Updated: May 19
Years ago, I visited The Alchemist and I remember being thoroughly impressed by how inventive and interesting their cocktails were. I can't remember what I had but that same awe I was in at the time is what I experience during this visit.
Popcorn Seitan with Sriracha Sauce
"Cor, where's the rest of it?" My genuine thought when the dish came to my table. Within two minutes, all of it was gone. Inhaled.
Taste-wise, fantastic. Seitan can either be very tough (I believe this could be due to how it is kneaded during preparation) or surprisingly tender. I was pleased when my first bite revealed that these bites would be the latter. Did they taste anything like chicken? Not really but I can accept the need to respect seitan's need to have its own personality. I was introduced to the coating of the bites before the actual seitan; it was the perfect thickness and was very tasty. The popcorn seitan went very well with the slightly spicy sriracha sauce (check the sibilance, though).
Alchemy Fish & Chips and Crushed Peas
Hmmm. Can I be honest? Aside from the charcoal battered fish, there was nothing in this meal that really stood out for me. The fish was well cooked but to say it was amazing would be disingenuous of me. The chips were fine; I liked the fact that they were not oily but I think the presentation of them needed work. I think everything should have come in individual containers; the chips should have been standing upright and the tartare sauce should have arrived in a sexy, small holder of some sort. The crushed peas, too. It all just looked a bit lazy and the colours were not played up as they should have been.
At first, I wasn't sure about the crushed peas. The skin of the peas had been left on which gave me some work to do. Texture wise, I think there was a bit of a clash with everything else and I would have preferred mushy peas. However, the taste was good. I enjoyed the minty-ness of them.
Cocktail: The Caviar One
(Whitley Neill Rhubarb & Ginger Gin, Prosecco)
Perhaps you were not great at science when you were at school, but at The Alchemist, anyone can be a scientist.
I had the chance to create my very own Rhubarb Caviar! I was given a syringe and asked to pump in deep into my cocktail glass. Soon after I did that, I saw bubbles form and rise towards the top. I loved this element!
The cocktail was mighty strong. I am not complaining. If you've ever had bubble tea before, the boba (made of tapioca) at the bottom of the tea is exactly what the caviar felt in my mouth. So cool. It was an experience, for sure.
So, why is this a great date location? Here are three reasons why.
1. The lights are dim (at night), the furniture is dark ... these element combined give the place a very sultry, sexy feel.
2. If you are shy and find it hard to converse with new people (first date issues), you won't run out of things to speak about here. Almost every aspect of the place is a conversation starter.
3. You can go here for drinks, dinner, lunch, breakfast, brunch ... basically if you really want to visit, you can pretty much slot it in at any time of day and it will always make sense.
Don't be a bore. Do something different with your babes. Check The Alchemist out: https://thealchemist.uk.com