Botanic Gardens Restaurant, Adelaide

Amidst the hustle and bustle of the city, lies a quiet serene restaurant in the middle of the botanic gardens. When entering the gates at North Terrace East End, follow the path and veer left at the glasshouse (we learnt that the hard way when turning right). Heh, it didn’t help that the signs stopped telling you where the restaurant was, hmph! Once we finally located the restaurant, we were seated by the window which offers patrons a 180 degree view of the gardens – splendid!

botanic gardens restaurant

The restaurant requires you to either order 2 dishes or 3, at $49.00 and $65.00 respectively. We opted for 2 each, an entree to share, mains each and finishing off with a dessert to share.

botanic gardens restaurant, entree, chicken ballotine
Complimentary butter and olives, Chicken Ballotine: poached ballotine of corn fed chicken and black truffle with Waldorf remoulade

We’re presented with butter and olives but no bread as we get seated. Orders are taken and a long wait is endured before our entree finally arrives! Mind you, butter and olives still remained untouched as bread has yet to be served. Moving on, I didn’t love or hate the entree dish, the chicken was cooked well, moist and succulent. The salad provided a nice texture contrast with crunch and slices of sweet grape.

botanic gardens restaurant, butter nut pumpkin gnocchi
Pan Fried Pillows of Gnocchi: roast butter nut pumpkin, pine nuts and goat’s cheese with rocket and burnt sage butter

A quite flavoursome dish however the main was a lot smaller than expected and could pass off as an entree.

botanic gardens restaurant, lamb
Lamb with tempura eggplant and pickled beetroot

The dish first came out without the bells and whistles, just slices of lamb on top of the eggplant. Turns out the kitchen forgot to dress the dish! Luckily the waiter picked this up and came back with a dish popping with vibrant colours. This dish was brimming with flavour and texture, I loved everything from the perfectly cooked lamb to the light tempura eggplant and tangy pickled beetroot. Great colour and texture! Win win.

We cleaned our mains in no time and were still hungry, so hungry that a stop over at a sushi bar was on the cards once we left the restaurant! Our bread still hadn’t arrived, so I asked a waiter and whatdayaknow, they forgot! Minutes later, we were presented with 2 warm sour dour bread rolls that we happily engulfed in no time! That actually did the trick, we were now full and ready for our last dish, dessert!

botanic gardens restaurant, apple crumble tart
Apple crumble tart with almond frangipane, butter scotch sauce and vanilla ice cream

This was quite a disappointment, in that the tart was too hard as we both had difficulty cutting through it with a fork and spoon. This resulted in us chipping and tapping away trying to break it up to get a piece… heh. Same story with the apple, it required some elbow grease to cut through the hard apple, but hey, at least the almond frangipane and vanilla ice cream saved the dish. Only just!

Food: 3.5/5
Service: 2/5
Value: 3/5
Ambience: 3/5


Botanic Gardens Restaurant
Via North Terrace, City or Plane Tree Dr
Adelaide SA 5000
P 08 8223 3526

Botanic Gardens on Urbanspoon

3 comments for “Botanic Gardens Restaurant, Adelaide

  1. Sarah - For the Love of Food
    January 7, 2011 at 10:46 AM

    I’m sorry to read that your experience was underwhelming D! I went there just before Xmas for lunch and had really gorgeous food and quick service.

  2. lesmer
    April 29, 2011 at 5:53 AM

    Ate at the restaurant on 27th April. Excellent service and food was delicious.

    • dbites
      April 29, 2011 at 7:22 AM

      @Sarah: From memory, my main and bread (carbs are win win albeit a bit late) saved the day!

      @lesmer: Glad you enjoyed it! The quiet stroll to get there through the gardens is lovely and then a delicious meal with a gorgeous view; can’t ask for much more. 🙂

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