With the seasonal change, The Botanist has prepared for the fall, waving goodbye to their summer menu and transforming it into a cosy and comforting autumn menu. With new dishes to intrigue, flavours to spice up the colder nights and many a choice to indulge in, we were excited to head to Trinity Leeds to see autumn in the eyes of The Botanist.
You might have come across on the blog already, that a few years ago we had the chance to have our first dining experience at the venue, where we checked out their summer menu.Since then, the only time we have returned to The Botanist has been for weekend drinks, so being able to come back and enjoy the casual and less hectic side of the venue, plus indulge on food, was well sought after.
Whilst we were deciding on what three courses took to our fancy, it was an easy decision to order some nibbles of pork crackling to share whilst we explored the menu. The pork crackling was served in a mini crate with a tiny plant pot of sweet and spicy chilli jam. A salt shaker was included in the crate combo for extra seasoning. Warm, crunchy, delightful. The fresh chilli slices and spring onions gave the bites a proper kick to them. Definite recommendation.
We were torn between the variation of starters, so decided going for three to share. A definite must was the calamari which was presented in a shell, and amongst the squid pieces were cuts of kale – an interesting and tasty pairing. This dish was served with a crème fraîche and sweet chilli dip.
As part of our trio of starters, we also ordered the salt and pepper wings and their vegan alternative of cauliflower wings. The chicken was cooked well but didn’t quite live up to the salt and pepper coating, whilst the cauliflower kicked a punch with its hot sauce marinade. Both of these bites were also enjoyable.
The deli boards looked really enticing, from the usuals you would see from olives and houmous, stilton, prosciutto ham and scotch eggs, right through to some more interesting alternatives such a chorizo stew, pork bites and lamb meatballs.
Honing in on typical autumnal vibes, the menu includes a section on pies (classic!) as well as home comforts. Here, you’ll find a variation of humbling dishes likes bangers and mash or stew and dumplings. I found the jackfruit curry very tempting too but found myself always returning back to the hanging kebab menu.When picking a main, it’s rare for us to go for the same type of dish, yet since The Botanist is apparently known for their hanging kebabs, we both wanted to see what the fuss was about. Having introduced four new kebabs, we, of course, picked one of the new flavours.
Nathan chose the surf and turf option with chunky chips and I opted for the five-spice duck and sweet chilli chips. As a side, we went with broccoli and almonds because you know, greens and veggies.The concept of the hanging kebab is really fun and does look the part. It was a clear favourite of the night too, as kebab after kebab was being served from the kitchen.
With sauce pots placed on dish above the skewered meats, upon arrival, the intent is to pour the sauce into the dish, which has holes in it, to create the perfect dripping marinade.
An entertaining touch. As the sauce drips down, over the meat and bowl of chips below, the dish becomes one. The dish drain (where all the saucy bits are) doesn’t quite allow the majority of the sauce through, so I would recommend dipping food in there too.Both the meats were soft and juicy and cooked to perfection, medium-rare.
Shortly after the food was served though, it cooled down quickly. We were sat close to the doors, but I do also feel that the nature of meats on a skewer can lose heat quite quickly too. That being said, it was still enjoyable and the flavours were all there.
For the final hoorah, my dessert choice was the cookie dough. It did not disappoint. Squishy, gooey, sweet and everything you would want from a cookie dough dish.
Nathan went for this all-time favourite of sticky toffee pudding. He’s a hard critic when it comes to this treat, but again, thumbs up all around.We spotted a few people that had opted for the chocolate brownie hanging kebab, which also sounded great, but if you’re looking for a sharing combo, the pudding planter seems like a solid decision to take.
As part of the new autumn menu launch, The Botanist will be offering hungry diners a third off their food bill until the 8th November. To redeem the offer, all you need to do is book in via this link.