Kirribilli is a lovely little slice of Sydney, bursting with bougainvillea and jacaranda trees, million-dollar views, and loads of great places to eat and drink. I must confess I don’t venture there too often, but rather pass by it on my morning commute north to St Leonards. I decided to remedy this hitting up The Botanist with some old workmates, and discovered a wonderful little bar and restaurant that does the neighbourhood proud. Its beautiful aesthetic is heavily influenced by historical botanist Gerard Fothergill, a local back in the day, with leafy wallpaper, loads of dark wood, and scientific and nautical paraphernalia dotted around.
The seasonal menu packs a decidedly British-India punch, and exploring it is like tracing one of Fothergill’s own expeditions, with flavours from South America, India, and the Middle-east in dishes like soft-shell tacos with beef brisket, hearty salads laden with roast lamp and mint, gin-cured salmon with kohlrabi and currants, saffron risotto with king prawns, and chipotle beef short ribs. Alas, I didn’t take any food-based photos as it had gotten too dark, but suffice it say that we sampled something from most of the menu’s pleasingly ordered sections, and found everything to be pretty fabulous and bang-for-buck to boot. Drinks-wise, there’s a highly respectable Australian wine list that boasts a good chardonnay or two, but it’s all about the apothecary-style cocktails list. The Dutchess of Kirribilli is a lovely concoction, featuring gin, green Chartreuse, honey and chamomile tea syrup, and rhubarb and grapefruit bitters, but next to try for me definitely the Chilli Chica – Mezcal, blood orange liqueur, lime, agave, and a dash of habanero.
Can’t wait to check out the Autumn/Winter menu!