The Alchemist – Nottingham

From the outside The Alchemist is one of the most attractive buildings in Nottingham rubbing shoulders with the likes of George’s and Reds True BBQ. It used to be a Brazilian restaurant that I never got the inclination to visit.

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Inside, it is stylish and modern juxtaposed with the old-fashioned original interior features. The original tiled space with a high panelled ceiling contains comfy leather chairs dominated by gold decor with dark brown metal and copper details such as in the booths that seat groups of six.

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It looks empty from this photo, but we arrived quite early for lunch and the snowy weather meant that Nottingham as a whole was relatively quiet.

The attentive staff were armed with iPads and didn’t put a foot wrong. The tableware was sophisticated black earthenware and even the salt and pepper pots and the container for the bill followed the alchemy theme.

 

The well-appointed toilets were a bit of a trek and pretty darn cold – why they had a side door open onto the icy street is a bit of a mystery to me.

Here’s the menu we had to choose from.

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Siggy chose the smashed avocado and poached eggs with the added bacon option, and I chose the crab tacos – since I had some very nice ones is Oslo at Bar Social Eating.

I also ordered some salt and pepper chips which had an air of Chinese about them with the inclusion of a little stir fried pepper and onion and were very moreish.

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Siggy said that the avocado, poached and bacon eggs was done to perfection.

The crab in the two crab tacos didn’t have that fresh taste that you get with crab in Norway but we were miles away from the sea so it’s forgiven and the tacos had a Mexican feel rather than Asian. Very nice and served with two slices of lime and a bottle of chilli sauce.

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We had some lager rather than do any of the cocktails. Keeping with the chemistry theme the cocktail menu looks like a periodic table:

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Then it was time to try some desserts. I chose the sticky toffee pudding and Siggy had the cinnamon waffles. Both came with pretty bog standard ice cream and both were a little underwhelming to be honest.

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The sticky toffee pudding was a little too refined for me – with just the right amount of sauce and a light fluffy sponge – but I wanted some dates in it and a richer more ample amount of saucery.

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The waffles were again a little too safe. They had a nice flavour but were not overly crispy on the outside and a bit doughy throughout. You perhaps only needed one slightly larger one done better rather than two.

However, despite the rather boring desserts, the whole experience – atmosphere, service and mains – was excellent and we will be going back.

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