Catching up with girl friends in Leeds always involves a good lunch and lots of laughs. I knew that the restaurants inside Trinity Leeds would be very busy by the time we had decided to go somewhere, so after passing the Botanist on my walk into the centre I though it might the ideal place to go as it may not get as busy so early. It’s located on Boar Lane in between the Trinity Church and a well-known burger chain.
We were greeted outside where there is an outdoor dining area (which will be great for the warmer weather) and walked passed the kitchen where you could see rotisserie chicken amongst a whole host of other things.
The inside of the restaurant has a very rustic, shabby chic style to it, with areas partly reminiscent of a garden shed and luckily for us was still fairly quiet when we sat down, with just a handful of tables occupied.
The menu is split into a selection of starters, the Botanist deli board (where you can choose from meat, cheese, and deli favourites ,e .g. houmous and chargrilled vegetables), home comforts, dishes off the barbeque, rotisserie and salads.
It took a while for us to order, just due to the fact that we were too busy catching up, but the waitress was extremely patient with us and duly waited until we were ready.
We decided to order a Botanist deli board to share as a starter with grilled marinated aubergine and courgette, cous cous and roasted vegetable salad, Shorrock’s 2 year-aged Lancashire cheese and some salami milano. For our main courses the 80’s classic chicken kiev with basmati rice (not the usual accompaniment I’m guessing), a beef burger with cheese and two of their Hanging Kebabs – one with halloumi and vegetables and the other with chicken, both served with chips.
The deli board was very yummy, the Lancashire cheese lovely and creamy, the cous cous with vegetables tasty, the salami had little bit of spice and finally the grilled marinated aubergine and courgette were lovely and soft. All in all the whole thing tasted great and even though we shared a deli board for one person between four of us, everyone was more than happy with the portion size.
Meanwhile the restaurant had started to become very busy by then and it took a little while for the main courses to arrive. The Hanging Kebabs looked fab and there was a bit of entertainment when the waiter poured over a chilli, ginger and garlic butter sauce from the top of kebab so it ran down the kebab, dripping into the chips in a bowl underneath.
The kebabs were excellent, my halloumi cheese had lovely charred marks on it and was lovely and stretchy, cooked to perfection. The mushrooms and vegetables were a perfect combination with the halloumi cheese and the chips were great too! I don’t know about you but I find that not many restaurants cook great chips, there must be a dark art to cooking a fantastic chip!! The chilli, ginger and garlic oil was a fantastic addition, bringing the whole dish together and making it very moreish! I was told that my friend’s chicken kebab was also fantastic too, the chicken cooked really well and we both seemed to polish them off without a moments hesitation.
The chicken kiev got no complaints either, it had a lovely breadcrumbed crust, soft and fluffy basmati rice and a cute little pot of garlic butter sauce to pour over at your leisure. A great touch!
The beef burger looked fantastic, again with really well cooked chips. My friend had asked for her burger to be cooked medium but it arrived quite pink, so after calling someone over it was dealt with straight away and sorted out without any fuss whatsoever, bringing back a freshly cooked burger. The staff who sorted it out were both excellent and we couldn’t fault them.
They have a large drinks menu, with the good range of wines, fantastic sounding cocktails (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and also a great range of beers, ales and ciders.
Apart from ordering wine and beer, we’d eyed up some of the non-alcoholic cocktails – their Forest Fruit Fling and Grape and Raspberry and Elderflower Cooler, both were lovely especially the Forest Fruit fling which I could have drunk over and over. Very delicious and refreshing.
In terms of cost starters are £4.50-£7.95, the deli board £9.25, main courses are £7.75-£17.75.
Our bill came to just under £100 for 4 people without a tip, so not bad considering we had quite a few drinks too. We all agreed they’d done a fab job and we’d definitely come back. Great for lunch, dinner and also great for drinks too!!
Overall the service was friendly, the place had a good atmosphere, the waiting staff extremely efficient and helpful and the food and drinks both tasted great. On the negative side we were there for lunch so the menu was lunch friendly I think, but I’m not sure if I’d feel the same way if I’d gone in the evening.The Botanist 67 Boar Lane Trinity Leeds Leeds 0113 205 3240