The Bot(anical) in South Yarra reopened in late November after a hefty refurbishment. Bought by the Colonial Leisure Group who own many pubs around town including Lamaro’s, Bimbo Deluxe and the Lucky Coq, the space here has moved on from open, cavernous and pale finishes to earthy dark woods, booth seats and partitioned areas with lots of shades of toffee, caramel and blacks, using deep blues and greens out towards the back. The contemporary artwork by Melbourne artist Janenne Eaton is urban, edgy and a fast counterpoint to a striking but comfortable environment.

There’s a casual dining area immediately as you walk in designed to cater for breakfast after a walk around the Tan, a quick coffee, easy lunch or dinner (there’s schnitzel with remoulade, flathead with chips) with a more formal dining room running alongside the kitchen where executive chef, Cheong Lieuw, formerly of The Grange at the Adelaide Hilton is serving what he terms “Sitting Ducks”, plates to share like kingfish gravlax, olive-fried octopus or lamb’s tongue with duck giblets as well as “Serious Eats” (read main courses). Like many other places opening at the moment, there is absolute flexibility in choice for the diner in menu structure and the wine list here is also a highlight. The wine wall from The Bot’s most recent former life is alive and well as well as the bottle shop - look out for tastings with wine makers from small boutique wineries in the months to come.

The Botanical
169 Domain Road, South Yarra
(03) 9820 7888

Weekdays 7am-3pm, 6pm-11.30pm
Weekends 8am-3pm, 6pm-11.30pm