Sunday, August 30, 2009

Botanic Bar

I find that often when I anticipate something with great gusto it turns out to be quite the disappointment – uninspiring and overall far from the images conjured up in my mind. This is especially with regard to movies and meals. To avoid setting myself up for a fall, lately I have been setting the bar low and checking my expectations at the door. This is in no way easy for me since I the pleasure I derive from perusing online menus goes unparalleled, drooling over dishes and meditating over what to order far in advance.

After spotting a positive review in a local Adelaidian “newspaper” for the Botanic Bar raving about the place serving up extraordinary $6 “gourmet” pizzas, I decided I had to investigate for myself to ascertain what all the fuss was really about. Instead of the expected colonial style building and English pub décor reminiscent of The British on Finnis Street or The Exeter on Rundell Street that I was expecting –notoriously packed with boozy teenage hooligans, the Botanic Bar is a breath of fresh air. A regal, somewhat sophisticated aura is complimented by character and rich personality that are ingrained in the walls, cluttered with framed copies of renaissance watercolour and oil paintings. Plush, royal purple velveteen sofas and dark leather ottomans frame round tables that seat groups of two to six. The entrance welcome you with a long bar, with a blackboard overhead scrawled with pizza and cocktail specials and it folds out into two further areas, one framing a shingled pool table and thereon extending to a private enclosure resembling a smoking room.

While the wine list is far from exhaustive it is extremely comprehensive, the mere single A4 page covering a stellar wine in each type and category. The choice for the evening was straight up and simple – a bottle of 2007, Deviation Road, Adelaide Hills – a local favourite that made for easy drinking while supplying full-bodied flavour and a tannic blackcurrant aroma. Unusual for Adelaide the beverage menu dedicates two whole pages to mixology – something I will definitely be returning to try in the near future.

As for the pizza menu it features about eight kinds of thin crust wood-fire pizzas including a Turkish Pizza with lamb, yoghurt and mint, Tandoori Pizza with chicken tikka, Four cheese pizza, Italian salami with basil, a Prawn with Pesto, sweet cherry tomatoes and olives (which I tried and was excellent) and one with Meredith’s goat cheese, thyme and brocollini (delicate flavours working together fantastically) and to finish a dessert pizza topped with poached apple slices, cinnamon and mascarpone that is absolutely sublime.

All in all the Botanic Bar is a true blue winner deserving faithful patronage. There is no doubt I will be back soon for more delicious pizza and to take in the charming atmosphere.

Botanic Cafe on Urbanspoon


MEGalomaniac said...

Went back last Sunday. Two visits in two weeks is an all time Adelaide record - so this is a true blue sign that I give this place a thumbs up! Great ambience, awesome pizzas and you leave without your wallet feeling extraordinarily light!

This time sampled the Italian sausage pizza, Turkish Lamb with mint and yoghurt - unbelievably tender - TDF. And the four cheese pizza is fabulouso! said...

It's awesome, isn't it. The drinks are expensive - $7+ for a schooner of beer or $40/bottle wine. But the food sort of offsets that. :)