While you may know the Alchemist as a that place you buy strange medical looking cocktails from when you’re feeling fancy on a Friday night, it may surprise you to know that they also have a restaurant where they offer a wide arrange of food to go along with said cocktails. Having never tried the food before I jumped at the chance to go visit the Alchemist branch in Eldon Square last week and tell you what I thought of it.
Entering the restaurant I was greeted with a familiar pulled back industrial décor. Having arrived quite early in the evening at six o’clock I was surprised to see the restaurant was already quite busy: but we were taken to our table straight away and our servers were very accommodating.
First things first was to get the drinks in, our waitress helpfully explained their extensive menu of cocktails and made a few recommendations. We decided to go with a classic cocktail ‘The Lightbulb’ and a more intriguing one from their new ‘theatre served’ menu: The Conjurer.
Something that is completely unknown to me about The Alchemist is its food and I didn’t quite know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised by the menu, the food options were a good mix of down to earth without being bog-standard. Interesting twists on fan favorites.
The lightbulb arrived on a stand that reminded me of high school science class, in a quirky and interesting kind of way. Having had cocktails from the alchemist a few time I knew they normally arrived with a side of drama, and my preconceptions were not misplaced.
More importantly, the cocktail tasted great, a mixture of interesting fresh and bitter tones. I was relieved that despite their extravagant appearance the drinks had style as well as substance.
However, something that is completely unknown to me about The Alchemist is its food and I didn’t quite know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised by the menu, the food options were a good mix of down to earth without being bog-standard. Interesting twists on fan favorites.
I was also surprised by the prices as they were particularly affordable. Knowing that the cocktails are often pretty spenny I was expecting something extravagant and a little out of the student price range. But I feel confident that this kind of dining would fall perfectly into the price bracket of those looking to celebrate the end of exams or uni without completely breaking the bank.
For starters, my guest had the pork bon bons and I had halloumi fries. The bon bons were soft and tender, a really unique and classy way to enjoy pulled pork. The halloumi fries were neatly stacked like jenga blocks, and weren’t at all greasy as fried foods can tend to be.
For mains my guest had the crispy pork belly and I had the lamb rump and kofta. I really enjoyed the lamb, cooked perfectly pink as recommended. Served as both a rump and kofta allowed for a mixture of texture throughout the meal and kept my taste buds alive.
It was a little strange to have the pitta underneath the kofta as I wasn’t completely sure how to tackle pitta bread with a knife and fork, but this didn’t detract from my overall enjoyment of the dish. The real shining star element of the dish was the pomegranate seeds garnishing the plate. The soft lamb and crunchy sweet pomegranate together was a great juxtaposition of flavor and texture.
Having stolen a little taste of the pork, I can confirm it was beautifully crunchy. With a crispy rind and light sweetcorn puree to accompany the rich meat.
Overall, the atmosphere was relaxed and modern, the food had sophisticated presentation and the cocktails as eccentric as they’ve always been. I think this would be a great location to for a birthday or special celebration this summer: if for the Instagram opportunities alone. While The Alchemist is known for its cocktails its food definitely shouldn’t be disregarded and I for one would definitely go back.