Food review: The Botanist, Sloane Square
Service is slow at The Botanist. It's not a deal breaker. But it's noticeable. Then again, the place is packed.
It's Tuesday and the rubbery besuited types of Sloane Square are already at play in the bar.
Women wear severe black shift dresses and smiles that don't reach their eyes. The men are wide pinstripes and gold bracelets.
The dining clientele are a little more relaxed. Less sweaty. Less sweary.
Moneyed ladies post King's Road blow outs. A rich father treating his pushy daughter.
We procrastinate, presumably infuriating the hectic staff. But they take it with good grace; there's no hint of irritation.
It takes time for my steak tartare (£9.50) to arrive, but it's a bright spicy gem when it does.
Glittering flesh, it sparkles in the mouth.
An excellent sliver of sea bass swims up next and, although it's a tad tardy again, the crunch of the crispy skin is worth the wait.
I raise the slowness of the service and discover the restaurant's down to 50% of its normal waiting staff.
Even though the meal was sluggish, the staff deserve praise. I wonder how many companies would perform so well with only half their employees available?
Why would Wharfers care about a west end hangout? For reassurance.
As part of the ETM Group (One Canada Square and The Gun), anyone caught in the unthinkable wasteland on the wrong side of the capital can relax in the knowledge that even short-handed The Botabist can deliver a decent feed for a reasonable sum.
The Botanist, 7 Sloane Square, London, SW1W 8EE, 020 7730 0077, thebotanistonsloanesquare.com.