Location, location, location – it can make or break a restaurant; fortunately, for this swanky brasserie, its position on Sloane Square pretty much guarantees a crowd. On my visit, the elegant, light-filled space was packed and diners had spilled out onto the street outside.
A plate of sweet roasted fennel, tender beets and sprigs of dill smothered in creamy, light goat’s cheese wasn’t the most beautifully presented, but the flavours were fantastic. Another winner was golden-crusted skate wing, sautéed to perfection with a crisp exterior and flaky, moist interior. Lemon sauce and garlicky spinach added citrus and mineral notes. I wanted to like the fries with pomegranate yogurt but they seemed like a bland attempt at creating a fashionable veggie option. Desserts were also disappointing – the lime posset felt overly fussy, it just had too much going on. Similarly overwhelming was the service, which was attentive to the point of hovering. Not that the crowds of Sloane Rangers seemed to mind. Stick to the classics, and you’ll get The Botanist at its best.