Botanical

Let me say this before I begin my review – I am no food blogger. Sure, I love a good meal, sometimes I cook, and I post a whole lot of pics of food on my instagram feed. But I don’t plan on turning my blog into one solely focused on food, nor do I want to write about every meal I’ve had. But if I come across something I REALLY enjoy, I’d like to be able to give it the occasional shout out. With that in mind, let’s get started.

When one thinks of vegetarian food in Malaysia, the cuisine we most often associate it with is Indian or Chinese. So it was really quite a genious idea when The Big Group decided to revamp Bistro 42 into a very stylish and contemporary vegetarian restaurant the likes of which KL has never seen before.

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With an ‘al fresco’ or indoor dining option, Botanical is intimate and stylish with that classic + retro + industrial decor the group is very well known for and I absolutely dig – I could live in their supermarket, for example. Personally, I liked the indoor seating option, with its dark walls, plant-themed plates and chairs I hope to have in my dining room someday.

Lovely decor aside, the food is equally good – if not better. The Big Group’s fairly expansive range of restaurants serves food that range from ‘ok’ to really really good, and to me, the quality and taste of the dishes I’ve had at Botanical falls into the latter category. Everything was tasty, cooked to perfection and served in generous portions that I seriously recommend sharing if you’re planning on doing the full three courses! I’ve been there thrice so far and have not managed to make it to dessert! And since I enjoyed the food so much, I am glad I made the effort to snap pictures of just about everything we ordered the first time around.

Loving the tile-inspired inner covers of the menu.
Loving the tile-inspired inner covers of the menu.
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Not my coffee. But I couldn’t resist taking a pic of that pretty antique-style sugar bowl.
The complimentary bread comes in little brown paper bags. The bread is served warm and as is really quite tasty even without dipping it into the bowl of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
The complimentary Seaweed Foccacia comes in little brown paper bags. The bread is served warm and is really quite tasty even without dipping it into the bowl of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
The top hats look like a burst of overgrown grass! Eating it is a little tricky, so I recommend some 'mowing of the lawn' before attempting to eat the 'top hat'. It is quite refreshing and tasty though!
The Top Hats look like a burst of overgrown grass! Eating it is a little tricky, so I recommend some ‘mowing of the lawn’ before attempting to eat the rest of it. It is quite refreshing and tasty though!
These sweet potato cakes are oh so good and goes perfectly with the accompanying mint and yogurt. I also tried their carrot coriander fritters during my second trip and it was superb!
These Sweet Potato Cakes are oh so good and goes perfectly with the accompanying mint and yogurt. I also tried their Carrot Coriander Fritters during my second trip and it was superb!
The oh so yummy portobello mushroom ragout features a poached egg on a bed of creamy polenta. I don't really fancy portobello so I pushed them aside for others, but I could happily eat the egg and polenta all on its own - my new favourite comfort dish. Yum!
The oh so yummy Portobello Mushroom Ragout features a poached egg on a bed of creamy polenta. I don’t really fancy portobello, so I pushed them aside and focused on the egg and polenta. I think I have a new favourite comfort dish. Yum!
The fresh tomato and buffalo mozarella spaghettini is clean, light and comes in massive serving! I've had bites of their other pastas too, and their Sundried Tomato Pesto, Tom Yam Tempeh and Roaster Eggplant & Tomato are all pretty good too.
The fresh tomato and buffalo mozarella spaghettini is clean, light and comes in a massive serving! I’ve had bites of their other pasta dishes too, and their Sundried Tomato Pesto, Tom Yam Tempeh and Roasted Eggplant & Tomato are all pretty good as well.
If you never thought you could deal with a vegetarian lasagne, try their Pesto Lasagne. It is very tasty and comes with a nice thick layer of bechamel sauce. Delicious!
If you never thought you could deal with a vegetarian lasagne, try Botanical’s Pesto Lasagne. It is very tasty and comes with a nice thick layer of bechamel sauce. Delicious!
The Spinach Ricotta & Crepes Gratin looks like one big mess but it is actually pretty good and insanely filling. Unless you're insanely hungry, I absolutely recommend sharing this.
The Spinach Ricotta & Crepes Gratin looks like one big mess but it is actually pretty good and insanely filling. Unless you’re ravenously hungry, I absolutely recommend sharing this.

I’ve also tried their Four Cheese Toastie and Botanical House Salad and have no complaints so far. Their Tropical Comfort drink was also very good, but I was too thirsty to take a pic of it first.

The prices at Botanical are also fairly decent. Even if all you order is a single starter or main meal you’re bound to get pretty full. As I mentioned earlier, sharing is definitely recommended so you get to try more of the dishes they have on offer. The service is good and the wait staff quite friendly and knowledgeable, which are further plus points for me.

But will I go back? Of course. I have yet to try their dessert or any of their local dishes! I just need to convince more people that the vegetarian food here is far from boring – you absolutely won’t miss meat at Botanical!

Note: definitions of vegetarian tends to vary. Botanical serves egg and dairy in a number of their dishes.

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