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Restaurant Botanic: Is this Australia’s most immersive new dining experience?

Set over a four-hour radical and sensory escape, Restaurant Botanic is being hailed as Australia’s most acclaimed new dining experience.

Deep in the heart of Adelaide it’s a dining experience that is genuinely garden-to-plate.

Under the guidance of former Vue de Monde Executive Chef Justin James, Restaurant Botanic showcases the native flavours found within the stunning surrounds of the 51-hectare Adelaide Botanic Garden. All tastefully enjoyed in 20 flavour combinations found on the Garden Trail menu.

Justin uses ingredients foraged from Adelaide Botanic Garden coupled with the best produce from local growers. An in-house Ferment Lab creates fermented or preserved products with garden blend teas, flavoured kombuchas and infused juices that also make the menu.

It creates a Nuovo flair to Australian flavours in fresh, inventive combinations. Jerusalem Artichoke, Chive and Chamomile; Marron cooked in lemon myrtle leaves and branches with corn and fermented chilli; Wagyu and Brassica Cooked on a Pine Branch; and Fallen bunya-bunya branches with native thyme and wattle seed miso, are just three of the 20 featured on the set menu.

A sensorial experience

Justin’s time in some of the world’s most acclaimed kitchens – Blue Hill at Stone Barns, New York’s Eleven Madison Park and Copenhagen’s Noma – can be found at Restaurant Botanic. It’s a progressive approach to food with a finesse and attention to detail on the plate for a sensorial experience.

“Every dish starts in the Botanic Garden before we look out to Adelaide, South Australia and finally Australia,” Justin says. “Ninety-nine per cent of our ingredients are Australian; the only exceptions are sturgeon caviar and white truffles. Every ingredient has to be perfect.”

Guided by an eclectic soundtrack – Led Zeppelin, Wu-Tang Clan, and Bach are all on rotation – Justin or one of his team – including Head Chef Jake Davey, Sous Chef Jamie Musgrave, Restaurant Manager Alma Pasalic and Sommelier Marcell Kustos – fetch drink orders on arrival and expertly whip up cocktails at the kitchen bar. Restaurant Botanic operates on a one-team philosophy, meaning everyone can do (almost) anything.

A captivating experience

With spectacular views of the iconic 155-year-old Moreton Bay Figs that line Murdoch Avenue and the birdlife on the nearby Kainka Wirra Lake, it’s not just the plates that offers a captivating experience.

“Our aim is to create something beyond the everyday fine dining restaurant experience,” Justin says. “We want our guests to experience the exceptional when they walk through our doors and enjoy a mini holiday for the four hours they are here. We are welcoming, and accommodating, and make a connection with every person who visits.”

Restaurant Botanic tables

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