At The Alchemist bar and restaurant in Nottingham, the aim is to be the ‘masters in the dark arts of molecular mixology and demons in the kitchen’ — and the spell is cast perfectly for diners and drinkers alike.
The large venue is housed at the apex of King Street and Queen Street in the heart of the city centre in an area that has flourished with new bars and restaurants in the last couple of years.
But The Alchemist has a unique theme, including a periodic table of drinks to suit all tastes with spectacular cocktails, some of which flow with dry ice over the rim of the glass.
There is a chemistry and scientific vibe throughout the site, which has towering ceilings and a stunning decor that boasts modernity but stays true to the ethos of the chain, which also has prominent positions in Cardiff, London, Liverpool and Leeds.
Certain drinks are served in what look like receptacles straight from the science lab. And there are also scientific tomes and utensils throughout the dining room and bar.
With me driving, my wife was able to enjoy a cocktail and plumped for a ‘lightbulb moment’ featuring gin, Pimms, ginger beer, raspberry, lemon and mint. A review of ‘mmmmm’ tells you all you need to know.
That said, everyone knows that any venue looking to grab a slice of the lucrative dining market must go well beyond a theme to really capture the imagination of customers.
And anyone visiting The Alchemist will walk in and be impressed — and walk out feeling fully satisfied.
While the drinks menu might be eyecatching, the food menu is truly diverse with a vast selection.
From breakfast and brunch dishes to nibbles, starters to main courses and sides to decadent desserts, your tastebuds will be tickled.
My wife and I went for Japanese-inspired starters. She opted for sushi California rolls stuffed with crab, avodado and cucumber, while I sampled the vegetable gyozas with sweet chilli sauce....lip-smackingly delicious.
Other starter options, priced from £5.25 to £6.75, include chicken wings, salt and pepper squid, Thai salmon fishcakes, pork steamed buns with hoisin and crispy lamb ribs.
The Alchemist’s ‘have and to hold’ menu section features a choice of burgers to crab or salt beef tacos.
But what caught my eye from the main courses was the seared tuna loin with Mexican rice fritter and chilli tomato salsa. Cooked exactly to my liking, the dish had a wonderful combination of heat, freshness and textures.
My wife also went down the fish route and raved about her tandoori seabass with sauteed vegetables.
But once again the options are wide with flavours from around the globe. There are oriental options with a choice of ramen, Caribbean flavours with jerk chicken. Moroccan lamb rump, steaks, fajitas, salads and beetroot risotto for the vegetarian. Prices for a main course range from £10.50 to £24 for a fillet steak.
And whilst my wife showed restraint, I couldn’t resist a dessert and plumped for a fabulous baked lemon cheesecake with a mirror finish lemoncello glaze.
Liquor coffees, Alchemist teas and even a hot chocolate complete a menu that would continue to deliver taste sensations, no matter how many times you visit.
If our experience was anything to go by, The Alchemist is in Nottingham to stay and will become a crowd-pleasing favourite thanks to its variety, unique approach and, in no small measure, it’s helpful and knowledgable staff.
For more details about The Alchemist, including menus and to book a table, visit the website by CLICKING HERE or drop the venue a line on 0115 950 9416.