In a space that has, at various times, been a post office and a lingerie bar, The Botanist is a neighbourhood diner from Applejack Hospitality, the group behind nearby venues SoCal and Rafi, as well as Bopp and Tone and The Butler in town.

From the menus to the interiors, the venue draws inspiration from the travels of historical botanist Gerard Fothergill, who was believed to have spent his final years at the site. So, expect to see details with a botanical and exploratory theme.

Fothergill’s exploits have especially informed the cocktails, which are a strength here: the Negroni Spagliato features rosemary-infused Campari, the house Martini is made with lemon myrtle verjus and Crème de Lychee, and there’s a rotating seasonal spritz that makes use of odd and unwanted fruit supplied by Sydney Direct Fresh Produce.

The menu is crowd-pleasing and designed to share, with starters including crispy Hawkesbury squid with squid ink aioli and rocket, grilled half-shell scallops in garlic butter, and San Danielle prosciutto with pickled guindilla peppers. If you’re going large, it might be with a seasonal pasta, or a 500-gram Angus sirloin with sides like crispy roast potatoes and a leafy salad with chardonnay vinaigrette.

The Botanist’s yesteryear feel is also about acknowledging the rich history of Kirribilli, where co-owner Ben Carroll was himself a resident for a decade and there hadn’t been a spot for a casual mid-week catch up until he did something about it. For sure, it’s great to see a notable botanist taking up residence in Kirribilli once again.

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Updated: January 9th, 2023

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