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Brisbane Devoured: Alchemy

October 17, 2011


Alchemy Restaurant and Bar on Urbanspoon

L and I don't often visit fancy fine dining restaurants, so L's birthday definitely called for something a little bit special. Perusing various menus, we both decided on Alchemy. Alchemy is located in a prime spot overlooking the Brisbane River and the Story Bridge, a perfect spot for a lovely romantic dinner. Unfortunately the place is a little difficult to find for first-timers, leaving us arriving in a fluster and somewhat late. 

The atmosphere inside was welcoming, although the restaurant is fairly dark inside, it was full of happy diners and didn't have that stuffy fine-dining ambience that we were expecting. Walking into the bar area, we were greeted warmly and taken to our table. I immediately noticed the cool red chandeliers dangling from the ceiling, soooooo want one of those hanging over our dining table.

We aren't particularly expert in wines and we usually reach straight for a Sauvignon blanc, however having tried most of the sauv blancs on the menu we asked for something a bit different. Our waiter sent the sommelier over to our table and he kindly pointed us in the direction of a Domaines Schlumberger Pinot Blanc, a French white which was very easy to drink, crisp but not terribly acidic. 

We were presented with complementary bread and whipped butter and decided on our meals. 

L started with a vine ripened tomato and pancetta soup with grilled marinated octopus, the plate was presented with the octopus in the centre atop a pile of lentils and the soup poured in at the table around the octopus. The soup was creamy and smooth with a salty bite from the pancetta. 

My entree of glazed pork belly with apple puree, popcorn cromesquis and pork crisps was my favourite dish of the evening, although the pork was slightly dry in one part, it was mostly moist and extremely sweet. The puree which I eagerly mopped up was jamlike, and the pork crackling pieces were crunchy and added texture. The cromesquis was, I discovered like a croquette and had creamy corn contents. 

Moving on to the mains, L's glazed duck breast was perfectly cooked with crispy skin and sat atop a very smooth carrot puree. It was accompanied by a rather interesting ginger cuttlefish salad with radish. 

I had a massive main of basil crusted lamb loin with pancetta, artichokes, roasted pumpkin puree and lamb jus. It was so filling, I had to get L to eat about a third of it. The lamb was cooked to perfection, pink with the juices running, however was still a bit difficult to cut through even with a steak knife. I was surprised to discover a few pieces of gnocci scattered throughout my vegetables and the pumpkin puree and they added a different texture to the meal. 

L's dessert of chocolate pavlova with caramelized pineapple and warmed chocolate cream came with a "happy birthday" message, a lovely touch. L did not speak throughout the whole dessert and had a tear in his eye, so I am guessing he enjoyed it! (Pavlova is one of his favourite things in the world).

I decided to go for a more interesting option of souffle of caramelised spiced apple with brown butter and raisin icecream..... a creme anglais was poured straight into the souffle at the table. The souffle was light and divine. The brown butter icecream was unfortunately quite gritty and I wished it was more smooth and creamy, although the flavour was really nice. The dessert was very warming and wintery, so I imagine it might be removed from the menu when the warmer weather kicks in. 

L and I definitely liked Alchemy. Meals were very generous in size, and prices were very reasonable for what we had. If you are looking for fine dining quality meals but with relaxed and welcoming atmosphere, definitely try it out. 


1 comment:

  1. the portions are definitely huge! bigger than the one we had in aria just last weekend to celebrate our anniversary, same like you guys, we feel guilty to go fine dining if theres nothing to celebrate.