17 Willoughby Street, Kirribilli
Things are looking up for Sydney’s North Shore. Whilst the area has always had some great pubs, things have been a bit hit and miss when it comes to smaller drinking around North Sydney.
But The Botanist looks set to change that. Owners Ben Carroll and Hamish Watts, of Bondi Hardware fame, have set up this outpost on the site of the old Milson’s restaurant in Kirribili. They’ve adopted the approach of “look bar, act restaurant” that has worked so well for them in Bondi. It’s a place designed to eat informally with a bunch of friends, a fact reinforced by the pitchers of cocktails on offer. The food is wide ranging, from Tunisan spiced couscous to Mahi Mahi with ceviche, and inspired by the global adventures of one Gerard Fothergill, a botanist who owned a bookshop on the site until his death in 1932.
The botanical theme is applied to the drinks as well, with a focus on floral and spiced infusions employed in drinks that are, according to Watts, “classically made drinks, focusing on fresh, lively flavours.”