A fusion breakfast on Sloane Square
In the last couple of years, with a new management team for the landed Cadogan Estate, there have been many changes in terms of the area’s retail and culinary offerings.
Sloane Street has seen the arrival of many new luxury brands and in addition, recent restaurant openings on Sloane Square have included Jeremy King and Chris Corbyn’s Colbert on the site of the old Oriel and Côte where the Chelsea Brasserie used to be. In the same block, which forms part of the Sloane Square Hotel, Marc Burton and his partner Guy Pelly, have opened a tequila bar named Tonteria that features a steam train that delivers drinks to the patrons.
The Botanist, which forms part of Ed and Tom Martin’s successful ETM Group of pubs and restaurants, opened in spring 2008 on the site of a dingy boozer. It has been deservedly popular ever since but with new competitors, the management here have upped their game by introducing some clever twists to their menu.
This week, I visited The Botanist to sample their new breakfast offering in the company of former restaurateur Anthony Brown and Bougie Macaron’s Jean-Hervé Nedelec. Though the delightful manageress, Brioni Boykew, whom I met first when she worked at The Admiral Codrington, was sadly not present, we were very well looked after by the friendly and efficient team and had a most civilised and leisurely breakfast.
Since opening, The Botanist has served a traditional full English breakfast (£15) and such things as scrambled eggs (£7.50) and French toast (£8.50), but given that both Colbert and Côte also now offer such, the addition of a number of fusion brunch style dishes is indeed a clever departure.
Of the three dishes we shared, we were most impressed by the sweetcorn fritters, roast vine tomatoes, maple cured streaky bacon, spinach and an avocado salsa. Priced at £12, this colourful offering will no doubt prove deservedly popular.
We also tried a dill-cured gravadlax with rye toast, ricotta, coriander, caper and red onion salad (£11). It was somewhat lacking in flavour and a little on the small side but perfectly acceptable. Equally, a dish of avocado and chilli on toast with maple cured streaky bacon (£9.50) though well presented needed an extra kick. Given that those who don’t like chilli would never order this dish in the first place, it wouldn’t do any harm to turn up the heat.
Our overall feeling was that The Botanist’s adventure into fusion breakfasting is a great idea. Spice is indeed the variety of life and this bold offering is indeed something we imagine the adventurer and botanist Sir Hans Sloane, for whom the venue is named, would also most certainly have approved.
The Botanist, 7 Sloane Square, London, SW1W 8EE. Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7730 0077. Website: http://www.thebotanistonsloanesquare.com
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