Constantia’s Botanicum Cafe & Grill
I love (good) surprises. My sister always looks at the restaurants we visit before we go, studying the menu and pre-deciding what she’d like to try. The joy of that makes her happy. I’m the opposite – I’d rather go to a restaurant, not knowing what to expect. So when I travelled out to Constantia (#citydweller) with my friend Lauren to visit the Botanicum Cafe & Grill and discovered an absolute gem, I was uber-excited.
As the name might suggest, Botanicum puts an emphasis on the greens. It’s a beautiful clean space, very sophisticated, with dozens of plants all around that add a unique element of freshness and beauty to an otherwise plain interior. The space moves seamlessly between day and night, and operates as a casual cafe as well as a fine restaurant.
Going Through The Menu
We were greeted by manager Marc, whose passion for all things Botanicum was absolutely infectious. We fell in love with everything about the space within minutes – before we had even moved on to the gorgeousness of their food. The menu is rather simple but they definitely have something for everyone. And judging from all the dishes we had, nothing at Botanicum will disappoint. We browsed the menu while sipping a glass of Le Lude bubbles to celebrate the evening, accompanied by some freshly baked sourdough bread.
A Sea of Starters
Starters were a tough choice. Everything looked so good! Lauren and I were both keen on the Roasted Bonemarrow (R75), but Marc was adamant we try the Margherita Pizza (R85) and the Fried Oysters (R95). Eventually we decided to get all of the above to share, in addition to the Caprese Salad (R135). And I’m so glad we did.
The Roasted Bonemarrow was one of the best either of us had ever had. Lauren and I were both in absolute heaven. I could have eaten a dozen of those and been completely satisfied. The pizza was also fantastic – fluffy and full of flavour – while the Caprese Salad was elegant, gentle, and delicious.
The real test of the night was the Fried Oysters. I love oysters, but generally don’t like anything fried. Lauren doesn’t like oysters. Verdict? I ate them but wasn’t much of a fan and wouldn’t have them again. Lauren absolutely loved them and would come back for them. And it’s pretty significant that Botanicum has managed to convince a non-oyster-lover that oysters can be tasty!
For mains, Lauren opted for the Lamb Shank (R195) with green beans (R30), while I went for the Seared Yellowfin Tuna with Black Pepper Dressing (R165). But we ended up sharing both dishes. The tuna was divine, with a hint of spice and Asian flavours, and this was Lauren’s favourite. The Lamb Shank was heavenly, fall-off-the-bone, with the most delicious potato mash ever. I loved the tuna, but the lamb shank was the winner for me.
We were both absolutely stuffed, but ended up finishing both portions coz it was all too good. And then we tucked into the green beans, which came smothered in butter. I’ve never had green beans so tasty before!
Dessert wasn’t really on the cards since we were so full, but Marc insisted we at least try the Lemongrass Ice Cream (R55). Lauren ended up choosing that one, and best described it as a sorbet that’s creamy. She loved it. I opted for the Pear & Almond Tart (R70), which was quaint and absolutely beautiful.
Visit Botanicum Cafe & Grill
Botanicum was a real treat. The prices are reasonable, especially for the quality of food you’re getting, the service is excellent, the space comfortable, and I would highly, highly, highly recommend this restaurant. While I don’t travel to Constantia much, I’ll definitely go back to Botanicum in a heartbeat.
For all the info on Botanicum Cafe & Grill, see below.
Botanicum Cafe & Grill
Address: Shop 6, High Constantia, Constantia Main Road
Call: +27 21 794 7843
Article Date: July 2019
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