I love finding amazing new spots to try out where food is concerned – moving to Leeds has meant that I have a whole city worth of restaurants and bars to try out. We kicked off our life in Leeds with a trip to a restaurant that I’ve heard so many good things about but never actually tried before – The Botanist Leeds. When I was invited along to the restaurant with my trusty boyfriend as a plus one to try out their brand new menu and some of their incredibly extensive cocktail menu. At first glance, the restaurant is actually really similar to one of my favourite Liverpool restaurants The Florist – meticulously decorated, incredibly warm and welcoming and a menu that definitely ticks all the boxes.
An English twist on a classic cocktail
I’m not a big drinker – I’ll have the odd gin and tonic or a glass of wine with a meal but going out and getting sloshed isn’t really my idea of a good time. That said, I’d booked a day off work the day after we went to try out The Botanist so I knew I could have a couple of drinks and not have to go work feeling less than 100%. I nipped to the toilet when we arrived so left Richard with the job of choosing me the perfect gin based cocktail from the menu. He made the (wise) decision to ask the barman for a recommendation – probably so he couldn’t be blamed if I didn’t like his choice, fussy as I am. The barman recommended an English mojito – and I have been 100% converted. A twist on the classic, the Botanist “English” mojito contains gin and apple liquor – alongside the traditional mint flavour. I’m well and truly converted and I’d happily go back and drink a bucket full if I have the chance. The Botanist Leeds is definitely the place to go for fancy drinks, when the mood allows.
Baskets of deliciousness at The Botanist Leeds
If someone said to me that they were going to serve me salt and pepper chicken wings in a little basket I wouldn’t have believed them. But alas – after ordering our starters, both of us being predictable as always and going for wings, they arrived in tiny little baskets of joy. I chose the salt and pepper chicken wings with sweet chilli dip whilst Richard was a little bit braver and went for Frank’s hot wings with ranch sauce. I’m a massive fan of wings – these were cooked beautifully, charred just the way I like them as if they’ve just come off the BBQ. The wings were very tasty but not so filling that we couldn’t manage our main (and dessert, obviously).
Hanging out with some brand new flavours
Hanging kebabs are just delightful, aren’t they? As far as I’m aware, The Botanist Leeds and elsewhere have been serving hanging kebabs in different forms since they opened – but they’ve launched some brand new kebabs especially for their new menu. I’m a sucker for a new addition to a menu so I was very keen to try out the new flavours. I was umm-ing and ahh-ing (as always) over the brand new pies and the hanging kebabs but eventually settled for one of the hanging kebabs – with five spice duck and hoisin sauce to pour through to add a touch of spice. The duck was ridiculously tender and well seasoned, the veggies on the skewer were crispy and delicious. I opted for properly seasoned chips to go along with my kebab and my lord, they were delicious. Salty, fresh chips. The dream.
There’s always room for dessert
There really is always room for dessert, isn’t there? We’re not big dessert people but I love Sticky Toffee Pudding so couldn’t really resist. Richard went for the lemon tart and confirms that his was equally as delicious. My sticky toffee pudding was rich and moist and the accompanying vanilla ice cream brought the entire thing together.
We had an absolutely wonderful time at The Botanist – it was lovely to eat hearty, filling food that tasted and looked incredible. We’ll definitely be back there soon to try out some of the other amazing bits on their menu.
(The Botanist Leeds will also be reviewed on my Yorkshire food blog Eat Yorkshire in due course)