Prawn Tempura £6.50


Monkfish Scampi £13.95

Chana Dal £11.95


Green Veg £3


Glass of white wine £4.50

Two pints of beer £9.80

Glass of Prosecco £5.95

Total £55.65

IT’S the little things that count,” said the Moll, appreciatively, collapsing into her chair and fanning her glistening cheeks.

After a tiring day in a two-piece sun-baking in the garden at Tec Towers, Toots was thankful for the cool jugs of iced water that landed on our table, seconds after we took a pew.

Too many joints leave you gasping for a simple glass of H2O, we agreed. More often than not, the requested free tap water doesn’t arrive at all.

It was a good start to our evening at new kid on the block, The Botany, based at the former Strathmore pub, which has been a fixture in Maryhill since 1877 when it was known as Castle Vaults.

The new name pays homage to the 'Butney' - an area of Maryhill where prisoners were despatched from the canal to the penal colonies of Botany Bay in Australia.

It’s a good looking restaurant, the stylish drop lights in the bright and spacious glasshouse conservatory creating a lovely ambience for our balmy evening’s date. There’s a little outdoor seating area for those who like to puff on a gasper between courses.

A fine-voiced gal was hitting the high notes in the adjoining bar, which was bustling with the post-work Friday night clientele.

The Botany is the latest venture of Alan Tomkins, the man behind restaurants including Urban Bar & Brasserie, Vroni’s Wine Bar and Blue Dog. Alan launched the venue following a £200,000 investment.

According to the chefs, the menu aims to deliver “comfort food at a high level” maximising locally-sourced ingredients.

At first glance, the prices seemed on the high side but I was willing to take a gamble.

I’d already sniffed out that they offer weekly specials including a haddock and chips deal every Friday for £20 and a two-for-one burger and chips deal on a Monday for £11.95.

A few of the starters caught my eye, including the Speyside black pudding croquettes. There is a good range of sides, such as truffle fries, and the waiter helpfully ran through the menu.

We opted for the tempura king prawns to share, which came with a delicious but subtle soy, ginger and chilli dip. They were mouth-wateringly good, the batter light and crispy.

The service was swift and not long after Toots had devoured the last fruit of the sea our mains were delivered.

I decided to take a chance on the monkfish tail scampi, which came with saffron aioli and frites, and ordered a side of greens, which included asparagus cooked in a delicious oil infused with basil.

The scampi was extremely tasty and just the right size to satisfy my appetite.

Blondie opted for the Chana Dal, comprised of chickpea, lentil, roasted turmeric cauliflower, fragrant rice and a toasted gram flour flatbread.

It was beautifully presented and very flavoursome and the bowl was soon scraped clean.

It might be named after an area linked to prisoners but the Botany is a breath of fresh air in Maryhill.