The Botanist – Deansgate, Manchester – Review

Last week I was at The Living Room, so I thought it would be fun this week to visit its next door neighbour – The Botanist.

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Although it is close in proximity, it has a very different vibe. More relaxed, organic (mind the pun) feel, with hanging plants and shabbily-renovated wooden furniture.

It’s a hipster’s dream, serving cocktails in watering cans and lighting up the place with wonderful filament bulbs and a bright, quirky chandelier. Sadly my photos don’t quite do them justice!

They also had live music – a girl on an acoustic guitar – which really added to the cosy, chilled atmosphere.

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Even the bathrooms were fabulously decorated in foliage…

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And don’t you just ❤ this lock?

It was relatively busy for a week day but the staff were super speedy and efficient, so no complaints there.

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My friends and I found the Botanist menu a bit mixed.

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They have almost anything you could want, but it is a random collection of deli boards, barbecued meat, exotic Gumbo, as well as home comforts like pies and sausage & mash. We felt it needed more of a theme.

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Here’s what we ate…

STARTERS

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To start off we tucked into a gooey baked Camembert with smoked bacon and crispy onion crust (£6.95). It was delicious with a crumbly edge, the only downside is we didn’t order more!

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We also ordered some calamari (again!) with Piri Piri salt, lemon and lime mayo. It was quite a small portion for the price but the calamari (£6.75) tasted good nonetheless.

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MAINS

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Two of my friends went for the flattened rump (£12.95), which is marinated in chilli and garlic with a roasted mushroom, plum tomato and some watercress. Unfortunately, they said that although the meal tasted good, it was a little cold when it arrived.

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Another went for the pan-fried seabass fillets with spinach, tomato and Piri Piri dressing (£14.95), with a side of tenderstem broccoli (£3.50). The side was particularly yummy, coming with harissa and sesame seeds, and making you feel a little less guilty about gorging.

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But I went for the ‘Famous Hanging Kebab’, a salt and pepper pork belly one (£12.75). It was served with a dipping sauce and sweet potato fries, and I added a cheeky side of corn on the cob with garlic butter (£3.50). The pork belly was deliciously tender with flavoursome scratching – not something I would usually order, but I loved it.

DESSERT

And no meal is complete without dessert. The menu had so many options we couldn’t pick… so we chose three: the fudge cake, with vanilla ice cream (£5.50); sticky toffee pudding, also with vanilla ice cream (£5.50) and the best one…

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BAKED CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE DOUGH

(with vanilla ice cream, of course)

It was warm, gooey, chocolatey, rich and sweet – everything you’d want in a dessert!

VERDICT

The atmosphere was great but the food quite average for the price. I’d go again but probably for drinks and nibbles instead.


WE WERE GUESTS AT THE BOTANIST FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS REVIEW BUT ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN AND HONEST.

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