The Botanist Birmingham Restaurant Review

Birmingham city centre is really in for a treat over the next couple of months – there’s so many new restaurants opening and the foodie inside me is excited.  Last week the first of these new eatery’s opened – The Botanist is based on Temple Street and fills a void that Birmingham has been crying out for.  I was lucky enough to be invited to both the press launch and a few days later with a group of friends (thanks to a super discount through my employer).  I’ve also been back for a third visit – I think that signifies the way this review is going.

So I’m not really sure where to start as I’ve now eaten there so many times.  Firstly the interior is beautiful.  Lots of light wood, decorative light fixtures and outside areas for when the weather picks up.  There’s a really homely feel to the place and I can imagine cozying up there in the depth’s of winter in front of the fire, or chilling out in the summer with a few cheeky cocktails.


There’s a pretty extensive list of cocktails on offer at the bar or at your table.  I’ve tried both alcoholic and non alcoholic but I think my favourite has to be the non alcoholic Watermelon Dew (pictured) which is ridiculously refreshing and comes with a huge slice of watermelon wedged into the ice.  my flatmate and I went back to sample a few more from the menu a few nights ago… however memories from that night might be a little foggy…  There’s also a great selection of pale ales, beers and spirits on offer if cocktails aren’t your thing.


When I went with friends I of course went for my ‘go-to’ starter – calamari – and it certainly didn’t disappoint.  It came served with lime and lemon mayo served in the cutest little watering can.  The lime juice gave it just the right amount of zing and the batter was full of flavour (there’s nothing worse than bland squid!)  The Northerner opted for the ‘Pan Fried Garlic Mushrooms’ which were served on the coolest plate I’ve ever seen – actually it wasn’t a plate, it’s a small trowel along with bread and truffle butter.  Now I’m not the biggest vegetable fan – I like mushrooms but I’d never pick them for a starter when there’s squid on the menu but these were mouthwateringly good.  They were so moist and combining the mushrooms with the bread made for a heavenly taste.


For the press lunch I opted for the Botanist’s famous kebabs.  I chose the chicken, flavoured with sweet chilli and ginger which comes on a hanging skewer with peppers and onion over a bowl full of crispy fries. You can also opt to have garlic butter poured all down the skewer.  I found eating the dish an unusual experience, in fact I wasn’t sure how I should go about eating it.  But once I’d worked it out it was good.  The chicken was moist even without the garlic butter and the crispy fries with a bit of vinegar were delightful.  Let’s be honest – the dish makes a perfect insta photo too!!

The other times I’ve been to The Botanist I’ve opted for both the Half Chicken and Chips and the Malaysian Chicken Curry.  I feel like I’m overusing the word ‘moist’ in this review but honestly all the chicken is exactly that.  The half chicken wasn’t dry in the slightest and you can get it topped with either piri piri or BBQ sauce.  The Malaysian Chicken Curry I could give or take.  It was tasty and full of flavour with well cooked rice but I’m still not sure why I ordered it (I think it was a panic order) and while it was fine I probably won;t order it again – I should have had a burger!

The Northerner on the other hand ordered one of their Chicken Sunday Roasts and basically licked the plate clean (he always orders well).  I had food envy over the mountain of vegetables and roast potatoes that were on the plate, oh and not forgetting the huge Yorkshire pudding.  The gravy didn’t drown out the other flavours and we can’t wait to go back for Sunday dinner again.


While the dessert menu is fairly extensive, the only option for me every time has been strawberry and marshmallow kebab which comes with a generous helping of chocolate sauce and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Again it’s really unusual and makes for a fab photo – and the toasted marshmallows really make it.

Overall I really like the vibe that The Botanist gives off.  It fantastic not only as a place to go for great food but the bar area is superb for after work drinks on a Friday.  The food is reasonably priced and the service was attentive and not too bad considering it was opening weekend.  I can’t wait to go back to try a roast dinner and carry on making my way through their cocktail list.  The Botanist also has restaurants in Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Chester and Alderley Edge.


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*Some food provided at a press lunch, all other food paid for by myself.