Wednesday 11 October 2017

The Alchemist, Media City

The Alchemist, Media City
Here I go again, fresh out of my gym gear and perving over pictures of food I ate ages ago. What have I become at all? Hungry, that's what. My natural state is stuffing my face with carbs and sugar, not stretching into lycra (granted, my lycra is covered in pictures of food). 

I'm a big fan of the Alchemist in Spinningfields, so when a new one opened at Media City, I was dying to go. Plus, their sharing platters and desserts were very much fresh in my mind. Although it's a few weeks back, I had started my crackers gym routine, and picked this as my treat day. 

So let's start with the cocktails. The Alchemist are the Nicolas Flamel of the cocktail world; fizzing, bubbling, colour changing, and monogrammed hip flasks to take home, are all standard shenanigans here. 

3.5oz of Happiness - Portobello gin, Chambord raspberry, vermouth, citrus: Very much a fan of choosing happiness at the moment, so it seemed the obvious cocktail to start with. It did indeed make me happy, because it tasted very much like heaven, and I got another flask for my collection. My mate Tricky tells me there's always time and reason for a hip flask.
Key lime pie - Bacardi Carta Blanca, Midori melon, Koko Kanu, apple, lime and vanilla meringue foam: The spoon sits on top of the meringue. Cocktails you can eat are high on my 'Rach could drink herself to death with this' list.
Rhubarb and custard - Chase rhubarb, Licor 43 vanilla, lemon, egg whites: Another cocktail masquerading as a dessert. I remember the days where the thought of egg whites in a cocktail made me think of bodybuilders, then I realised they were more towards cake on the egg spectrum. 
Bubblebath - Tanqueray gin, Aperol, Chambord, lemon and apple: Had to have at least one that bubbled! It literally goes wild before your very eyes. Straight out of Potions class. Snape would be so proud, always. 
Penicilin - Ardbeg 10 year, Chase marmelade vodka, lemon, ginger, burnt cinnamon: Wow wee this was a strong lad! A bit like Autumnal arson on the nose, but with a very smooth taste. The lemon and spices encourage a sweet rather than bitter taste. 
Solero - Ketel One vodka, Passoa, mango, apple, orange, citrus, white chocolate cream foam: This one is a little bit special. That cream is so thick, it's genuinely like eating a Solero lolly, King of summer coolers. 
The Alchemist is by no means just a cocktail bar, the food is pretty good too. Last time I went, I tried the vegetarian sharing platter, so it seemed only right to sample the meat one this time round.

Sharing platter - wings, nachos, falafel, beer battered prawns, pork bon bons and dips: It really did not disappoint. Highlights included cheese smothered nachos and falafel dipped in sweet chilli sauce.
Sharing platter
Padron peppers with salt flakes and crispy shallots: These little blighters have become somewhat of a fave, and have to be ordered if they are on the menu, for comparison purposes, naturally. Sweet yet perfectly salty. A great accompaniment to cocktails.
Padron peppers
Salt beef tacos with salt and pepper fries: Now this is the kind of thing I had in mind for cheat day. The fries that are as addictive as crack, and soft tacos rammed with salt beef, cheese and salad. This very much did the trick. I just had to address the sweet/savoury divide...
Salt beef tacos
Katsu chicken curry with panko breadcrumbs and coriander rice: And very pretty this was too. My dining partner in crime fancied something a little spicy, and the 'Chinese chippy' style curry sauce did not let us down. Note - my fries dipped in this sauce was perfection!
Katsu chicken curry
Belgian waffles: Did someone say sweet/savoury divide? Waffles to the rescue! I could eat them every day of my life. Fresh waffles dipped in sugar and cinnamon with a good dollop of ice cream ensured that I could barely move for around fifteen minutes.
Belgian waffles
Sticky toffee pudding: Oh how it glistens so... I have tried so many good ones recently. Gone are the days of the claggy sponge which you could weigh down your Sunday papers with. This was light, fluffy, and drowning in sauce. Good sauce to pudding ratio guys.
Sticky toffee pudding
Another brilliant trip to the Alchemist really does add fuel to the fire that this place certainly is not all hip flasks and no substance. Living Ventures do detail well, and that monogrammed hip flask on the sideboard acts as a constant reminder of the brilliant time you had, and how much you want to go back for another.

Disclaimer: I was invited to the restaurant to complete an honest review. I was under no obligation to say nice things!

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