The Alchemist has earned its place on the Leeds map, so much so that a second venue has popped up on the ever expanding Greek Street.
The drinks menu (and theatrics behind it) are enough for a visit alone, but something that seems overlooked is the food. The new menu has just been launched which was reason for my most recent visit.
The Greek Street venue has the restaurant separated off from the bar, the perfect excuse for a leisurely work through the cocktail menu, with enough menu variety for a big group.
We started off with three of the Tapatisers, the perfect title for what can be a starter for one or get a few to share. Vegetable gyoza, such a delicious, crispy pastry with a really fresh filling and hoi-sin dip. The Thai fish cakes - fragrant and light, with the sweet chilli dip adding a hit of moisture and the pork bon bons, something that sounds so average on the menu are a must try (mass thanks to our waistress for the recommendation). It's a pulled pork centre, crumbed with a light crackling shell, and a subtle wasabi flavour in the mayonnaise that is much needed to combat the savoury flavour.
Our waitress, Shanelle, deserves a massive shout-out as we took a lot of her recommendations for the food and drink through the night, none of which were a let down. Whether you want to go with their recommendations or stick with your own cravings, the servers are amazingly helpful to point you in the right direction.
For main, I opted for (an unbeknown until serving) a taste of The Alchemist theatrics. The Japanese Ramen comes freshly served with spiced broth, the touch of dry ice to bring the food to the same level as the cocktails.
For the gentleman, a blackened salmon with a Cajun crumb.
The main thing I took away on the food was how fresh everything was. All incredibly fragrant and cooked to perfection, with just the right touch of seasoning.
And of course, the cocktails did not let us down, although the Indigo Sunset did taste like Calpol... Not always a bad thing but probably not one I'd re-up with.
The finish was a slice of the salted caramel cheesecake and an espresso martini for me, the cocktail made to taste as they were out of their usual espresso ingredients. The cheesecake served with a twist of mint sugar adding a base of texture.
I will definitely be back - and obviously spotted the brunch menu which I was previously unaware of. I'd recommend for the cocktails, of course, but definitely try the food. Plus, in the setting of the restaurant it's all the more easy to work through the cocktail menu without battling the queues at the bar.