Sophisticated dining with rooftop ambience
Botanik is a one-of-a-kind dining experience in the city — an outdoor space on a rooftop with a seasonal, mostly plant-based menu.
It’s led by chef Elijah Holland who planted more than 150 different types of edible botanicals in the garden, and uses ingredients sourced only from within China.
The ambience at Botanik is truly unique and memorable. It rises up from the concrete confines of Taikang Terrace like an oasis.
Plants and greenery decorate the intimate space, with an open kitchen where the culinary team busily prepare dishes.
The team takes pride in its good selection of botanical gin and tonics, so start with a cocktail.
The house infused gins include lavender, bay leaf, butterfly pea and a particular mushroom infusion.
Try the cocktail Walk in the Woods which is a mushroom and dill infused gin-based creation with coriander syrup, lemon, dill oil and salt.
The Parsley Daiquiri is also a good option, made with parsley infused gin, lime, simple syrup, and dill, garnished with fresh parsley seeds.
The three-hour journey of exquisitely made dishes based on available products and seasonality was an exploratory experience of unexpected flavors and textures unlike any other in Shanghai.
Based on the creative level and the team’s efforts, the 688 yuan set menu is moderately priced.
The journey started with small bites of sophisticated preparations with multi-layers of ingredients.
For example, the scallop snack is made of scallop from Dalian, crispy scallop skirt in a sauce made from long kong juice (similar to lychee fruit), anchovy garum, lime juice, bamboo shoots, pickled African daisy flowers, purple basil oil, topped with three different varieties of basil and mint flowers from the garden.
The three kinds of snacks were followed with lavender and butterfly pea sourdough. The sourdough was absolutely fabulous. The team sourced the local whole wheat from Henan Province, then it was house milled, naturally fermented and leavened. The mother dough was infused with butterfly pea tea and lavender tea, served crusty and with a shellfish hollandaise, salmon roe, blue swimmer crab and kombu powder.
Among the many courses, I loved the wild mushroom and jujube charcuterie. The mushroom forest tart was filled with light mushroom puree, grilled masutake and porcini mushroom, hens of the woods, cordyceps and pickled dragon claws mushroom, mushroom meringue, smoked enoki “bacon,” and a jujube almond “salami.” The intense earthy flavors gave me a deeply satisfying moment.
Another star dish is the coconut heart. The spouted heart of a coconut is cooked in its own juices and fire-grilled, dusted over with coconut “bottarga” that has been salted, smoked and dried, in a sauce of coconut water thickened with razor clam jus. It was truly creative and delicious.
Botanik runs as a seasonal pop-up from May to October but will be opening a full-time restaurant in 2020.
A 50 percent deposit is required to secure reservations and a 48-hour notice required for cancellation to get a return deposit.
However, its bar is open to the public with a curated selection of cocktails and a few snacks to go along. No reservations necessary.
Opening hours: 5:30pm-late, Thursday-Sunday
Address: 4/F, 169 Jianguo Rd M.
Average price: 800 yuan (US$116.24)