Lounge at leisure at Newstead’s lush bar and eatery Botany
When it comes to creating a superb dining experience, vibe and ambience has a not-insubstantial part to play. Gasworks Plaza’s greenery-laden arrival Botany is just the thing we’ve been craving for relaxed springtime dining, with a menu of sumptuous modern-Australian morsels, collection of sparkling spritzes and a lush flora-centric aesthetic making this Newstead newcomer a revivifying revelation.
The team behind hospitality group Muragh Operations certainly has an eye for locations. Already boasting popular riverside eatery The Jetty South Bank in its portfolio, the group is looking to go two-for-two with its newest concept Botany, which opened last week at flourishing Newstead dining hub at Gasworks Plaza. The arrival joins fellow 2020 openings Smokey Moo, Ping Pong and Meet + Greens (as well as 2019 entrants Milky Lane, Mecca Bah and Yolk) as part of the precinct’s recent dining surge. Botany sits on the fringe of Gasworks’ central plaza in an open-plan tenancy that formerly housed Hatch & Co. Looking to capitalise on its prominent position at the intersection of Skyring Terrace and Cunningham Street, the Muragh Operations team has spruced up the space with a host of plants (all of which are real!) and some cosmetic tweaks to the bar, encouraging the flow of cool cross-breezes from street front to deep interior. Structurally, the venue remains largely unchanged – the main alfresco dining area affords diners with close proximity to the plaza’s green space, with sturdy banquettes around the perimeter joining a scattering of four- and six-seater tables.
Botany’s food and drink menus primarily foreground flavour and freshness, but it also proves itself to be flexible. Designed to accomodate different groups of diners (snack and sip seekers, long-lunch havers and date-night diners, to name a few), the menu offers a cross-section of tasty options to suit most occasions. Popping in for a quick bite? Botany’s sizzling saganaki with honey-lemon dressing, bolognese poutine chips and the buttermilk chicken tacos are serious tempters. Groups looking to divvy up a selection of share plates would do well with with Botany’s pizzas. Chef Jean-Claude is injecting a bit of influence from his home region of France with his signature tarte flambee pizza, which comes topped with sliced onion, fresh cream and pancetta. The menu’s mains are certified hunger busters, with the likes of Botany’s sourdough eye fillet (picture a juicy steak encased in a caramelised sourdough crust), eight-hour slow-cooked lamb served on a bed of creamy polenta, pork tenderloin wrapped in pancetta and the chicken cordon bleu (which oozes gooey Swiss cheese) sure to knock appetites for six. The kitchen opens early on the weekends for breakfast, dishing up the likes of eggs Benedict, Turkish eggs and corn fritters as well as coffee from local roasting outfit Kuhl-Cher. Botany’s beverage list is broad and approachable, starting with well-regarded international beers and craft drops from the likes of Black Hops Brewery, Stone & Wood, Young Henrys and Green Beacon. The lengthy wine list encompasses varieties from Australia, France, New Zealand and Italy, while the cocktail list boasts ten signatures (with plenty of local craft gins featuring in the back bar), five cocktail carafes and five kinds of spritz.
Botany is now open at Gasworks Plaza. For operating hours and contact details, click over to the Stumble Guide.
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