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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Lunch @ The Botanical

We decide to try someplace new for lunch and find ourselves at The Botanical in South Yarra. 

On first impressions, it isn't quite what I expected it would be. It is, according to The Age Good Food Guide, a 2 hat restaurant but at lunch, it has the feel of a cafe.

I don't know if that was due to the rather scruffy bare tables or the indifferent style of service but something just didn't feel right. 

For starters:

Paalo began with the "Artisan Charcuterie Selection" with Jamon (because the terrine de campagne wasn't available), Calabrese, Felino, Sopressa, Wagyu Bresaola, tongue, coppa, Kurobuta prosciutto, duck liver parfait, chicken liver pate topped with PX jelly

Warmed poached egg with Reggiano, summer truffles and soft polenta

This dish looked beautiful, the truffle aromas coming off the plate were delicious, the polenta was fantastic but in what was a major letdown, the poached egg was hard. 

For mains:

Paalo had the  Milk fed calves liver with bacon braised Savoy cabbage and mousseline potatoes

An unusual presentation, the liver is served in one piece, looking alot like a steak. Paalo really enjoyed the dish but noted that unless you really love liver, you aren't going to enjoy it.

Beef bolognaise lasagne with ricotta and cavolo nero

I'm not sure about it coming out in such a tatty pan but I suppose that could be seen as being "rustic". This is a very rich dish and for me, it was just a bit too salty. 


Less bolognaise, more pasta sheets and probably incorporating the cavolo nero into the actual dish would make it more appealing to me and probably cut down on the richness.

We also ordered a side dish:

Braised local asparagus with tomates and tarragon

For desserts:

Botanical Dessert Selection (2 person minimum)


Top: Chilled Coconut Rice pudding with exotic fruits
Bottom: Pavlova with passionfruit and melon salad


Top: Hazelnut and Coffee cappuccino creme brulee with warm chocolate doughnut and biscotti
Bottom: 24ct gold leaf Valrhona chocolate nemesis with poached apricots

While there were disappointments in the savoury courses, the desserts were excellent.

The details:

The Botanical
169 Domain Road, South Yarra

Phone: +613 9820 7888

Monday to Friday: 7am to 11pm
Saturday to Sunday: 9am to 11pm



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