169 Domain Road
South Yarra, Victoria
Phone +613 9820 7888
So December was my birthday month, and on my birthday Daz surprised me with a wonderful dinner at The Botanical. I had no idea where we were going, but the second I saw that we were driving towards the Botanic Gardens, I knew straight away what was in store for me.
Some how, either by great planing or shear luck (I'm guessing luck) we were seated directly in front of the pass. For normal dinners that seat would have been very frustrating, but for a food blogger it was just heaven. We got to see every dish being finessed, we witnessed the fury and heat that goes on in the kitchen, and at the end of the night we knew EXACTLY why our dessert was taking such a long time. Daz had bought me a cake, after the candles were blown out it was whisked away to the back corner of the kitchen to be cut up. Funnily with a kitchen full of chefs, there was no one available to slice it up. No bother though, I was happy enough to sit there and continue soaking up the atmosphere. If I cant work in a kitchen at least I can watch it in a pseudo-reality-TV style way.
Since the Botanical has a daily offering of oysters we decided to kick off our meal with a couple of the daily oysters. There were three varieties on offer, and luckily I asked if I could have a copy of the menu, as Botanical Birthday gift to me! So here the are;
Clair de Lune Bouton Begins life as a wild caught single seed oyster, hand selected & subjected to choppy wind conditions & ocean swells which gives its unique briny flavour
Rusty Wire This new brand of oyster has a beautiful natural balance between salty briny & sweet flavours & has a great eating texture, only harvested in small quantities and believed to be one of the finest oysters produced out of the Clyde River. So called because it is a popular technique to indicate when the oyster has reached maturity.
Moonlight en Surface A hand selected rock product finished under unique flotation process which produces a softer, cleaner, more refined flavour.
I cant remember which was which, but do remember that the big one was by far the best. The flavour was much more subtle than the other two and was so appetising. I think it was Clair de Lune. Just delicious.
We each selected a main meal. The two boys ordered the Dry Aged 500 Day Grass Fed Black Angus Rib Eye, Vine Ripened Cherry Tomatoes and Lyonnaise Onions and botanical Hot Mustard. I had a tiny sample of the Lyonnaise onions and they were so sweet and meaty I wanted a whole dish to myself. I love sauteed onions, and they go so well with a nice smoky piece of meat
Daz ordered the Bearnaise sauce with his steak. I could hear his arteries hardening as he ate it. That Bearnaise sauce had a serious amount of butter in it, but I'm so glad it did. I really regretted what I ordered and all I wanted was to eat everything on Daz's plate.
I ordered the Roasted Hazeldene chicken, confit leg sausage roll, baby leeks and imported mushrooms. It was nice, but there really wasn't anything remarkable about it. The chicken was moist and the mushrooms had some serious flavour, but those are things that you would expect from a place like The Botanical.
V1 ordered the Wood Roasted Snapper, Asparagus, Globe Artichokes and Asparagus Veloute. I had a tiny sample of this dish too. The flavours were good, but I was a little surprised by the portion size, in fact I was surprised with mine too. When the boys got their steak, they totally dwarfed our meals, and from a price comparison, there really wasn't much difference.
As a side we ordered Triple Cooked Hand Cut Potato Chips with Aioli. These were so good, we were literally fighting each other for the tiny little potato bits that were so golden and crunchy.
I made unhealthy chip even more sinful by dipping my chips in Daz's Bearnaise sauce. The best bit? They had slithers of garlic mixed in amongst the chips, but they were cooked delicately that they imparted a smooth garlic flavour to the chips.
Overall the meal wasn't the best I've ever had, but I'll surely be back for more fresh oysters and triple cooked chips! The festive season is almost over and before 2009 finally comes to an end I wanted to wish everyone a very happy and healthy new year. Forget all those new year resolutions, live every day the way you really want to and make every waking moment your new resolution. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!