Food Drink

Exciting expansion underway for Botanic Gardens Restaurant

The iconic Botanic Gardens Restaurant, recently recognised by Gourmet Traveller as one of ‘The Top 50 Restaurants in Australia’, has embarked on the next chapter in its progressive evolution.

The iconic Botanic Gardens Restaurant, recently recognised by Gourmet Traveller as one of ‘The Top 50 Restaurants in Australia’, has embarked on the next chapter in its progressive evolution.

This week work commenced on an exciting expansion of this unique heritage building, with a stunning renovation of the restaurant and kitchen spaces setting the scene for a truly engaging dining experience. Given the scale of works, Botanic Gardens Restaurant will close temporarily, with a grand re-opening scheduled for Thursday 24th June.

To oversee this important project the restaurant recently welcomed globally acclaimed chef Justin James as its Executive Chef. Justin is well known to foodies from his tenure at celebrated Melbourne fine-dining establishment Vue de Monde, and esteemed international restaurants Eleven Madison (New York), Blue Hill (New York), and Noma (Copenhagen).

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Key features of the renovation and enhanced dining experience will include:

  • A new open kitchen, with 12 seats surrounding the culinary action, allowing Justin and his team to present interactive ‘chef’s table’ dining. This includes a kitchen bar, where the chefs themselves will present a range of expertly crafted cocktails. The complete experience!
  • Realignment of the restaurant floor space, embracing the heritage building’s original open plan layout.
  • Investment into fermentation and preserving, capturing ingredients at their peak to be served year-round. Over 1500 kilos of produce, sourced directly from the gardens and local growers, has already been fermented or preserved in advance of the re-opening.
  • A new restaurant wine cellar, where the very best South Australian wines will be complimented by exclusive wines and champagnes from around the world. Appreciating that wine is not for everyone, Justin has also created a special ‘temperance menu’, presenting flavoured kombucha, fermented & infused juices, garden blend teas, mocktails, and more.
  • Full redecoration of internal spaces including new flooring, art, and other features.

Justin paints a picture of the experience that will soon await diners. “For our guests this will be more than a table in a restaurant. A visit to Botanic Gardens Restaurant will be a culinary and sensory escape, where they can forget all of life’s pressures, embracing our wonderous botanical setting whilst enjoying exceptional diversity of food & beverages, warm ambience, and engaging service.”

The renovations are now underway

Justin went on to describe the restaurant’s culinary philosophy. “Every ingredient used must be as close to perfect as it can be. Whilst challenging to achieve, this endless pursuit is what drives us every day. These are products that are typically found where you least expect them, that have been carefully cultivated at every point in their life cycle, and whose aromas and tastes sing to your senses.”

He adds, “Innovation and creativity are important to us, and we will constantly seek new flavours. Cooking over fire and steam, fermentation, curing, drying, and raw preparations will compliment traditional methods in order to present delicious memorable food.”

From June 24th diners at Botanic Gardens Restaurant will select from carefully crafted and locally inspired new menus (shorter and longer versions), which will feature enticing dishes such as: Marron with fermented chilli and lemon myrtle; locally grown mushrooms with a 30-day fermented vegetable paste; Coffin Bay oysters with green ants; shiitake fudge; roasted bunya bunya cream with native thyme.

More details on the expanded restaurant and new dining experiences will be publicised as the
renovations progress.

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