The Botanist – Sliders and Cocktail Jugs

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Sydney’s small bar scene has certainly been a hit and no one loves small bars more than the Travel Czar. There is one small bar in Kirribilli called The Botanist. Perfect spot to chillax with some sliders, cocktails, wine and let the flow of the evening consume you.

The Botanist is a classy place in Kirribilli – in fact there aren’t too many cool drinking holes in the neighbourhood so this place does get packed. Word of advice – pick a seat in the restaurant. So here we are for dinner. The bar has a pretty upbeat atmosphere for a Monday night and the girl who runs / manages the restaurant section is lovely (someone who actually understands what good service is).

We start with the sliders plate. These are beautiful classic mini burgers with some traditional and exotic fillings. There is the:

  • Classic beef and cheese with gherkin & relish
  • Slow roast lamb with BBQ mayo, eggplant & pickles
  • Southern fried chicken with aioli & sweet corn slaw

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I love these. Had them the first time I was here back in late in 2012 (they have since removed the Alaskan King Crab Slider, much to my disappointment) and they won me over.

I tuck into the beef sliders. The juicy beef patties are combined with the tangy gherkin and relish; is quite a taste sensation. I absolutely love them – the best things in life are simple. I have a real fondness for burgers (check out my visit to the Four Seasons in NYC).   

I then move onto the Lamb Sliders. This is like the way we do our roast lamb at home – tender meat which has just fallen of the bone mixed with some tangy BBQ mayo. This seriously just melts in your mouth, the meat is oh so tender. I love these more than the beef sliders due to the textures – “fall apart” lamb meat, the sauce, the textures of the eggplant and pickles and of course the soft “plush” bun. It’s amazing!  

Unfortunately I didn’t get to try the Chicken Slider (next time), but it was described to me as being “good – but apparently the corn relish has some coriander but it was a manageable amount” (she doesn’t like coriander).

To pair these beautiful sliders we have a cocktail Jug. The Spiked Ice Tea: A jug, filled generously with Tanqueray Gin, Ketel One Vodka & Pampero Blanco Rum mixed together with lemon, house made ginger syrup, chilled Irish Breakfast Tea and wash of ginger ale. It’s smooth, with the light bite / tang from the lemon and ginger syrup to keep you honest. It washes down oh so well – one could get very intoxicated if they are not careful.

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We then opt for something a bit different to continue the flow of the night. It’s the Blue Bulleit: Blueberry infused Bulleit bourbon with peach liqueur, a dash of orange bitters, spiced vanilla & blueberry syrup and a splash of lemon juice. This is a very fruity cocktail, in fact it’s a tad difficult to really taste the bourbon (it’s not the traditional bourbon based cocktails). The blueberry and vanilla really shines through this drink.

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Now choosing the next dish is a challenge. I am not able to order seafood and there is a loverly mussel & prawn tagine that I think has my name on it. Oh well, there’s always next time. So we opt for the Pork belly & pepperoni pizza.

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Now the difficult thing I find with actually “tasting pizza” is you have to taste the component ingredients separately to get a feel for the quality. The pork belly is simply amazing. It’s soft and tender, full of flavour and flowing juices. I was a bit sceptical at first but they really pull it off, the soft cheese, the tangy tomato base and the flavoursome pork belly with the salty pepperoni is really the ultimate comfort food.

We finish off with The Vase: A vase full of Tanqueray gin, Aperol, pink grapefruit juice, lime, lemonade and soda. I just love Aperol, fell in love with the Aperol spritz at Venice (see here). The drink has the right tang from the citrus fruits balanced with the soothing gin and light bite of the Aperol. Again, the drink very fruity and it’s difficult to taste the alcohol (so be careful).

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So the night ends… it’s sad, but work calls tomorrow and I really don’t need a hangover, so there are no kick-ons. The Botanist is a lovely place (and the view on the way home is lovely if you live across the bridge).

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