Thursday, 29 December 2011

The Botanica Bar and Bistro

Botanica Bar & Bistro on Urbanspoon
The lead up to something is usually more exciting than the actual something, when it eventually happens. I say this subjectively because it always happens to me. Damn you expectations. Always fail me.
One exception: lead up to exams.
They're really horrible and horrific and horrifying and h...mmmmmmmm. =p

I never feel more alone, boxed up in a room on the floor that's acting as my study table. I hate it so much I don't even bother buying a table. The floor suffices. Study doesn't even deserve a table.

With a week's break between my first and second exam, my first one was pretty much my last one. So after my first exam, I felt like king of the world. And really, with True/false questions and Fill-in-the-blanks in my paper, I felt like king of my paper too. (Not really).
However, my results seem to disagree. (As always).
Seriously, I'm humble. Don't give me Credit for what I do. But I'll accept a HD.

So we went to celebrate my newfound position of king. At a bar. Cause they're such classy shits and all. In Innaloo. Cause it's hell classy there.
No really! Quite lush surroundings. Just food pictures here though. I should have photographed more than just the important stuff.

Not much of a celebratory meal though. At all! But that's ok. Like always, it's the attitude that counts.

Fish of the Day, Fries, Tangy Tartare - $29
I wouldn't go for a typical pub like meal in a not-so-typical pub that is Botanica. But this is not my meal so alas, it made an appearance because it was ordered by a very typical, average person. Like father, like son. And here? Like person, like food it seems.

Being the thoughtful friend he is, he offered me ... his salad. And only because he wasn't going to eat it anyway. Even put it on my plate for me. So I looked down and saw a single piece of grated carrot. Never in my life have I felt so degraded before. You are too kind! I devoured it with pleasure.

Surprisingly, the generosity didn't stop there and he proceeded to offer a tomato, a single spinach leaf, and then eventually his humane side took over and didn't stop me from casually eating off his plate. So I finally tried the fish. I liked the tartare? Lol.

The fish earns some points for presentation. It wasn't served like your usual rectangular slab of fish, whether it be A grade or F grade quality. It was sliced open down the middle and then deep fried for a visually crispy batter, which I regretfully have to peel off. The cut down the middle gave it a resemblance to long legs, something I wish I had. This "open" style lets the chips beneath it to breathe, and retain their crunch.

Garlic and Parmesan Ciabatta - $7.5
I did a mental scroll down their menu and nothing shouted my name at me. But when you don't need to pay for your meal, you face 2 options:
a. Pick the most expensive item, or
b. Pick the cheapest item, or
c. Reject the offer.

As C is incorrect, I was weighing up A and B. A would probably be the answer of choice if you asked the audience but of course, B is probablyyyyyy more morally correct. Ultimately I picked B so that I didn't feel like a gold digger. And so that he'd actually buy it.

But really, I didn't pay so I don't like to bust the wallet of the person who does. And neither do they, so they offered to shout me garlic bread a single piece of garlic bread. But they don't come in singles so he begrudgingly had to spend $7.50 on 4 pieces. So I started with this Starter and was left hanging, as I also ended with this Starter.

The Garlic and Parmesan Ciabatta bread came out warm and golden. As usual, I didn't expect to taste the garlic in it, and I expected right. Dots of parmesan cheese on buttered ciabatta and toasted means lots of oil, means I risked eating it all at once and dealing with any consequences later if my body rejected it. So I ate all the crusts. And then ended up eating the bits I left behind anyway.

Tooheys Extra Dry Pint - $9
This is one out of the, like, 5 that (not I) consumed over the course of the night. And because of this mildly excessive alcohol consumption on a tame Tuesday night, I finally now know what TED stands for. I've never been fond of beer that much, which explains why I don't participate in Beer Pong. At all.

Which is convenient, because only when it was a completely empty glass, and only then was I asked, "oh, you want some?"
Thanks sweetheart.


Apparently this place was formerly a hotel, which explains how it has made a stylish transformation into this contemporary looking venue now. I've had a friend hold her birthdays at this bar/bistro for 2 years in a row and I always thought it was some dark, hazy, hobo pub place. No bias towards the bar itself, just bias towards her because she is a hobo and that her slave labour wages couldn't pay for a spanking nice place like this.

But boy was I wrong! This place is comfortable for the eyes to look at. Especially the feature smack bang in the middle of the room, being a giant tropical aquarium full of colour and life swimming their lives away. It's crazy how carefree fish actually are. Eat sleep swim die. Hmm. Didn't realise how my life exactly resembles that of a fish's. Except if you throw me in a puddle, I'll drown.

Anyway, back on track, this place would make a really inviting place to hold events and functions. It's classy enough and effortlessly stylish without screaming out a posh and snobby atmosphere. I've noticed the patronage here dress quite smart too, and me being a poor uni student who probably just failed her exam, I couldn't give a damn how I looked. I probably looked out of place for all I know.

Heaps of spacious areas both outdoors and in, complete with a wooden floorboard and shade sails up top the courtyard outside, with lots of nature's natural colour all around you. Greenery everywhere, living organisms in the fish's a nice change to the usual scenery we are all accustomed to seeing in an average bistro and bar. And this also has a sports bar next to the courtyard for hardcore sport followers.

Having read reviews and hearing comments about how "this is a pretty good bar given its location", I was quite surprised at the negativity about Innaloo. I think the suburb is quite ok and I reckon it deserves more credit..! It has houses, it has trees, it has streetlights...what's so bad about it? Even though most people probably wouldn't know Innaloo if it didn't house IKEA...which has established itself to be somewhat a tourist attraction for locals...which serves like $1.95 big breakfasts...

Yep, I definitely love Innaloo IKEA.

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