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The Botanist Cardiff launches new summer menu – review

There are new sharing plates and there has been a major upgrade to a popular dish

The Botanist Cardiff

The Botanist Cardiff has unveiled its summer menu, featuring exciting new food offerings and a refreshing cocktail selection. Here’s everything you need to know!

Encouraging everyone to share the joy with loved ones this season, a new selection of small plates has been added to the menu, giving an instant al fresco summer dining feel. These are priced individually from £6.75 or choose three plates for £22.50.

With a whopping eleven dishes to choose from, the menu offers a wide variety, each highlighting seasonal ingredients and bringing something unique to the table.  Choose from roasted harissa cauliflower with houmous, pomegranate molasses, pickled red onion, crispy shallots and mint, Korean fried chicken with sriracha mayo and red chilli and patatas bravas made with baby hassleback potatoes on a bravas sauce with garlic aioli.  

The Korean fried chicken with sriracha mayo was a must-try for us, and we’re so glad we did. As a fan of spicy food, this dish packs a kick but is perfectly balanced by the surprisingly cool sriracha mayo and BBQ sauce. It’s one of the most flavorful dishes we’ve had from The Botanist, and we’ll definitely be back for more.

Our second choice was the patatas bravas, a delightful twist on the traditional Spanish dish made with light and fluffy baby Hasselback potatoes. The bravas sauce paired with garlic aioli was delicious and packed with flavor—slightly more tomatoey than a typical salsa, but refreshingly reminiscent of summer. Both dishes offered generous portions, striking a perfect balance between not too small and not too large, providing great value for money.

Although we didn’t get the chance to try them, you can now choose from three sharing boards: baked camembert, the mezze platter, or crispy aromatic duck served with pancakes, cucumber, spring onion, and hoisin sauce. We noticed a nearby table enjoying one of these, and the portions looked generous.

Moving on to the mains, the taste of summer continues with an array of new dishes. For those seeking something lighter, seasonal salads are available, such as the Asian noodle salad, featuring yakisoba noodles in a sweet chili and sesame dressing with mangetout, coriander, mint, and kimchi slaw, topped with your choice of Korean chicken or plant-based schnitzel. Another option is the goat’s cheese salad, which includes melted goat’s cheese and red onion marmalade on a sourdough crouton, accompanied by courgette ribbons, beetroot, chicory, and rocket.

The botany-inspired venue has gained a reputation for its eye-catching hanging kebabs, selling an impressive 780,000 per year—averaging three kebabs served every minute. Make that 780,001, thanks to us. We couldn’t resist trying the iconic dish, especially with the new giant piri-piri chicken kebab, which is served with coleslaw, warm pita bread, and your choice of seasoned fries or coconut rice. We opted for the fries, which were hot and crispy, but in hindsight, the coconut rice might have been a better choice to complement the pita—something to consider for next time.

This giant kebab exceeded expectations. The peppers added a satisfying kick, but it was the piri-piri sauce that stole the spotlight. If you’re a fan of piri-piri, this dish is a must-try—it’s exactly how it should be. The sauce at the top took its time to trickle down, so the fries came in handy for dipping. As the name suggests, it was loaded with chicken—unlike some places where you’re left disappointed with minimal chicken on the skewer. That certainly wasn’t the case here.

For our second main, we opted for a classic: the Katsu Chicken Curry. True to The Botanist’s style, this wasn’t your ordinary Katsu. The panko-coated chicken breast was wonderfully crispy, and the katsu curry sauce boasted aromatic flavors with distinct fruity notes. Paired with coconut rice (yes, I did get to try some after all) and sushi ginger, also known as pickled ginger, it made for a delightful combination perfect for a summer evening’s meal.

Although we didn’t have the chance to try it this time, The Botanist has fired up its grill for the season, offering bavette and sirloin steaks, along with house burgers, including the new ‘Dirty Chicken Burger’. This burger features crispy fried chicken, a mac and cheese fritter, bacon, melted cheese, baby gem lettuce, pickles, garlic mayo, and hot honey BBQ sauce. With a plethora of new dishes to choose from, there’s something for everyone. Yet, they’ve also retained their beloved classics that they’re known for.

Those with a sweet tooth, The Botanist hasn’t forgotten you. Their signature cookie dough can now be customised with either crunchie pieces and crushed honeycomb or S’mores toasted marshmallows, chocolate brownie chunks, and a biscuit crumb. There’s even a sharer version available if you’re feeling generous. Although we were quite full after enjoying our small plates and mains, we couldn’t resist trying the famous cookie dough on the recommendation of our server. Opting for a single portion rather than the sharer, we ended up sharing it with two spoons just to give it a try. The S’mores version exceeded our expectations—it was a delectable blend of chocolate, ice cream, and marshmallow, perfectly gooey yet held together in the hot pan it was served in. It’s a real indulgence and one we wouldn’t hesitate to enjoy again.

Speaking of all the dishes, I don’t know if our taste buds have evolved or if we’ve just been away too long, but the entire summer menu is bursting with flavor. We’ve mentioned it a few times, but we can’t recall ever saying so many “oohs” and “aahs” while dining here. Each dish had something special about it. They’ve definitely refreshed the menu, and with plenty more to explore, we’ll definitely be back to work our way through it—and we hope the magic continues.

We were delighted to see the team’s creative lineup of summer mocktails. Situated centrally in Cardiff, this Botanist is the ideal spot to relax after a day’s work. Plus, if you’re driving, you don’t have to miss out on the fun either. What you see above are two examples,

What we always love about The Botanist is its funky floral interior, which creates a delightful indoor-outdoor ambiance. This is perfect for the unpredictable British weather, allowing you to enjoy a summertime vibe regardless of the forecast.

For an authentic outdoor experience, don’t miss the terrace! The Botanist Cardiff is hosting several terrace parties this summer, including a Taylor Swift party on June 18th and a PRIDE! celebration on June 22nd. Additionally, The Botanist will be hosting their own live festival parties throughout the summer, so be sure to check them out and book early.

And if you’re visiting on a Friday or Saturday evening, there is live music from 8pm until late.

Dishes start from £6.75 for small plates, £14.50 for mains and £5.95 for desserts. There is also now a dedicated vegan and gluten-free menu available too. 

You can find the The Botanist at Church Street, Cardiff CF10 1BG or at Cardiff Bay’s Mermaid Quay.