The Alchemist is the place for a night out when you just want something that little bit more special. Well-known for its range of cocktails that come with added special effects, this drinking destination took things up a notch with the launch of their new menu - featuring yet more internationally inspired food, theatrical drinks and even brand new oyster shots.
While waiting for our table, we started with The Alchemist Newcastle's menu of cocktails and took in the space. The restaurant and bar areas are split, meaning you can still enjoy a meal while soaking up the laid-back music and cosy, sophisticated vibe - only emphasised by the dimmed but warm lighting, dark wood and comfy leather.
First up for me? Pop Notch (£10.50), which was fruity and light but with a hit of warmth from ginger liqueur and added signature flare: a bubble to pop. My partner chose a Pea-cante (£11.50), describing it as a savoury tipple that's ideal for those who don’t want a sugar rush alongside their drink. With a nod to detail and the fiery cocktail it takes after, this one had a side of wasabi peas, a dash of tobasco and a skull head stirrer for garnish; but you're gonna need an advance warning about the spice level.
To start on the food front, we opted to keep that heat level up with the nice ‘n’ spicy fried chicken (£8.25) alongside its winning combo of sriracha mayo and then lined our stomachs with salt ‘n’ shake potatoes (£7.50). A favourite among the staff, the latter was a fun dish of crispy yet fluffy smashed tatties that arrived in a crisp packet with malt vinegar salt to sprinkle on. For dunking? The best garlic mayo I’ve ever tried in a restaurant.
Moving onto the mains, I enjoyed a crispy curried fish (£18.50) with jasmine rice. The coconut curry sauce was the highlight; really moreish and a perfect accompaniment to the snap peas and samphire - plus the chef served up the fresh fish with a properly crisp skin. My other half tried the Cubano Sanguich (£15): a generous portion of juicy pork offset by pickles and Cuban cheese, all crammed into a crusty ciabatta roll with fries on the side.
Feeling adventurous, we then tried out the latest addition to the drinks menu: Cosmic Oysters (2 for £11). You’ll be relieved to know that these aren’t the love-them-or-hate-them shellfish, but rather The Alchemist’s imaginative take on shots. Pairing a citrusy blend of liqueurs with passionfruit pearls, these are a unique way to end - or start - your night out. Unexpectedly delicious and great for groups.
We looked to the cocktail menu again to round off the meal, with my partner deciding on The Irish (£10) as an after-dinner treat made even more decadent with Baileys cream, autumn spices and a glass that wouldn’t look out of place in a science lab. Indulging my sweet tooth, I tried out the new Brûlée Vouz (£10.50) that, as you might guess, is a riff on the classic dessert. Tapping the caramelised sugar topping revealed a silky sweet liquid combining cognac and Licor 43; a satisfying pudding in a glass.
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Having been guided throughout the evening by energetic and friendly staff who really knew their stuff - impressive when the menu had only just launched a few days prior - I was happy to hear about the focus on sustainability in both the drinks and food menus on offer. But that's not all, as The Alchemist is definitely a destination for the most glam cocktails with a twist, alongside well-paired dishes that'll leave you satisfied.
💰 The damage: Around £100 for two courses and three drinks each.
📍 The location: 5 Grey's Quarter, Eldon Square NE1 7AP.
👌 Perfect for: Date nights and going out out with friends.
⭐ Need to know: Bottomless brunches are on the cards here too.
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