THE BOTANIST | Vibey Cocktail Bar and Restaurant on the Lower North Shore
THE UPSIDE: excellent vibe, great cocktails and yummy food
THE DOWNSIDE: notoriously hard to get a table as they reserve a bunch of seating for walk-ins and bookings go quickly.
I was going to add that it can feel a bit dark here on a warm night, but that is also part of the charm. The Botanist is subterranean which adds to the intimacy and cosy feel and gives the place instant atmosphere. It’s a great hideaway and excellent for a date. Lots of groups tend to make this their meeting place too since the drinks list has a lot to offer and you can easily grab a bite to eat after a few cocktails – which they do very well.
I recently dined here spontaneously for dinner, which is the best way to enjoy The Botanist – we avoided disappointment by dropping in unexpectedly one night and easily scoring a table. Since The Botanist is in my local area, we’ve often dropped in only to be met by full capacity so we were pleasantly surprised on this occasion.
The staff are always really friendly, whether you’re just there for a quick drink at the bar or settling in for a while. Share plates make ordering easy with groups or for late night snacking and there is also a main menu for when you’re looking for something substantial. They do the mains better than most bars where these dishes can be an afterthought. At The Botanist, they strike a good balance between cocktail bar and restaurant, managing to do both cocktails and food really well.
Sliders, tacos and pizza are hard to go by and we got a mix of these to satisfy our comfort food urges. All were delicious and didn’t leave us hungry. They have a really lovely wine selection here too; special mention to the Argentinian Malbec which we often drop in for just a glass of even when we're not dining.
If you’ve been looking for a reason to bust out of your neighbourhood and try something different, venture on over the bridge to Kirribilli and give these guys a go. Do book in advance though to avoid disappointment – or be prepared to hit up the local pub next door if you can’t get a table.
Date visited: Dec 1st, 2016 // Type of visit: dinner, mid week // With: partner