Following a huge growth in the lifestyle choice to become vegan, popular restaurant and bar The Botanist have launched a brand new vegan menu. I’m not vegan, nor am I a vegetarian or follow a certain diet, but I’m not a huge meat eater. So when I was invited to try out the Vegan menu, I thought, why not?
A lot of my friends, followers and readers are Vegan, so I realised it would be nice to review this and share my thought.
Having embraced the idea of all-year round good vegan cuisine after seeing the popularity of Veganuary., The Botanist know more people than ever before are switching up their eating habits to vegan. So lets check out the offerings!
Featuring handcrafted dishes free from meat, eggs and dairy, The Botanist are taking customers from Veganuary to Veganually. I visited the Alderley Edge restaurant, which is super cosy, dimly lit and pretty to actually just look around and take in the decor. They even had a man playing live music on the piano on the Wednesday night I visited.
The menu options have been based on valuable customer feedback, where culinary experts have developed a vibrant selection of vegan and dairy free dishes to fuse into the current menu.
Although there aren’t too many mains choices (potentially around 4-5 you could chose for mains) you’ll find delicious favourites in the form of deli sharers, starters, rotisserie, burgers and salad choices.
The ‘Nibble’ offerings are fairly impressive, with baked kale crisps, charred edamame beans and nocellara olives making an appearance. Each one has the extra effort of seasoning and spices added to really flavour them up.
Trust me – none of these had any blandness whatsoever, just interesting flavours and aromas added through oils and spices. The olives were so so tasty and the edamame beans full of delicious salts and chillis.
You’ll find curried houmous, Tempura-fried cauliflower, tenderstem broccoli and kale Manchurian, and courgette, kale and potato soup amongst the vegan starters, which span a number of different options.
I tried out the tempura veggies, and these again were incredibly tasty. As well as cauliflower and broccoli, there were also mini fried corns here too. Maybe not the healthier, but definitely yummy. And vegan of course!
There doesn’t appear to be a deli board which is 100% suitable for vegans, but perhaps you can swap and switch a few items at the chefs request. The ‘Chilled Favourites’ board contained the olives, the houmous, a spicy green salad and saffron and almond Israeli couscous, but would picking around coronation chicken and buttermilk coleslaw.
As for the main meal options, we picked out the following which could be enjoyed by vegans:
Houmous, roast sweet potato and sun-dried tomato flatbread, a roast sweet potato quinoa salad, a harissa aubergine steak (served with saffron and almond Israeli couscous, grilled baby gem and tahini dressing), a Malaysian vegetable curry served with coconut rice and the falafel burger with spiced onions, harissa jam, vine tomato, rocket and tahini dressing.
My guest ordered the Malaysian Curry, in which I had a good old taste off. It certainly tasted good and captured the delights of Malaysian food, however don’t be expecting the usual thick creamy texture that non-vegan curries have.
Obviously, the thick, bad-for-cream cream has been omitted, and as a healthier choice, I still give this the nod of approval.
I opted for the falafel burger with sweet potato fries, and I couldn’t fault anything about it. The tomato relish that topped it was crunchy and sweet too, giving it so much flavour. However, I just want to take a minute to say that these were the best sweet potato fries (cooked in fajita salt) I have ever tasted. The bucket was gone in 2 minutes flat.
Now for the sweets!
It’s usually quite interesting to see what desserts get rustled up under a vegan menu, and we managed to spy two key choices.
Firstly, the bitter chocolate and roasted pineapple pot with raspberry sorbet was rather interesting, as the ‘chocolate’ sauce layered up in the jar tasted incredible. Slightly bitter, but sweet and chocolatey, muddled with fresh roasted pineapple. The raspberry sorbet was the perfect topping – light, fluffy and creamy.
However, the homemade banana doughnuts with salted caramel sauce and peanut milkshake was the winner here. The doughnuts were a less sweetened version of ‘standard’ doughnuts, filled with soft, doughy banana and melted in the mouth.
The peanut milkshake was slightly unusual, but again was a less sickly version of a creamy milkshake. It tasted quite like a nutty yoghurt, but either way worked deliciously well with the doughnuts.
Overall, if you’re taking on a Vegan diet, The Botanist has a number of offerings definitely worth trying out. All at reasonable prices too (a main will set you back around £11, and desserts at £5.75).