Tuesday, April 12, 2005

The Botanical

Introduction: Long regarded as one of Melbournes finest. On Domain Rd South Yarra opposite the park.
Ambience: Wooden floors clothless tables and low ceilings make for a noisy environment even when only half full. The wine wall is, of course, a renowned feature.

Service: Good, tho' a little slow

Food: The entrees are outstanding. The warm poached egg with truffle, reggianna and soft polenta was quite excellent. ($22.50) The warm Heritage tomato tart also with truffle, imported mozzarella and Caprese salad less impressive but still very good. ($22.50) I found the main courses disappointing. The Wagu steak was tough to eat but the rich oxtail sauce was excellent. Once again a thin slice of truffle adorned the potato. The small wood roasted chicken stuffed with Italian sausage was very very tasty but the stuffing was overwhelming and had too much chilli for the delicate chicken. The accompanying salad with the roasting sauces was also very good and the panzanella added a further dimension. Side dishes were very ordinary and a good waitress would have pointed out that the steak is on a bed of spinach to be sure that we were happy to have such a similar dish as the spinach with lemon sauce. The plain mashed potato was very creamy but neither dish seemed reasonable at $9.50. We choose the richest desserts and were not disappointed! The sticky date pudding covered in sauce was a bit like a fruit cake. The 24 carat gold leaf vahrona chocolate nemesis with figs ice cream and brandy snaps for two is a very modest serve for $33 'tho I was glad to taste it.

Price: Definitely the $$$$ area See their web page if you really want the details www.thebotanical.com.au It's cute too!

Comments: I am always surprised to see tables of young girls at these restaurants but can only conclude that most find it good value. Not quite the top of my chart.

Score: 16.5/20

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