Nestled in the amalgam of low cost flats and swanky high-rises that is Bangsar South is Botanica + Co, a fusion themed eatery that supposedly needs no introduction. At least that’s what the waiting list at the front of the restaurant and the filled tables greeting you on a Saturday evening suggest.
On the surface, this place looks tailored to Kuala Lumpur’s growing brood of deep-pocketed expats. But there is a lure for locals as well. How many Malaysians would actually turn down a chance to savour a bowl of crab and crayfish laksa?
We were sold by the idea of the dish itself. But it’s not exactly a must-have if you’re feeling like something a little more Western. The fixings are generous enough to somewhat justify its near-RM40 asking price – there’s plenty of crayfish, prawns and chicken pieces in the mix. But we struggled to identify the crab in a combo that was ultimately lacking in overall harmony.
The broken chili fries we ordered as a side didn’t exactly lift the mood either. But dessert did. Botanica + Co whips up a fantastic Eton’s Mess to cap your meal with. Its wafer thin meringue was crispy and its strawberries, sour (obviously), the messy result of which is symphony in the mouth. The Valrhona Chocolate Pudding was great too – ideal as a birthday cake.
Perhaps that’s where the restaurant’s strength lies: in sweet delights to indulge in with friends on a lazy Saturday evening. If you’re looking for someplace quiet, this isn’t it. But the ambience is perfect for groups eager to gossip their hearts out over food and drinks in an environment that’s considerably more upmarket than your average mall café.