We were looking for a lunch venue on Saturday in town when we stumbled upon very new bar The Botanist in Leopold Square. Not particularly somewhere I would have planned to take the kids but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity of a cheeky cocktail and a new place to review.
They have clearly spent a fortune on this place. It’s done out with lots of dark wood, flamboyant light fittings, botanical pictures covering the walls and reclaimed looking banisters up the stairs (with just the right level of chic rustiness).
The cocktail menu is extensive with, of course, lots of botanicals in the ingredients. I went for a Thyme for Cherry, which is a cherry liqueur with rum, lime and fresh thyme, including a generous sprig to decorate. It was a satisfying long drink to sip while I did the obligatory cross referencing of the allergen menu with the regular menu.
There weren’t many gluten free starters on offer except olives, chicken wings and pork crackling. We ordered some of the latter for a starter as the boys love a bit of crackling, and we were amused when it arrived on a tray with a miniature wheelbarrow of apple sauce with chilli and spring onion.
There is a variety of gluten free items you can choose to make up a pick n mix deli board. These include humous, Greek salad, pickled veg, ham, chorizo coronation chicken and cheeses. Although you wouldn’t be able to have the fougasse bread that comes with it. I didn’t have chance to ask if there is a gluten free alternative.
For mains you can have steaks, kebabs, Malaysian curry or seabass, which I thought was a reasonable selection. And most of their sides are also gluten free. These include chips (hurrah!) winter slaw, roast carrots and parsnips, corn cobs and salad.
We all decided to go for kebabs which were rather spectacular, hanging on a cast iron stand with integrated sauce dribbler at the top! Chicken and pork were the gluten free options so I opted for the pork kebab and the kids had mini chicken ones from the kids’ menu. Nice to see something different from the usual fish fingers and pizza on the kids’ menu, although now I think about it. I suppose it was still chicken and chips, albeit served elaborately!
We all enjoyed eating them and it was something a bit different. The belly pork on my kebab was lovely and tender, although I always forget how fatty it is. And I ended up having pork for both courses – whoops. That’ll be the cherry liqueur!
The service was a bit mixed and distinctly showed this is a very new establishment, but we didn’t have to wait long for the food and we really enjoyed the quirky presentation.
I think I’ll definitely go back to sample some more of the cocktail menu – without the kids in tow. And it’s great to know they’ve thought a bit about having some gluten free options on the menu.
The Botanist, Unit 5A and 5B Leopold Square, Sheffield S1 2JG