Brisbane – Botanica Real Food

Our first apartment in Brisbane was located in New Farm, so naturally when we strolled around in our neighborhood in a casual afternoon, we would like to try something here.

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Botanica Real Food is a perfect little place here. It’s basically a small store where you can buy take-away salad of your choice. Of course, they also have a few chairs and a long table along the wall. If you’re too hungry to take the food away, you can just eat it right away here. That’s what we did.

The store is nicely decorated with flowers, plants, books and blue floral wall paper. It’s clean and fresh. They make creative salads, many of which gluten-free and dairy-free from time to time throughout the day, as well as some nice home-made bakeries with authentic and quality ingredients. So if you walk into the store at different hours, you get different types of food. I found it a great idea! The girl working there also said we could call them to inquire if our favorite types were serving at the hour, if we plan to take them.

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We were there a bit late so we had six choices of vegan salads, and we tried five of them. Unfortunately none of the bakeries available was vegan, otherwise I was eager to try some as I haven’t eaten any vegan bakeries for days! (I miss my home-made cookies and cakes…) So we tried

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(from left to right on the picture)
1. Barley and roasted pumpkin with nigella seeds, parsley and whole lemon dressing.
This is the first time ever I tried nigella seeds (black cumin), very interesting ingredient!
2. Freekeh with eggplant, prunes, almonds, mint and turmeric cashew cream dressing
Freekeh is a cereal that is made from green durum wheat, which is roasted and rubbed. The eggplant pieces tasted so good with the turmeric dressing! I think this one was our absolute favorite of the day!
3. Red cabbage & Savoy cabbage with herbs and fennel seed dressing
Simply good as they are!
4. Israeli cous cous with vegan pesto, roasted sweet potato, roasted red onion and baby spinach 
I love the roasted sweet potato and red onion here! Vegan pesto is a rare find as most products contain dairy cheese. So I was so happy to eat that again here.
5. Potato and pea with dill and parsley tahini dressing
I am generally not a fan of dill, but this combination tastes surprisingly good. I immediately fell in love with it and would definitely love to try it at home.

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UPDATE: here is another box we tried on another day.
6. Kale and quinoa tabouleh with sumac, parsely, lemon and cherry tomatoes
This makes me a fan of kale again! Sumac is a very exotic spice, and this is the first time I tried that. I am not sure what it tastes like exactly though it blends very well with the salad.
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7. Tomato, paprika, basil leaves and croûtons
Lovely combination, if olives are added I would consider it a very Italian style salad.

We ordered a medium box for two and were surprisingly full after eating it up. It’s well valued for its price. Although we had wished there were more vegan options that contain more vegetables for us as we consumed a lot of grains and potatoes. Perhaps we would get more of those at a different time?

In a word Botanica Real Food is such a gem that uses fresh and quality ingredients to create salads in an interesting and innovative way, making them taste all so good and filling. You won’t be disappointed if you want a simple and tasty lunch or light dinner. I highly recommend this place if you’re after some healthy vegan food in Brisbane!

ADD: TENERIFFE
Shop 3, 29 Doggett St, (Shop front on Chester St), Teneriffe
Phone: 07 3216 1218
RED HILL
Shop 9, 1 Enoggera Tce, Red Hill
Phone: 07 3367 3334
Email: alison@botanicarealfood.com.au
Check their website for opening hours: http://botanicarealfood.com.au/