Vegetables are your friends, guys. Or so say the folks behind Botanica in Red Hill, who have been going strong for three years creating delicious plant-based meals that leave you feeling wholly satisfied and guilt-free. Their philosophy is simple: natural foods taste the best when they’re, well, natural. In fact, their entirely vegetarian menu is so impressive you’ll forget why you ever ate meat in the first place.
The exciting news is that the Botanica team is giving more power to the plant munching movement by opening a new location in Teneriffe. What can you expect from this new spot? 19 fresh salads on rotation and a selection of gluten-free treats to tempt your taste buds.
Botanica is run by co-owners Brett and Ali Hutley. We had a chat with Ali to find out more.
Hi Ali, thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to speak with us. Can you tell us a bit about how Botanica got started and where your inspiration came from?
Four years ago, we were working in our dream jobs in Sydney but we knew we wanted to move home to QLD to start the next chapter in our lives. It wasn’t easy to leave that world behind, so we were determined to create something really unique.
We are both qualified chefs and we wanted to use our professional skills and interest in plant-based food to create something that would genuinely help people to have a more balanced life. Plant-based food was the inspiration for Botanica.
Why are you opening a second store and what can we expect?
When we opened Botanica in Red Hill, we knew it would be busy, but we never anticipated just how busy we would become and how easily people would embrace the concept of the store. We have used every square millimetre of our small shop, but it is time to expand.
You can expect everything you have grown to love about Botanica: beautiful tasty salads, gluten-free treats and great wallpaper. We aren’t trying to reinvent the business because we don’t want to move away from the core concept that makes us so happy. Botanica is about real food, take away.
We love the concept and you’ve got some absolutely scrumptious dishes on your menu. Where do you get your ideas from?
The ideas come from years of working with food. Vegetables are naturally so beautiful and full of flavour. We take a lot of inspiration directly from the produce and use our experience to create a balanced salad after that.
Our mums will definitely be happy to hear we’re eating our veggies thanks to you guys! What’s your favourite item on the menu?
Right now I can not get enough of the turmeric roasted cauliflower with chickpeas. Paired with the cabbage with parmesan and walnuts and the potato and pea with parsley tahini dressing… heaven.
Sounds utterly irresistible! What’s your new store going to look like? Who are you getting to design it?
The new shop is going to be fresh and bright. Red Hill has a traditional, luxurious feel but the new store will be quite crisp. Both Brett and I love the design aspect of the fit-out. We had a very clear vision for the new shop, and with the help of our great builder, it’s come to fruition.
What’s the most important thing to remember when creating a meal that’s both delicious and healthy?
Food is delicious naturally. Just let the flavours speak for themselves. Try to be balanced in your approach to food; have a beautiful nutritious salad and if you want to, have a real treat. Oh, and make sure you drink lots of water!
Botanica’s second location will be opening at Shop 3, 29 Doggett St, Teneriffe on the 2nd May. Be sure to check their Facebook page for all the latest updates!