Want (quite literally) more bang for your buck when it comes to cocktails? The Alchemist Greek Street in Leeds is serving up drinks that are explosive in both flavour and presentation. Pair that with a food menu that appeals to all tastes while retaining a high-end feel, and you’ve got one must-visit and Instagrammble spot.
Inside The Alchemist on Greek Street - one of the best areas for bars - there's an expansive space of classy décor and dim lighting, pairing deep charcoals with burnt orange and bronzes for a luxe, modern feel. The venue is unofficially split into dining and wining, with plenty of table space for both – a necessity since the drinks here require a centre stage to sit on. The selling point for our night was undoubtedly the cocktails; the menu felt never-ending, thanks to every spirit and taste profile imaginable featuring. Top tip: if you’re looking for a signature molecular-themed cocktail that sizzles and bangs, pick one with an eye symbol next to it. You'll thank me later.
We started with a Lava Lamp (£10.50) and T&T (£10.50), impressed with the theatrics that accompanied. The former, a pineapple, coconut and rum number, circulated blue and red pineapple 'caviar' over disco lights to recreate the iconic lava lamp. While the latter - where 'T' stands for tequila - is a dead ringer for a Crash Bandicoot stick of TNT and appropriately lit on fire.
If you’re a starter person, you’ll love it here as there’s (almost) too many great choices. In the end, we went for the crispy shrooms (£7.50), a generous portion of vegan fried oyster mushrooms nicely paired with miso mayo and crispy chilli oil, and buttermilk chicken ultimate bao buns (£8.50) with umami mayo. Although the bao themselves weren't the fluffiest, they were loaded with crispy chicken and tasty overall. Starters eaten, it was time for more cocktails from The Alchemist Leeds menu: a Lightbulb Moment (£10.50) of Pimms, ginger beer and raspberry alongside the tropical-flavoured Pop-sicle (£12). Both drinks came in the coolest glasses, surrounded by smoke and packed full of booze.
For mains, the panko chicken katsu curry (£15.50) was our first pick. This beautifully presented plate came with nori crisps for extra texture and a stunning, silky katsu sauce. The French dip steak sandwich (£15.25) was layered with sweet mustard mayo (that’s mayo number three of the night), accompanied by a pot of secret truffle gravy and crispy fries. The bread was underwhelming but the rest of the dish hit the mark.
Finishing off? Cosmic Oysters (2 for £11); gorgeous blue shots with passionfruit pearls that come in silver oyster shells on a platter of ice. As tasty as they are pretty, these have only one drawback – you’ll never want to do shots any other way after.
The DesignMyNight Digest
If you’re looking for a picture perfect evening for the 'Gram, The Alchemist would tick all your boxes. In just a single visit, we had fruit-flavoured 'caviar', shots shaped like oysters and even a drink that looked like a lava lamp - plus there's even more where that came from. Cocktails are a little on the pricey side, but well worth it for the overall experience.
💰 The damage: Around £100 for two courses, two cocktails and one shot each.
📍 The location: Yorkshire House, Greek Street LS1 5SH.
👌 Perfect for: Dates and Instagram-worthy drinks.
⭐ Need to know: There's boozy brunch at The Alchemist Leeds too.
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