While crisp, auburn leaves provide a visual celebration of Autumn in our natural landscape, The Botanist Reading celebrated the changing of seasons with the launch of its new menu.
The restaurant’s Autumn a la carte food and drinks list flaunts rustic, authentic flavours presented in the form of both British, traditional dishes and more exotic meals inspired by cultures from across the globe.
The Starters and Nibbles sections of the menu feature diner favourites including calamari, chicken wings, garlic bread, and houmous. Mine and my dinner companion’s choice of starter was the Baked Camembert (£13.50) served in a garlic and rosemary bread bowl and presented on a wooden platter with a side of sweet pickle and an apple half.
Baked to an exceptional standard, the velvety cheese, crisp bread, and irresistibly sweet pickle produced a combination of textures and flavours which the country’s top chefs would struggle to match.
Our selection of main dishes was an equally tricky decision; teasing us with descriptions of homemade pies, traditional fish and chips, and sirloin steak before leading us to our choice of hanging kebabs.
I decided to go for the Chicken and Chorizo Hanging Kebab (£13.95) which was immaculately served on a hanging skewer above a bowl of crispy chips and with a side of warm garlic butter. This highly enjoyable meal featured a delicious combination of succulent meats and sweet roasted peppers which produced a satisfying infusion of taste.
My choice of side, the House Salad (£3.50), also offered a refreshing complement to the meat dish; including a mixture of beans, salad leaves, onion and beetroot.
The Lamb Kofta Hanging Kebab (£12.95) was my dinner companion’s choice of main meal. Also served with chips, the crispness of the lamb drizzled with its side of harissa jam provided a satisfyingly Greek flavour. The only thing that could improve the restaurant’s signature kebab dishes, would be the inclusion of a small salad portion within the price.
A sweet and toothsome finale to our fantastic dining experience was our choice of dessert; Baked Cookie Dough (£5.95) which our cowardly appetites opted to share. The inviting warmth of the dish matched its impressive presentation; a generous, circular portion of Oreo filled cookie dough topped with a dollop of silky, vanilla ice cream.
Whilst our food choices alone were enough to tempt us for another visit, The Botanist’s spectacular drinks menu celebrates the eatery’s floral theme, delivered in the form of exotic beverage innovations.
My attention was immediately drawn to the chain’s Seasonal Showstoppers drinks list comprising unique flavour concoctions including a dreamy Chocolate Orange Aperol Spritz, Black Forest Mojito and Harry Potter themed Butter Beer.
My choice of drinks were the Mulled Wine (£5.50), served in a homely mug with segment of orange, and Tiki Thyme (£6.95). The gorgeous spiciness of the mulled wine was the perfect complement to my choice of baked camembert starter, whilst the Tiki Thyme cocktail (spiced rums, fruit liqueurs and citrus juices) was a delicious addition to my meaty main course. This was however served in a tall glass rather than the Koala styled container we had expected.
Alternatively, although also trying the Tikki Thyme, my dinner companion tried the Lychee and Rose Martini (£7.95) which although featuring an exciting flavour, was slightly let down by its presentation and the generosity of its volume.
The Botanist Reading caters for all food preferences and tastes, and offers an equally tempting selection of gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, and dairy-free options.
I highly recommend dining at The Botanist. The staff are exceptional, the menu is faultless, and the atmosphere is enchanting.
The Autumn a la carte menu will be served at The Botanist Reading until April next year.