Friday, September 4, 2015

Love at First Bite: Alchemy Bistro Bar

I got an email from Janine last week inviting me to Alchemy Bistro Bar. I’ve heard of this place before where the drinks are fondly called concoctions. And since we cancelled our La Union trip for the long weekend, I decided to accept Janine’s lunch invitation (yes, they are also open for lunch!) and know more about the bar which offers more than just great drinks.
Hello, Alchemy Bistro Bar!
We were greeted by shades of purple and nicely decorated walls with flasks containing colorful liquids and a bicycle. I’m not exactly sure what look they were trying to pull here but it was quirky and cute.
The restaurant’s owner, Tina Currie (who studied in Le Cordon Bleu and worked in the US and Thailand), welcomed us and gave us an overview of what’s lined up for lunch—Baked Oysters (PHP350), Croquettas (PHP260), Burrata Cheese Salad (price not on the menu), Alchemy Pizza (PHP450), Gnocchi (PHP390), Pan Seared Salmon (PHP465), Roasted Organic Chicken (PHP450), Slow-braised Lamb Shank (PHP775), Crème Brulee (PHP210) and Cheesecake with passion fruit coulis. We also had Alchemy Smoothie and Four Fruit Smoothie (PHP180 each).
First served was the baked oysters and R and I were impressed with the Aklan sourced shells. It was very fresh and it was so delightful with the spinach, hollandaise sauce and gruyere cheese. [Note: Be careful though and check your oyster. R ate his fast and didn’t notice a little shell piece was on the oyster and it hurt his tooth.]
Next served was the Burrata Cheese Salad and it was delicious. The giant red tomato slices made the tomato lover in me jump for joy! The prosciutto ham added flavor and the mozzarella on the outside and cream cheese in the inside combo made me go crazy! I also love the play of textures of the ingredients.
The croquettas were piping hot when it was served and I just found out when I took a big bite. I love the smooth potato with cheese stuffing. It was a great contrast with the crunchy breading. And the paprika dip wasn’t bad at all.
But if I were to choose between croquettas and gnocchi, I would choose the latter. Made with Gorgonzola cheese sauce, it was a cheesy affair with my taste buds. I love the crispy pancetta too for added bite. To fight off the “umay” factor, I munched on the herb garlic bread. This dish is a bit heavy on the tummy though so it’s best to share it with a fellow cheese lover.
R and I were slowly getting full when the Alchemy pizza arrived and it was pretty big. The wood fired pizza was amazing too. The speck ham, which was slightly different from prosciutto, added flavor to the pizza. I also enjoyed the slight tanginess from the Balsamic sauce drizzled on the arugula. And yes, the arugula made us feel that we were eating something healthy.

Finally, the mains were served.
The pan seared salmon sure was bang for the buck. The salmon slab was huge and it was cooked well. Crunchy salmon skin yet the meat remained juicy. I went to salmon heaven! I also enjoyed the creamy mashed potato with dill beurre sauce.
Alchemy’s bestseller lamb shank was served right after and it was huge too for PHP775. The lamb was tender and it should be since it was cooked for 42 hours! Even without the gravy, it was already tasty. No wonder it’s a crowd favorite.
The roasted chicken was cooked with rosemary making it fragrant and savory. But what caught my attention was the delicious sautéed mushrooms. I loved it so much!

And after what seemed to be an endless lunch, we finally reached desserts.
The cheesecake with passion fruit coulis was something new for us. I loved the soft and dense cheesecake but the coulis’ flavor was a bit too much. We had a bit of a hard time finishing this one.
But the crème brulee was a winner! The soft custard topped with a THICK layer of torched sugar was the perfect way to end the meal.
Overall, it was an amazing lunch and definitely a memorable one. R was so happy with it that he immediately shared it with his family and they were all curious about it. He also recommended it to his close friends and they went to the place that same night. What can I say? Alchemy has a new brand ambassador.

Alchemy Bistro Bar is located at 4893 Durban St. corner Polaris St. Barangay Poblacion, Makati City. They are open on Mondays 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., Tuesdays-Saturdays 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., and Sundays 2 p.m. to 2 a.m..

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Alchemy Bistro Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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