Food

Bombay Sapphire’s Project Botanicals is turning Sydney into a gin and food lovers paradise

Bombay Sapphire gin? Ingeniously paired dishes? Royal Botanic Gardens? Name a more iconic trio, I’ll wait.

Pop-ups in Sydney are invariably heartbreaking disappointments.

Hellishly long lines and over-hyped food conspire together to make for a thoroughly underwhelming experience, so you can forgive Sydneysiders for being instinctively sceptical when we hear the word “pop-up” thrown around.

But I come bearing good news!

We’ve managed to find a pop-up that:

A) Doesn’t suck

but

B) Is a genuinely immersive, inspiring and tantalising experience.

After the phenomenal success of last year, Bombay Sapphire has brought its famed Project Botanicals to Sydney, this time housed in the utterly stunning Royal Botanical Gardens to ensure that there is absolutely no shortage of botanicals.

(Botanicals, for the uninitiated, refer to the ten herbs, spices and other ingredients that are hand sourced from around the world and vapour infused into every bottle of Bombay Sapphire.)

Not only will the iconic gin brand have a pop-up restaurant, they’re putting on an absolutely killer pop-up bar for the public right next door, so you can kick back and sip incredible cocktails in Sydney’s most prized real estate.

All we’ve ever wanted is an excuse to legally drink in the Royal Botanic Gardens, and our prayers have finally been answered.

Your March plans are sorted.

First, you step into the breathtaking surrounds of the Royal Botanic Gardens – an oasis of nature and colour in the heart of the metropolis, with the best view of the harbour in the city.

And once you’ve lost yourself in your location, prepare to lose yourself in the sensory playground that Bombay Sapphire have created.

Olfactory installations based on the ten botanicals of Bombay Sapphire welcome you as you enter – inviting you to unearth your preferences and design a custom menu for the night perfectly suited to your tastes.

It’s like Willy Wonka’s Factory for cocktail and food lovers!

Combining the culinary genius of Botanic Gardens restaurant Executive Chef Matt Fletcher with the booze-mixing prowess of The Rook‘s and The Barbershops top bartenders, Project Botanicals wants to educate us on the art of Ginstronomy; pairing food with gin cocktails in the final chapter of the degustation movement.

The two-week event will serve up some much-loved gin cocktails like The Lemon Collins, to variations on classics eith the Angelica Negroni (Angelica, hand sourced from Saxony is one of the 10 botanicals found in Bombay Sapphire) and the downright game-changers like the Pumpkin and It (Roast Pumpkin infused gin, mixers and some dehydrated pumpkin on the side).

These boozy beverages are all paired with some equally tantalising dishes that bring those botanicals to the fore. From Cold Almond Soup (don’t knock it till you’ve tried it!), Cocoa Ash Crusted Kangaroo Carpaccio, and my favourite, a Spicy Roast Pumpkin, Coconut and Chickpea Green Curry (no points for guessing which cocktail that one’s paired with).

Tickets are selling fast to this $49, two-course degustation (option to add on more dishes or cocktails for $12 a pop) but if you miss out on a ticket, are a commitment-phobe or want a more relaxed experience, there will be a pop-up bar serving up all the good cocktails and some paired bar eats running throughout the event so rock up for a little Ginstronomy and a lot of flavour.

Bombay Sapphire’s Project Botanicals pop-up bar runs from March 2-12 (Thursdays through Sundays) in the Royal Botanic Gardens, delivering world-class cocktails at a world-class location. All event info is available here. See you there!