Botanica & Co’s second location in a five-star hotel.
Is it showing off to have two locations in the same neighbourhood 5km away from each other? Botanica & Co, the hugely popular upscale cafe in Bangsar South, now has a second location on the ground floor of the Alila Bangsar KL Hotel. The Alila location doesn’t have as much of the “greenhouse dining” vibe of its originator, but the classy decor and quality food fit right in with a five-star hotel.
Ambience & Amenities
Botanica & Co is a relatively big space with lofty high ceilings. The windows at the front of the room draw the eye, but they have an ugly view of the road, and potted plants block most of the scenery. The back of the restaurant has more of a lounge feel with warm-toned bulbs. There are a high number of tables, but during weekend lunch, Botanica & Co fills up quickly. Oddly, the far wall has shelves stocked with a random assortment of grocery items for sale, like crisps and instant noodles. Don’t miss the cabinet next to the bar with cakes and sweets.
The toilet is in the back corner of the dining room. It’s behind a somewhat hidden door at the end of the snack shelves. The women’s had sitting toilets but needed better servicing – only half of them had toilet paper. Soap and paper towels are at the sink.
Botanica & Co has an international menu with classic dishes from the Mediterranean, Japan, Mexico and more. There are a few Malaysian favourites like laksa and nasi lemak, but they are overhauled with fancy ingredients and cost five times what you’d pay at the mamak stall. All of the food at Botanica & Co is pork-free, but they do serve alcohol. Filtered water is free, and the staff were surprisingly good at keeping our glasses topped up.
The Birria Tacos (RM28) were more like quesadillas. Three tortillas were lightly stuffed with shredded beef, while guacamole, salsa and sour cream were piled outside the tacos. The fried tortilla was lightly crispy but not crunchy like a hard taco. The stewed beef inside the tortilla was tender, but the broth on the side was where the real flavour was.
It’s disappointing that The Weekend Maple Burger (RM35) arrives with no sides, but with how heavy this burger is, perhaps they’re not needed. With three different kinds of meat, a hash brown, and eggs, this is a burger you’ll need to work off later. I was surprised at how overt the maple syrup was. I could taste the maple in every bite, even over strong competing flavours like the sausage and bacon. The potato rosti on the bottom of the burger provided a welcome crunch, but the inner texture was weird. I’m not sure if it was just overly greasy, but the middle of the rosti was gummy. The brioche bun was so perfectly round and shiny, but I thought it was a touch dry. I’ve had better brioches.
The food at Botanica & Co is expensive for the portion size, but both of our orders were delicious. The restaurant was packed, so our food came out slowly, but the service was still warm and vigilant. It didn’t take much effort to get someone’s attention, and I was impressed that they noticed our empty water glasses before I had to signal someone for a refill. The only thing stopping us from returning to Botanica & Co is that we don’t have any reason to be back in this area.
Price for 2 Pax: RM63.00
Birria Taco: RM26.42
The Weekend Maple Burger: RM33.02
6% SST: RM3.57
Botanica & Co
Address: Ground Floor, Alila Bangsar Kuala Lumpur Hotel, Menara Teguh Bangsar, No. 58, Jalan Ang Seng, Brickfields, 50470, Kuala Lumpur
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 11:30am – 10pm, Weekends 9:30am – 10pm
Alcohol Served: Yes