Dinner at The Botanist, Reading

A few weeks ago we went for dinner at The Botanist in Reading, they also have branches in Sloane Square, Broadgate circle, Richmond, Marlow and Farnham. The one in Reading is a short walk from the station.

Both my partner and myself love trying out new beers and I can definitely tell you that they have a vast range of flavours – over 60 bottles to try! We loved how they displayed their ale menu, we could easily flip through it, I must admit it was a bit overwhelming but we thought it would be a great place to go back regularly if you want to try all of what they have to offer! Not only do they have a fabulous ale menu they also have a fantastic cocktails menu too. Their disarano  raspberry sour caught my eye instantly, I had to order one! My partner ordered the Alhambra reserva, it was refreshing and the taste felt unique to this Spanish beer. Our waiter that evening was Alex, he was very friendly and welcoming.

Their menu was split into 9 sections; nibbles, starters, Deli board, home comforts, pies, our famous hanging kebabs, from the grill, sides and desserts. Alex had informed us that they had no hot wings or cheese burgers available which was a shame as I think Asiel was eyeing that up. Instead we ordered Calamari with crème fraîche and sweet chilli dip, and Chicken paté with plum and apple chutney to share.

When the calamari came it was nicely presented on a scallop shell with thinly cut chilli as garnishing. Crispy outer layer with a tender squid incased, delicious – the crème fraîche and sweet chilli dip made it even better, as most of you already know by now I just love a good dip!

The Chicken paté with plum and apple chutney, was delicious too! 4 slices of toasted bread and generous amount of creamy paté, and the chutney was like the cherry on the cake! Sweet and sharp with a creamy crispy bite – heaven!

For our mains we ordered lamb kofta with harissa jam, from the ‘our famous hanging kebabs’ section. We were surprised the harissa was in liquid form as we are use to seeing it like a paste but nevertheless it tasted good! The lamb kofta was so juicy, balls of flavour and dipped into the harissa it added an extra element of flavour, we highly recommend! It comes with seasoned chips which you can ask for sweet potato fries if you’re not a fan of regular ones.

I ordered the seabass with chorizo and roast veg, from the ‘home comforts’ section- delicious, it had a crispy layer and juicy tender middle. Although I did find it a little salty once I obliviated the fish, sadly I wasn’t able to finish the veg as I was saving myself for the pudding planter!

When we ordered it Asiel asked for two and Alex advised that the pudding planter would be enough for two, however if it wasn’t we could order more! Thank goodness he warned us- when the planter arrived it was a tray enough for 4 people!

The pudding planter had 2 ice cream sandwich, apple and cherry fool, a plant pot full of Nutella doughnuts and a salted caramel Biscoff muffin. If you love sweet things then this would be right up your street! I’m more of the sugar lover between me and Asiel but the sugar did defeat me. I’m glad we chose it as it was a great to try everything even if I had to eat most of it! My favourite would have to be the salted caramel Biscoff muffin- reminded me of bonoffee pie! The Nutella balls came close as I love how the chocolate oozed out when you popped it in your mouth but of course be careful when its hot!

We had a lovely experience at The Botanist, the staff were friendly and made us feel welcome. The restaurants character was quirky just like their sister branch in Farnham. We’d recommend this place for everyone!

Disclosure: The Botanist, Reading gave us 50% off and complimentary drinks.

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