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A lively night out in Liverpool Street.
The Botanist – Broadgate Circle is perfectly positioned just around the corner from Liverpool Street Station for after-work, pre-commute drinks and dinner.
This may be a modern building but a lot of work has gone into making The Botanist atmospheric. Dark wood and antique mirrored glass feature heavily in the decor, offset by bronze and copper details. There is also a lot of exposed copper pipework across the dark, low ceiling giving the restaurant part of the venue a Brasserie-style feel. We were seated in great comfort at a green leather high-backed banquette, perfect for people watching and spacious too.
Service was knowledgeable and helpful. Faced with a long list of gins, my dining companion asked our waitress for advice and was guided towards the Martin Miller gin for her G&T. It came with a large chunk of pink grapefruit and was declared a refreshing success. I opted for an Aperol Spritz, which was good if a little too heavy on the ice.
We then moved on to the wine list and again took our waitress’s recommendations. I was planning to have steak and she suggested the Tournee du Sud Picpoul was just the right sort of white wine to hold its own against red meat. For my friend who was having the fish she proposed the Hunter’s Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, another good pairing.
We picked two starters to share, the Salt and Pepper Chilli Squid and the Salt-Baked Beetroot. The former came crisply battered with sriracha mayonnaise, more than a hint of chilli and, thankfully, not a hint of rubberiness.
Our second starter included three different types of beetroot alongside leeks, hazelnuts and lots of micro herbs. The added leek straw could have been a little crispier but on the whole, this was a very enjoyable dish.
For my main course, I had the Flat-Iron Steak. Being slightly awkward about such things, I asked for it to be cooked in that zone between rare and medium rare and the chef understood exactly what I wanted. The well-seasoned meat was succulent and tender, dotted with micro herbs and served with Béarnaise sauce and good French fries.
My friend picked the Pan Fried Cod for her main dish. She found the fish nicely cooked with lots of flavour. Also on the plate were roasted Brussels sprouts, parsnip crisps and crushed potatoes. The menu had promised sprout tops so we were a little surprised by what were clearly sprouts, still delicious but not quite the same thing.
As a side dish, we also ordered the Baby Leaf Salad in a mustard vinaigrette. It was full of surprises – among the green leaves we also found welcome slivers of courgette, fresh peas and, most unexpectedly, smoked heritage carrots. Their smoky flavour infused the whole salad making it a much more interesting dish than many a dull side salad.
We weren’t able to resist the dessert menu and shared the Baked Vanilla Cheesecake. This was sweeter than a traditional cheesecake but the tartness of the red berry compote made for an excellent contrasting combination. The crunchy base and torched hazelnuts on top added texture and flavour and the micro lemon balm gave a subtle touch of citrus.
This lively City venue is divided into three main areas. At the front, there’s a bar packed with an after-work crowd while the more subdued dining area is located at the back. In the basement, there’s a late-night club and cocktail lounge called the Soda Room, which was hosting a quiz night on the evening of our visit.
The Botanist – Broadgate Circle offers an interesting menu of Modern British and European food, good service and a fun night out.
020 3058 9888
We seem to be in this area a lot at the moment, having just staycationed and reviewed Andaz Hotel. If you happen to want to stay over, we can’t think of anywhere better in the area.
Looking for something similar in Chelsea? We’ve also reviewed The Botanist, Sloane Square and loved it just as much its city cousin.