The Botanic Gardens Restaurant is in a picturesque location in the heart of the garden grounds. I was here recently for Viv's birthday lunch, and it's my first time trying any of the restaurants located in the Botanic Gardens.
It's a lovely walk to the restaurant with plenty of flowers on display. The restaurant itself is lovely; it's open and airy, with a nice view of the surrounding gardens. The ceiling fans provide a welcome breeze during a hot summer day.
The menu is set with an alternate drop since we are a larger group. I've never heard of having the alternate drop for anything besides events like weddings.
Dill citrus cured salmon
My starter was the dill citrus cured salmon with cream cheese, ribbons of cucumber and beetroot, served atop seeded crostini. It was a lovely and light dish - perfect for summer.
Gippsland beef carpaccio
Spring vegetable risotto
The carpaccio and risotto were the other two entree options, which I both taste tested. The carpaccio is tasty - it's served with quail egg, parmesan, dijon and a handful of rocket leaves. The spring risotto is more like a generous main serving size, the portion is massive! The risotto is cheesy and has generous amounts of zucchini, it is on the bland side though.
Crisp battered chips
The chips on the other hand, are delicious; it's hard to just stop at a few. The crisp and piping hot chips are sprinkled with sea salt and come with a side of aioli.
Pan fried gnocchi
The mains were also hearty portions. I had the pan fried gnocchi with a tomato based sauce, buffalo mozzarella, basil, zucchini and asparagus.
Overall, The Botanic Gardens Restaurant is a nice venue with very generous portions - great for a group gathering.