Bentley chef Brent Savage and sommelier Nick Hildebrandt are taking their sizeable talents abroad, opening Botanica by Brent Savage in the luxury One&Only Reethi Rah resort in the Maldives. Botanica will be the duo’s fifth restaurant – they also co-own Sydney fine diner Bentley, Cirrus, Monopole and Yellow.
Savage first visited the private island resort in 2018, when he oversaw a pop-up of his plant-based Potts Point restaurant, Yellow, one of Sydney’s most respected vegetarian restaurants. The new outdoor eatery will source much of its produce from the resort’s herb and vegetable gardens, and the waters surrounding the island. Dishes such as hand-caught Maldivian rock lobster with pickled wakame, buttermilk, sea succulents and finger lime will star on the menu, and dishes will be cooked over open flames on an outdoor charcoal barbeque. Guests will be able to dine by candlelight in the chef’s garden, surrounded by greenery and the scent of herbs, or in the depths of the resort’s orchid house.
Hildebrandt is looking after the extensive wine list, with bottles from iconic and up-and-coming producers in Europe and Australia. There’s also a gin bar with more than 34 varieties from around the world.
Savage is known for crafting elegant menus that deal creatively with meat and vegetables alike, and One&Only will begin growing more veggies for him to work with. “Botanica is a really exciting place to cook,” he says in a statement. “I love that the restaurant is in the middle of the island. The space has a jungle-like feel as it is surrounded by established organic vegetable and herb gardens which supply produce that we integrate in the menu.”
Savage and Hildebrandt aren’t the first Aussie chefs to pop up on a paradise island: Thai-cooking wizard David Thompson recently opened an eatery in Koh Samui, while Perth-born David Pynt, of Singapore’s Michelin-starred Burnt Ends, launched a restaurant at the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi resort and Hartsyard’s Gregory Llewellyn has joined Malolo Island Resort in Fiji.
Botanica by Brent Savage is now open.