Written by: Zoe Yap
Edited by: Chua Jia Ying
Amidst the concrete jungle of Bangsar, Botanica + Co is a pleasant breath of fresh air. Despite its command of a large crowd, you hardly feel the heat and bustle of the waiters rushing around you.
The combination of vibrant greenery and natural sunlight creates an airy, tropical ambience, hard to replicate anywhere else. You may recognize Bo+Co by the black signboard that pops up occasionally on your Instagram feed, or simply by the plant-filled interior- tall, Ficus trees and dangling lamps.
The menu boasts a rich variety of options. Although the Malaysian dishes sounded amazing, we first decided to try the Strozzapreti Aglio Olio (RM34). It was beautifully plated: a single poached egg that sank into a bed of soft pasta, topped with shredded cheese, turkey ham, and spinach. The tomatoes gave the dish a fresh jolt of sourness, accompanied by the tang of olive oil. This helped to create room for the richness of the pasta. However, the turkey ham made it a very salty affair- taking away the potential for other flavors to shine through. The poached egg was slightly overcooked and had a rubbery texture.
We also had The Bo+Co Club sandwich (RM30). True to the menu’s word, the chips were indeed freshly fried. A fresh, crunchy burst, it served as the perfect side to the main star of the show. The simplicity of the sandwich made it better- layers of turkey bacon, grilled chicken, melted cheddar and sourdough bread. The bread had the perfect, chewy texture, crisp crust and just the right amount of tangy flavor. The chicken was disappointingly dry and was a rough accompaniment to the turkey bacon, which stole the flavor away with its saltiness. However, the portion was huge and definitely lived up to the price!
Besides the mains, we also tried out the Broken Chili Fries (RM19), one of the most unique and highly-raved about sides available on their menu. The fries were fried to perfection, topped with sambal and grated parmesan cheese, a Malaysian twist to the classic western side dish. This dish is perfect for spice-lovers and the enormous portion certainly makes the price tag worth it!
Now, for the strange part. The menu described the Broken Cheesecake (RM18) as “served with summer berries and crumble.” We happily ordered and it was a pleasant first sight- a thick, creamy swirl of cream cheese, topped with blackberries, strawberries, a touch of crumble and shards of jagged white chocolate. The first bite tasted like how cream cheese should, but the fifth and sixth bites became too “jelak” for us to continue. It lacked the base every cake has- which was what the crumble tried so hard to offer. Overall, the berries give a much needed break from the richness of the cheese. Although the name said ‘broken’, we definitely didn’t expect a cheesecake deconstructed to the bare minimum.
Botanica+Co has an infectiously upbeat, carefree atmosphere which is difficult to capture. The food definitely lived up to the restaurant’s philosophy of “fresh and quality food”. Although the wait was long, that was to be expected in such a popular restaurant. While prices were high, the ambience, service and food made it all worthwhile! (although the cheesecake was misleading). We would definitely come again!
And with that, it’s safe to say that Botanica+Co is… MONCH approved!
Botanica + Co at Bangsar South
Operating Hours: 11:30am – 10:00pm (Weekdays), 9:30am – 12:00am (Weekends except Sunday)
Address: G5, 8, Jalan Kerinchi, Bangsar South, 59200 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
Contact: 016-965 6422