This week we were kindly invited for a complimentary meal at the Alchemist in Newcastle’s Eldon Square, to try out their new 2019 cocktail and food menus.
The chain promises to deliver a magical, theatrical dining experience. From their smoke spewing/colour changing cocktails to the gilded macabre wall art, you can expect something VERY different to the usual chains in Eldon Square!
“At The Alchemist we’re masters in the dark arts of molecular mixology and demons in the kitchen. Our mixologists create every cocktail with an obsessive eye for detail, presented in vessels orchestrated to add a devilish dash of theatre, they bedazzle, bewitch and set the scene for everything we do.
Enjoy a flaming atmosphere, creative cocktails and delicious all-day dining that’s become our trademark – Theatre Served”
The Alchemist is split into two sections; dining and drinking. The extensive drinks offering clearly doesn’t fail to entice, given the bar area was all but full when we visited on a Saturday afternoon.
The walls are covered with curious mystic styled wall art which works well with the brown leather, copper and wooden clad interior. It really is a great setting to enjoy some incredible cocktails or grab a bite to eat.
The new 2019 menus have quite a few new additions. Although the food menu seems to lacks some of the theatrics of the drinks menu, it does offer an incredibly varied selection of dishes from around the world.
With cuisines ranging from Mexican, Japanese, American and Moroccan, there’s almost certainly something new for people to try. They have plenty of choice for vegetarians, vegans and a dedicated gluten-free menu so there really is something for everyone.
Their intuitive online menu is fantastic for searching by dietary requirements and easily one of the best I’ve seen.
The cocktail menu is almost as extensive as the food menu! There’s a killer selection of extravagant, insta-perfect cocktails that are split into different categories such as ‘CHEMISTRY & THEATRE’ and ‘PLAIN DELICIOUS – SERIOUS’, some of which even have hip flasks you can take home!
Given I’m on a break from alcohol at the moment, I decided to try the new no-alcohol CHAI ICED TEA, which was GINGER BEER, ALMOND, LIME, CHAI. SMOKE.
My wife (Sarah from henceforth!) went for the CHASE THE RAINBOW. The business donated 50p for every Chase The Rainbow that’s sold to charity to help prevent LGBTQ+ youth homelessness, which is a great cause.
The alcohol-free cocktail was delicious and certainly offered up the theatrical experience that was promised! Nice to see a change from the standard mocktails that could have been fallen back on!
So after changing my mind about five times, I finally made my decision.
To start, I went for the steamed prawn dim sum (£6.50). These were honestly fantastic. The classic Cantonese dish was executed perfectly with a presentation to match.
The translucent parcels were packed full of delicious prawn filling and went perfectly with the soy sauce for dipping. Even the fragrant garnish added to the dish which was a pleasant surprise. A refreshing change from the usual tasteless flowers thrown on top of dishes to justify a price increase.
Sarah went for the halloumi sticks with sweet mustard mayo. These were golden crispy on the outside and there’s no need to mention how good halloumi is!
For my main, I decided to try out the crispy pork belly(£13.50), with homemade chorizo croquette, sweetcorn puree, padron peppers & red pepper coulis.
I think the pictures speak for themselves as a testament effort that has gone into the presentation of this dish. It’s a treat for the eyes before anything else!
I’m not ashamed to admit I now even want the dishware…
The belly pork was cooked to perfection, succulent tender meat, with a crispy fat coating on top. It really couldn’t have bee pulled off any better.
Sadly, I can’t say I was the biggest fan of the sweetcorn puree. I know that it is traditionally paired with pork or scallops, however, I didn’t think it worked. I think apple mash would have paired better with the pork.
The padron peppers, on the other hand, were some of the best I’ve had. In the past they been very bitter, whereas these juicy treats were irresistible.
Sarah tried the crispy chicken, with Katsu curry Crispy kale & coriander rice. The golden crispy chicken was delicious when smothered in the katsu sauce. Although it was dressed with sliced red chilli, there wasn’t any heat to the dish, so no need for people worried about heat to order.
The service we received at the Alchemist was speedy and attentive, as it was for everyone around us too. The new 2019 drinks and food menu offers up an incredible selection of dishes from around the world, offering something for everyone.
The quirky setting, theatrical focused drinks and perfectly presented dishes won’t fail to impress and the perfect place to take a load off during a busy shopping trip in Newcastle.