It was a quiet Saturday night along the streets of Melbourne when my sister and I went to The Botanical, an iconic restaurant in South Yarra.
The occasion was her birthday so this was a special treat. It is difficult taking her out to a restaurant as she is an incredibly fussy eater and a vegetarian.
Luckily for me she was willing to give the only vegetarian dish on the menu a go, it was the Pea & Ricotta Gnudi with Spring Herbs, Snow Pea Tendrils & Flowering Zzucchini. Being a lover of seafood I ordered the Scallops with Truffles and White Asparagus. A side order of mashed potatoes was ordered just in case.
I love trying different types of wines and have a love of any sweet red. I asked our waiter for his opinion and he recommended the 2004 Pepper Tree Reserve Merlot, Wrattonbully. It sounded wonderful so I said yes. It was very light and sweet. I was happy.
A plate of oil with a squirt of balsamic vinegar was perfect with the lovely bread we were given. I love balsamic vinegar so it was another plus.
The Botanical is long in dimension and light and airy. The high ceiling is painted white and the floor is a light honey colored timber.
We sat near the kitchen where you can clearly see the chefs cooking up a feast. I loved the glass cabinet against the wall which stretched half the length of the restaurant on the opposite side of the kitchen that was elegantly filled with wine.
Our meals arrived and I was extremely happy and surprised to find my sister loved her meal. It was a bit fancier than she used to but she thoroughly enjoyed it. The mashed potatoes were just like mamma makes.
My scallops were juicy and delicious. I have never had truffles before but I loved the smokey flavor they had. The white asparagus was tender and cooked to perfection.
Once the meal was finished we were full to the brim but I never say no to dessert. Especially this dessert. It was 24crt gold leaf Valrhona Chocolate Nemesis with Warm Brandied Cherries & Pistachio Sauce.
The Nemesis came on a large square platter. Our neighbors ooh'd and ahh'd at it but were not game to try it.
In one corner was a small saucepan still warm with cherries cooked in brandy. In the other corner was a bowl of hazelnut ice cream. The other corner had s small jug of smooth pistachio sauce. Finally in the last corner was the chocolate nemesis. A square piece or rich yet light chocolate cake with a square piece of 24 carat gold leaf draped across the center.
I loved the warm cherries in the pan. It is such a delightful touch. I loved the ice cream. It had a lovely crunch to it. Was it honeycomb pieces or was it hazelnut bits on top?
I loved pouring the light green smooth, creamy pistachio sauce over the ice cream. The burst of green color was brilliant. The cake was sublime and it was such a fantastic treat to eat 24 carat gold leaf. I felt like Marie Antoinette with her head still on. It was overly indulgent. It was divine. It was sublime. I say let them eat cake!
This is The Botanical.
Source by Sia Nasios