Yorkshire Times
Weekend Edition
Graham Clark
Features Writer
8:07 AM 21st May 2021

The Botanist, Leeds - Planting The Seeds Of Success With New Menu

The wonderful one way system round the centre of Leeds never fails to amaze me. You can have your photograph taken as many times as you wish: Decide to go in a bus lane? Smile for the camera please! Go down the street that is access only, then you better say “cheese” - mind you that grin on your face will soon be wiped off when that envelope containing your fine drops through your letterbox.

Add to that the various digging up of roads in the city centre and it makes you wonder if they really want car drivers in Leeds. Think I will cycle there next time and have the cycle lane all to myself.

After the delights of the Leeds Loop it was pleasing to step into The Botanist. Tucked away at the side of the Trinity Centre the restaurant reminded me of a hidden den, although there is a seating area outside that catches the sun.

The gardening theme extends to plants dotted around the restaurant and plenty of woodwork.

Open kitchen area
Open kitchen area
I have always associated The Botanist with their famous Hanging Kebabs, along with their burgers. Now though they have come up with the idea of 'Build Your Own Board'. Loosely based on the Tapas theme diners choose a favourite from four sections to create your own bespoke board for £19.95 per person.

Build your own board - Whipped Goat’s Cheese, Pan Fried Seabass, Keema Lamb Shepherd’s Pie, Chunky Parmesan Chips
Build your own board - Whipped Goat’s Cheese, Pan Fried Seabass, Keema Lamb Shepherd’s Pie, Chunky Parmesan Chips
For my board I decided upon whipped goats cheese, pan fried Seabass, which should come with 'heritage' tomatoes and basil though I swapped mine for carrots, a very spicy keema lamb shepherd’s pie, along with the fourth choice of chunky Parmesan chips.

Each dish was served hot and was surprisingly plentiful, though you have to be careful that each individual dish you choose compliments each other.

Vegetarian board
Vegetarian board
My sister chose the vegetarian option of Padron peppers with fermented chilli dip, roast cauliflower with caper and raisin purée, truffle mayo and Granny Smith Apple, along with a third choice of Yellow tadka dal (which compared to any dal served in Bradford) and a fourth choice of a round of freshly baked bread. It was pleasing to see that someone has given some imagination to the vegetarian options instead of just opting for risotto!

'Build Your Own' feels like a good idea that offers many combinations so that you could never get bored with the board!

White chocolate and raspberry cookie dough
White chocolate and raspberry cookie dough
If you want to indulge yourself in a sweet treat you could try the White Chocolate and Raspberry Cookie Dough served with yoghurt ice cream. The latter was a bit tasteless to me though the hot Cookie Dough was fine.

The Cheesecake which comes with rose and hibiscus poached peach and pistachios was as gooey as it looked - not an attribute normally associated with Cheesecake.

The restaurant certainly has a cheery vibe about the place. The staff appear well trained and helpful though the frequency of referring to everyone as “guys” might grate after a while, especially for more mature customers.

The Botanist was worth the arduous journey and you certainly could do a lot worse than to plant yourself at a table there. Remember to budget for the almost inevitable traffic fine.

The Botanist, 67 Boar Lane, Leeds LS1 6HW
Telephone 0113 205 3240