The Alchemist has long been a favourite of mine from my Manchester days. I have to admit I was quite happy when they brought their concept to Birmingham. Creative cocktails and a quirky food menu, this really is somewhere for a fancy date night.
Although this time it wasn’t Dr W with me for date night. I took along my friend Ms S for a school night dinner and a catch up. The Alchemist have a brand new food menu and we were there to try it out. I haven’t eaten at The Alchemist for quite some time, so I was interested to see what the menu was like. Before we get chatting about food though, can we just shout out to The Alchemist who have ditched straws for biodegradable ones (but even then they have reduced their usage) and they are also combating glass waste by offering filtered water to all tables (just ask for a refill). Bravo guys!
Being a school night, we decided to try out the mocktails on The Alchemist menu. For which there is quite an extensive range for anyone not drinking or looking for not such a heavy night. Some admittedly look quite sweet, so a little off putting for me (the non sweet tooth human). But I do think I found the one when it comes to mocktails. The Elixir is a grapefruit and tonic based mocktail, basically if you are a gin drinker but not on the gin, this is for you. Ms S went with a light and refreshing Garden Fizz, which was very summery!
To start we decided to go a little mad and share a few things. It had been a long Monday and lots of nibbles were required. The Pork Steam Buns were wonderfully soft and filled with a gorgeous sweet sauce and melt in your mouth pork. The Padron Peppers were tasty, although a little salty for my liking. I think because we ordered the Salt and Pepper Crispy Squid I wasn’t in the mood for extra salt (from the padron peppers). And last (but not least) because of my new halloumi obsession, we went with Halloumi Fingers. The sweet mustard dip went really with the deep fried cheese. If I had ordered this alone as a starter I may have been a little perturbed as there weren’t many halloumi fingers!
For main I went a little lighter with my choice, opting for the Pan Fried Duck Breast with Sweet Potato Fondant and Harissa Yogurt. The duck was cooked pink, and perfectly seared. No fat or chewy bits to be found, the harissa yogurt went perfectly. I wasn’t so sure of the sweet potato fondant as it wasn’t smooth like a fondant, but it was tasty. Ms S opted for the Beef Fillet Fajitas. These come sizzling on a platter that your server pours over the sauce on. The sauce was rich and spicy, perfect with the tender beef. You get all the condiments you could possibly want, although the cheese was a bit melty from being near the warm beef!
Dessert and Drinks
I’m still thinking we are bonkers, but we did order the Cotton Candy Baked Alaska. This was a dessert of epic proportion that granmarnier is set on fire to melt away the cotton candy to reveal a beautiful meringue underneath. It was tasty, but of course too much. If it wasn’t for the ice cream, I’d have asked to take it home! With this we chose two last mocktails, the Strawberry Colada and the Kaleing Me Softly. The kale one comes with a giant kale leaf, but is quite refreshing. The Strawberry Colada was a bit sweet but not overly, for a mocktail I enjoyed it, but not as much as the Elixir (see above).
Aside from a small snag with the saltiness of some of our starters and the size of them (if you weren’t ordering loads to share), the food was delicious. It’s a fairly expensive night at The Alchemist, but it’s definitely worth it for a date night. And if you are a gin drinker on a night off, honestly that Elixir is well worth trying out! I’ll definitely be taking Dr W for our own night out, but maybe with some boozy cocktails!
So have you been to The Alchemist? What would you order? Let me know in the comments,
P.S Thank you to The Alchemist for inviting us down to check out the new menu. As ever all words, photos and opinions are my own.
P.P.S. The Alchemist is located at The Grand, Colmore Row, Birmingham B3 2DA. To find your local Alchemist look here.