Botanical @ Bangsar Village revised

July 10, 2012

Botanical: Round Two. Earlier entry: July 8.

Returning to The BIG Group's Botanical for more meatless mania. Hungry customers, fear not: vegetarian meals can be both filling and fulfilling, as evidenced by this hearty combo of brown rice with eggplant made flavorful with miso paste, a riff on the Japanese Eggplant Dengaku recipe.

Most pastas in KL offer 10 fleeting minutes of pleasure but an entire evening of guilt over the empty calories consumed. The solution might rest in this tom yam spaghetti aglio olio, spiced up subtly to speed up the metabolism and partnered with tempeh for soy-powered nutrition.

Buckwheat crepes, stuffed with spinach, ricotta and herbs and topped with tomato and buffalo mozzarella gratin. Not sure if this mushy, cheesy Italian-inspired treat rates as wholesome, but it sure tastes like something a lasagna-lover would relish.

Botanical is vegetarian but not vegan, so expect cheese and other dairy products to bolster items like this haloumi-adorned carrot fritter with arugula and lemon dressing ...

... as well as egg to elevate the ensemble of milkier-than-mashed-potatoes polenta, portobello mushrooms and parmagiano reggiano. Creamy comfort food at its most irresistible.

Fruit-filled desserts are where Botanical shines (exceedingly uncommon for a vegetarian eatery). Folks jaded with creme brulee, tiramisu and creativity-shorn cakes can have their taste buds perked up by pineapple grilled with thyme-infused honey and pepper-encrusted mascarpone (!).

On paper, the chilled strawberry fruit soup with pink peppercorn ice cream and toasted buttercake croutons sounds too strange to fathom. On the plate, it tastes too terrific to forgo.

Banana splits can't get more fun than this three-flavor ice cream combo of roasted banana, chocolate and raspberry with chocolate-dipped bananas. Impossible to share!

Bonus ice cream treat! Not available at Botanical, but it's worth scouting for The Last Polka's latest flavor, Pandan Kaya _ more pandan than kaya, which might make some happy. We prefer its aromatic, naturalistic taste to the powdery soy chocolate, but not as much as the cinnamon-savory French toast flavor.

Herbal-fruity cocktails are Botanical's specialty: the Cobber comprises vodka, sweet sherry, rhubarb liquor, raspberries, blackberries, pickled apple, fresh pear and apple soda.

Prickly Pina: vodka, pineapple soda, balsamic vinegar, Thai basil, pineapple chunks.

Insanely Luscious: chamomile-infused vodka, limoncello, elderflower cordial, pickled pears.

Licorne Bio organic beer, very, very easy to drink.

Level 1, Bangsar Village II, Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2201-3028