I was invited along to the launch party for The Botany (or some of you may think of it as it’s former name, The Strathmore) this week. Located on the outskirts of the west-end, near Maryhill, this is a gorgeous little place that many might miss!
I can’t stress how beautiful the restaurant is. I especially love this gorgeous big tree.
The perfect word to describe this restaurant is enchanting. It has a fairytale in the woods feel, as the panoramic windows offer a glance into the uninterrupted lush green surroundings. And to top off the enchanting feel: the beer garden is adorably adorned with fairy lights.
When I first read the name The Botany, I assumed the name was based on gin. Turns out, it pays homage to the nearby sub-district of Maryhill, so called as the starting point for prisoners departing from the Forth and Clyde canal to the penal colonies of Botany Bay, Australia!
But it’s also probably linked to gin, as they do love a gin cocktail!
On to the food – I had a trio of starters so I sampled three different dishes rather than one, hence the canapé size. The third isn’t shown as it was literally just a tempura king prawn in wasabi mayonnaise. It was delicious but not a worthy photo!
Haggis Bon Bon with Carrot Purée & Whisky Peppercorn Sauce
As a dish this is a standard entry – most restaurants have it as an option. With that said, this one actually does stand out because of its texture. Most are solid and slightly stodgy but this was moist and crumbly which was beautiful and light to eat.
Sweetcorn Fritters, Sesame, Spring Onion & Sour Cream
These were pretty disappointing. Having just tried sweetcorn fritters recently, I saved them for last on my plate and was gutted because they were very bland. I didn’t notice any spring onion or sesame, so perhaps they were missing from mine. Their menu online says that they are coated in their secret chilli blend which also I didn’t notice. It’s a dish with a lot of potential, but sadly that sample was very plain.
Monkfish & King Prawn Curry with Aromatic Rice
This was absolutely delicious. I love monkfish but sometimes it can be very chewy and tough because of the meaty nature of the fish. The monkfish in this curry was so soft and tender, as were the massive king prawns. I can’t properly describe the curry sauce, but it was mildly spiced but beautifully flavoured – very aromatic. It was absolute comfort food for me – I really loved it and could’ve eaten it twice!
Peach Panna Cotta, Crushed Meringue & Strawberry & Basil Jam
As far as panna cotta is concerned, this was stunning. It was perfectly thick and silky with a perfectly balanced creamy and sweet flavour. On the topic of flavour: it didn’t taste remotely of peach which I was looking forward to! But still, a beautiful dessert.
White Chocolate Creme Brûlée with shortbread
I feel badly about this one because it looked perfect, but the custard wasn’t properly set and had split so this ruined the texture and flavour.
Banana Loaf with Coconut Ice Cream & Malibu Drizzle
This was absolute dessert GOALS. I’m obsessed with coconut and the delicious nectar of the gods: Malibu Rum. With that in mind, I was really looking forward to this. Not only did it not disappoint, it was even better than I expected. The banana loaf was much darker than others I’ve tasted and I wasn’t sure what to expect but it was SO moist, delicate and beautifully flavoured without being too rich. The coconut ice cream was some proper gourmet ice cream, made with toasted coconut and was absolutely to die for. A solid 11/10 for this dessert.
Take It Sloe – Bloom gin, sloe berry gin, maraschino cherry liqueur, sugar, aromatic bitters & soda
Carolina Blues – Appleton Estate Rum, Lavender honey, Blueberry shrub, fresh lavender & soda
I had a really lovely evening here and despite not loving everything I tried, I definitely tried dishes that I loved. The cocktails were absolutely beautiful – mainly due to the love and care that goes into them. The Carolina Blues contains lavender grown in the chef’s own garden! I’m gutted I missed the chance to drink them in that gorgeous little beer garden during that glorious summer we had this year! I’ll need to make up for it next year! The monkfish curry and the banana loaf are definitely worth returning for, and it’s such a beautiful venue that I’d happily return for just a drink if not a meal!
The Botany Bar & Restaurant, 795 Maryhill Road, Glasgow, G20 7TL