Hunter Valley Dining: Restaurant Botanica

September 19, 2010 in Food, Travel by pacejmiller

It’s been a couple of months and at last I am up to the final post of my journey to the Hunter Valley.  I’ve saved one of the best for last too — Restaurant Botanica — the fabulous restaurant we dined at for our second and final evening in wine country.

The Restaurant Botanica is situated at the Vineyards Estate and was named Best New Hunter Valley Restaurant in 2009.  It’s another one of those dimly lit wooden cottages with a view of the vineyards.  Great ambience and excellent service too.

But of course, the food is what it’s all about, and Restaurant Botanica delivers.  And the prices are quite reasonable too: $58 for 2 courses and $68 for 3.  Needless to say, we went for the 3 course meal.

Unfortunately, I must apologise for the quality of the photos because the camera was running out of battery and I had to take the snaps very quickly.

The first thing we were served was the amuse bouche, which from memory was a foamy artichoke soup.  Not usually a fan of artichoke, but this was surprisingly tasty.

Next up, the starters.  We went with the roast duck (sensational) and the soft shell crab (pretty good).

The mains were, again, not quite as good as the starters, but they were still right up there in terms of taste and quality.  We had the aged beef fillet, which was extraordinarily soft, and the home-made pasta, which didn’t look all that great but was a terrific mix of sweet and sour flavours and contrasting textures.

And dessert?  We went with the rhubarb tart with ice cream (sublime) and this biscuit thingy with ice cream and chocolate sauce (I loved this one).

I would definitely recommend Restaurant Botanica to those visiting the Hunter Valley (in fact, I already have!).  Along with Mojo’s on Wilderness, it’s one of the best meals I’ve had this year.


PS: Note Restaurant Botanica is only open for dinner Wednesday to Sunday (lunch by appointment only).