northsider serves up some of the secrets behind The Botanist’s best dishes
First published in northsider Summer 18/19. The Botanist is currently closed due to Covid-19 restrictions but you can still see the last menu here and dream about those delicious dinners!
Since opening its doors six years ago, Kirribilli venue The Botanist has grown to become one of the top drinking and dining spots on the lower north shore. The roots of this success are the menus, which feature clever creations and seasonal ingredients. So what should we order?
“The Salmon Tail is our signature dish,” says General Manager Matty Vickery. “We source Ora King salmon from a local distributor and use a part of the fish that’s usually discarded. The tail is very meaty and moist due to it being always in use on the fish. We marinate it overnight with chermoula – a fragrant North African herb and spice mix – and lightly char for texture and flavour.”
The dish is then served up with smashed chickpeas, pickled baby cucumber and yoghurt.
Gin is the top spirit for locals. And when it comes to vino? Shiraz is number one.
When it comes to cocktails, Sour Grapes is the go-to. “We use BarSol Pisco from Peru made from pisco grapes in the Valley of Ica,” explains Matty. “Pisco uses four grape varieties to gain its exquisite flavour – Muscat, Torontel, Albilla and Moscatel. We then hard shake over ice with fresh lemon juice, aquafaba – the liquid used to soak legumes – tonic and our homemade red wine and cherry syrup.” The cocktail is served in a rocks glass with cherry dust sprinkled on top.
Gin is the top spirit of choice for locals. And when it comes to vino? Shiraz is number one.
“Dune Shiraz is a new addition to our menu but has taken our other wines by storm!” Matty says. “The 2017 vintage from Blewitt Springs in the McLaren Vale has dark fruit, floral notes with a well-balanced tannin level. The chalky soil where the grapes are grown gives this wine a medium body, perfect if you can’t decide between a heavy or light red.”
Most popular cocktail:
A very light, fruity cocktail – perfect for a hot, summer day in Sydney. We blend vodka, lime, strawberries and lemongrass into a drinkable delight. Served in a Nick & Nora glass with a lemongrass garnish.
Manager’s choice “Our chargrilled chicken thigh. Marinated in smoked paprika, garlic and sugar, we chargrill it skin-side down so the skin is crispy and the sugar in the marinade caramelises. It’s served with wholesome mixed grains and whipped buttermilk, and balances sweet, salty and smoky.”
A Kirribilli classic.
The Bloody G&T
Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz gin (made from shiraz grapes soaked in gin. Yes, really.) and Fever Tree lemon tonic. Bloody delicious.
Fried cauliflower, tahini yoghurt, pomegranate and smoked almonds
Too good to share.
Smoked buffalo mozzarella, macerated peach, lemon thyme and honey
Not your regular cheese plate.
Sampled the whole menu already? Newly opened CBD sister venue, Bopp and Tone, is worth a trip over the bridge.
Photos: Yasmin Mund