AD – We were invited to the Alchemist to sample their new Summer menu
After a day of packing up for our camping trip & checking the Lake District weather forecast 50 times (yes it was going to be wet, wet with a bit more wet!). We managed to bag a babysitter & head out for a much-needed date night to the Alchemist. We have been to the Alchemist a few times for cocktails but never sampled the food in the restaurant.
The Alchemist opened in Grey’s Quarter, Eldon Square just over a year ago to much fanfare. People love a bit of tableside entertainment & the dry ice, colour changing concoctions have captured the Instagram generation. I have to admit I hadn’t really paid attention to the food menu previously so was unsure as to what style of food they offered. I’ve always been too distracted by the cocktails!
The decor in the Alchemist is gorgeous! Plush leather settees, Edison light bulbs & funky gold murals give the quirky but luxurious feel. The restaurant part of the Alchemist is tucked at the bottom of the bar towards the Eldon Square entrance. On Wednesday night there was a big European footie match on & was raining but still, the restaurant was pretty full. I imagine you would need to book to guarantee a seat on a Saturday night.
The Alchemist Cocktails
First up on the extensive cocktail menu was a Woo Woo for Alan & a Caramelised Rum Punch for me! The Woo Woo came with gold shimmer & was fruity with the vodka packing a kick. My rum punch was created on a bunsen burner warming a pan with sugar to make the toffee base which was mixed with Grand Marnier, pineapple juice & lime. This was my favourite cocktail of the night, just delicious! The drinks at the Alchemist are expensive (both were £8.95) I’m not going to lie but they are all part of the experience & a lot of work, time (and alcohol) goes into each one.
Augmented Reality Cocktails!
Alan is always sold on a gimmick and as we walked in a sign advertised the Augmented reality Cocktails via the Conjuror app. We hooked up the to Alchemist Wifi and downloaded the app.
The AR cocktails are listed on a separate menu, listing 6 to choose from. Each cocktail (different to the main menu) is served upon a special coaster.
However when viewed in the Conjurer app. it came to life with animated entertainment. The Sailors punch became awash with a stormy sea, a dancing hula girl, cloudy sky and a revelation of the cocktails name.
There is a little more to the AR list too. If you order one of the special cocktails and scan it in the app, it is recorded (like an achievement), if you purchase all 6 of them (not necessarily in one sitting) it unlocks a 7th special cocktail to buy. We love gimmicks and challenges!
Summer Menu at The Alchemist
At the recommendation of our server, we decided to go for some bread & olives to nibble on while we perused the menu. I’m not a lover of olives but Alan got involved while I chomped the warm bread!
For starters, Alan chose the lollipop tempura prawns which were light, crispy and accompanied with a sweet chilli dipping sauce. My duck spring rolls were piping hot & full of duck which I dunked into the accompanying sauce.
Next up was the mains. I went for the lamb kofta which came with lamb rump, fragrant rice, hummus, and pitta bread. The meals looked very pretty with the pomegranate seeds and was a great addition as part of the summer menu.
The Hasselback potatoes were a bit of a disappointment as they were pretty dry so not sure I would order them again. They were a mix of white and “Purple” potatoes, which also confused me a little.
Alan went for the Belly Pork, which came with homemade chorizo croquette, sweetcorn puree, Padron peppers & red pepper coulis.
When belly pork is cooked right the meat falls apart and the fat is almost like cream. This was cooked exactly as expected and was delicious. The Meat and Corn puree went well together. As with everything at the Alchemist it is also about the presentation.
After Dinner options
For once, we skipped dessert but decided to go for the coffee with petit fours (£5) going for cappuccinos. We loved the little edible spoons & chocolates and it was a great end to a lush night.
There was only room for one more bottle to be served. The bill was rolled up and delivered in an aptly named bottle.
We had a fabulous night at The Alchemist. It was nice to go somewhere that is completely different. We weren’t rushed and could have spent longer extending the night with the vast drinks menu. The experience is about the presentation and production here. Everything is presented in a considered way. Be that the golden shimmer “Alco-pop” Woo Woo cocktail, the fanfare of the molten caramelised sugar in the Rum Punch, the Vertically presented tempura Prawns or even the quirky humour on the bottle of “The Damage”. The concept is executed and followed by keeping the details in line.
App: Search “THE CONJURER” for the AR cocktail app
Cocktail Menu: https://thealchemist.uk.com/menus/drinks/
Food Menu: https://thealchemist.uk.com/menus/food-all-day-menu/
Address: 5 Grey’s Quarter, Eldon Square, Newcastle NE1 7AP