The Lower North Shore is an unlikely location for a restaurant and bar of this calibre. As part of the Applejack Hospitality Group (who also own Bondi Hardware), The Botanist has put Kirribilli back on the foodie map.
Historic botanist Gerard Fothergill, who was said to have spent the declining years of his life at the Kirribilli Street site, is the restaurant’s namesake and the inspiration behind the venue’s design. Thus, it’s only fitting that guests perch at wooden tables amongst pot plants while spindly ferns hang from ceiling – it’s unique without being over-the-top (how refreshing). The drinks list also takes cues from its botanical theme with cocktails themed “Mexican garden” and “The Pacific Isles” while the menu delivers a global spin with everything from sliders and pizza to tacos and pork knuckle.
As the saying goes, when you have your finger in too many pies, you often can’t do them all well. The Botanist is the exception. Not only does it successfully function as a bar and a restaurant but it also manages to skip between Mexican, Italian, Asian and Modern Australian. Tacos, at 4 for $20, are not only value-for-money but are generously filled with marinated beef strips and onion relish. A vibrant bowl of Szechuan prawns would rival any Thai dish from the ever-popular Stir Crazy down the road while a classic, salt and pepper squid, is tender and lightly crisp.
The Botanist is exactly what the doctor ordered for the North Shore – upbeat music, great food and a buzzy atmosphere. In fact, this place may be even worth traipsing over the bridge.
Read more about The Botanist here