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  • Carla Evans

A dining adventure

Hi everyone,


A picture speaks a thousand words...



Yes we were at dinner and yes this is all edible...well, there is something edible somewhere in each dish! Hubby had a special birthday recently so we went out for a special meal and got even more than we bargained for. We went to Restaurant Botanic in the Botanic Gardens (Adelaide) for dinner. Being winter, it was already dark when we were dropped off in a taxi (I know - so old school, I don't have the Uber app!). You walk a couple of hundred metres into the gardens listening to all the night sounds from the animals and there, nestled amongst the plants is a lovely rotunda style building. We're greeted at the door and welcomed into the light, bright interior - there's enough tables to give it a good atmosphere but not too many that it feels vast. The finishing kitchen is laid out for all to see - the kitchen staff are very quiet, not a swear word to be heard!


It's a tasting menu but unlike degustations we'd done before, this one has approximately 20 "courses". Yes, I've typed that correctly. Do not fear, most of the tastes are finger food size. Honestly, I didn't feel overstuffed at all and was hungry for breakfast the next day!


Here is a menu sample. Can you spot the little artichoke nests in the left photo? The right photo with all the small dishes was part of dessert. Hidden in the little gardens was parsnip & macadamia damper, shiitake fudge, sour beets with marigolds and wild strawberries, and finger lime & lemon verbena.


What was my favourite dish? Tofu wrapped in paperback with garden flowers and garum. It had a beautiful lemony sauce, just delicious. Hubby was amazed to find that amongst all the seafood, kangaroo and wagyu beef, his favourite dish was hay smoked lions mane mushrooms, native XO and garden herb dashi.


Of course, there are wine pairing options and even non-alchoholic paring options or you can just choose your drinks as you go. There is a lot of inspiration from the gardens themselves so the menu changes often and they were able to cater for my awkward dietary requirements. The presentation certainly has the wow factor. Each dish has it's own story and you definitely eat with your eyes as well as your tastebuds, it's a bit of a garden adventure trail!


It's a food experience like nothing else we've had so if you want a fun night out and don't mind trying green ants (apparently you wouldn't know they're there and if you want to play it safe they're not on the vegetarian menu!) then go for it. Just make sure you allow 4-5 hours so you might want to start early!


Happy tasting!

Carla :)





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