a weekday evening, and we were looked after really well. The food is good; very good. If you’re looking for a sociable place to eat in Leeds, The Botanist won’t let you down.

The Botanist, Trinity, 67 Boar Lane, Leeds LS1 6HW

Opening Times:
Mon – Wed 12pm – 12am
Thursday 12pm – 1am
Friday – Sat 12pm – 2am
Sunday 12pm – 12am

0113 205 3240

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