Alchemilla Review - Nottingham
It’s taken me some time to get this review up if I am honest. I went a couple of weeks when it first opened to celebrate our friends first wedding anniversary. At the time we had a baby and I didn’t realise how much of my time that would take up!
I really wanted to get this review up even though it was awhile back, as we had such a good time and the food was incredible. I do plan on booking again soon, once I do ill update this blog with any different foods I eat etc.
They do have a kitchen experience, which is something I am VERY interested in doing. Great value with also having a 7 course lunch for 2 included!
Restaurant Type: Modern British
Price Range: £££
Amount I Paid: £150 (2 People)
192 Derby Rd, Nottingham NG7 1NF
There are a couple of tasting menu places in Nottingham and Alchemilla is one of the newest, I have to say it also has one of the best names! It is not just about coming and having a meal, but enjoying a dining experience. The food they produce is modern British and said they like to keep it simple but believe me it looks incredible and tastes great. Many of the dishes focus on plant based ingredients and they have matched the decor.
The Chef-Patron of Alchemilla is Alex Bond, who has been cooking for over 19 years and has worked in many Michelin started restaurants. This includes the well-known Sat Bains Restaurant in Nottingham. Alex has always had a passion to open a restaurant and I do think Nottingham will be glad that he has. He has stated that he has a love for gardening and you can really tell in his menu, as he does focus on fruits, vegetables and other plant based ingredients.
Ill be reaching out to Alex, so hopefully ill be able to get an interview set up - it would be great to find out more about him and Alchemilla.
The Decor Of Alchemilla
Alchemilla is probably one of the best looking restaurants I have been in, Alex has really thought about the way it looks and ensuring it matches with his ethos and menu. You enter the black doors and feel as though you have gone down into a cave, tunnel or even somewhere they used to keep the beer barrels. The bright red bricks are a great contrast to the green plants that are dotted around. There was even a sheet of grass on one wall which looked incredible.
As soon as you walk in there is a seating area, which I don’t think many people realised you could there. As Alex did point out I was the first to use it for what it was designed for :). Right ahead of you, you are able to see the cooking area - I love being able to see where the magic happens!
I do think that the whole decor of Alchemilla helps to add to the experience of the food.
There are two tasting menus that you can try, the 7 course and the 10 course. We decided to go for the 10 as it only costs an extra £15, there was also a number of dishes I wanted to try...(Saying that I could have also tried all dishes on the 7 course tasting menu as well!!)
Chicken and sweetcorn is a combination made in heaven. It came with crumbled chicken and what I believe was pureed sweetcorn, with some additional sweetcorn for texture. The combination of the two really worked well together, at first it was strange but as soon as the bowl was emptied I wanted more!
Smoked Shitake, Cured Pork Fat
I have never really been into Shitake mushrooms but the added smokiness did help improve it for me. This was topped with a couple of rashers of cured pork fat, which are very nice.
Crab, Artichoke, Buttermilk
I don’t believe I have had buttermilk before, it is basically what is left after you churn cheese. I do think it went really well with the crab and artichoke. The crab was tasty and I was surprised at the amount of it, as I was expecting less.
Leek, Fresh Cheese, Hazelnut
Now this dish was really interesting to look at, to me it looked like a dessert! The leek tasted really nice, and the hazelnut gave it a nice crunch. The winner of the dish has to however be the fresh cheese, it was so soft but full of flavour. This was one of Rach’s favourite dishes!
Black-pudding, Smoke eel, Beetroot
I was looking forward to this dish as I have never had Smoke Eel. I always like to try new foods and this is one of the reasons why I decided to go for the 10 course. I love black pudding, and this tasted really good. You can get some that doesn’t have much flavour, but these were great! I would not have thought about adding beetroot to black pudding but it really works well, something I might even give a go myself. The eel were tasty, they were very light but full of flavour and the smokiness really came through.
I believe this is more of a palate cleanser to prefer you for the next course and it does work. It really does work to be honest, I found this course to be nice and refreshing. I know what you might be thinking, what is Lovage? I wondered the same. That is the green puree and is actually a white flower from the parsley family. The rest of the greengage is edible as far as I know…I ate it and it tasted fine 😉
Duck, Carrot, Elderflower, Nasturtium
If you have noticed most of the courses are meat free, this is following the ethos of the food being very plant based. I am normally a big meat eater so it was actually a nice change, although I was looking forward to this duck dish. The duck was cooked perfectly and worked well with the Elderflower. This dish does come with Duck Heart which no one on the table would eat but me, so I had them all 🙂 If you like liver you will like the heart.
As you can see, this apple pie is not like any normal apple pie although it tasted just like it! It was very tasty and was chilled with I believe frozen apple pieces. This course was incredibly refreshing and I could have eaten this all night long!
Chocolate, Miso, Banana, Lime
Chocolate and lime, what a great combination. The lime was very subtle but really complimented the chocolate, miso and the banana. The chocolate was waiver thin so it was not to filling and the balance of the banana was perfect.
Blackberry, Beetroot, Cultured Cream
By now I was gutted, it was the last course…. even though I was getting full, I was enjoying the experience so much and didn’t want it to end. If it had to end then it might as well end on a high, and it sure did. Blackberries are amazing and what I didn’t know was how well it goes with beetroot. I had never considered beetroot in a dessert, yet it goes very well. The beetroot ice cream tasted amazing and was well complimented with the cream.
What Were My Favourite Courses?
I could easily say all of the above, but if you really need to know my favourites they would be;
Okay I know I have still only narrowed it down to 5 dishes….what can I say, I was impressed!
How Was The Service?
The service was very good, everyone that severed us did with a smile and seemed as though they really enjoyed working at Alchemilla. Each time a dish was brought to us, they fully explained what it was and really seemed to have a good knowledge of the ingredients used. One of our party had the wine paring and each wine was fully explained and why it was chosen to go with that specific dish.
Final Foodie Thought
If you are looking for a great dining experience, where you can eat in an incredible setting, taste amazing food and not break the bank - Alchemilla is perfect. You do however need to be prepared for the experience to take time, its not like a normal restuarant where they want the table back in 90 minutes (which I HATE by the way!). You could expect to be dining for at least 3 hours, this is to fully allow you to enjoy the food and the environment. Believe me the time really does fly by!
Another thing I have to mention is the plates and bowls used, an odd thing to comment on I know but they really are impressive. If I could have purchased some there and then I would, they would make some of my food pics really look better!
Are there any negatives? In all honestly no. I truly enjoyed the experience and cannot wait to go back. If you have not been yet but thinking about it, stop thinking, pick up the phone and book!
Dont forget to let me know in the comments below on how you found your experience 🙂