The Botanical is on my weekend running route and have been wanted to check it out for a few weeks now. After reading mixed reviews, we thought we would give it a go for their breakfast.
The food here is very reasonably priced, and the menu has a large-ish selection of dishes to choose from. They have everything from small items like muffins, to more substantial dishes like Egg Benedict. When we first arrived the restaurant was quite busy, but were able to get a seat in the front dining area. Looking around, there were quite a few people who were there for a muffin, coffee and what looked like a quick catch up with friends on a Saturday morning.
Knowing me, I saw bircher muesli and had to go for it. It was such a colourful dish and was full of earthy flavours. There was a generous amount of nuts and fruit, making the dish extremely filling. All the flavours worked well together and is a dish I would definitely recommend.
Next up was the “make your own breakfast” consisting of poached eggs, bacon, avocado, tomato and mushrooms. All the elements created a very colourful dish, with an decent presentation. The only thing I would critic on this dish was the amount of fat on the bacon. Also, the kitchen forgot our mushrooms which was a let down (the waiter who brought it out should have read the order first).
The service here was quite average. The staff seemed rushed with everything from the lady who rushed past us when we arrived and told us to sit anywhere, to the waitress who took our orders, to the waiter who slapped the plates down in front of us. There was no real warm friendliness of this restaurant.
I was quite surprised by the size of the restaurant when we first walked in. They have several different sections of the restaurant including their front portion for the casual brunchers, the front inside area for breakfast and lunch goers, and their fine dining section in the back.
They have a beautiful bar area with their wines displayed (which I’ve been told you can purchase at a cheaper price from their “wine store” which is considered their BYO).
As I have never been here during the night, I can see the space filling up with an after work crowd. It would be interesting to see the difference between day and night here.
Nestled on the Domain Road strip, the location is a bit more remote than the typical city eatery; however it’s a great local spot for those living in South Yarra. It’s also located directly across from the Royal Botanical Gardens, which is why you see loads of breakfast people here in their active wear, after a nice long run.
Overall, it’s a typical local breakfast spot. They have a tasty menu, however the service was a bit rushed for my liking. I would probably return on a weekend, but not in any hurry.