Alchemy Restaurant on Eagle Street Pier Brisbane boasts a beautiful outlook onto the Brisbane river and the infamous color changing Story Bridge. Slightly difficult to locate if one is unfamiliar with the area as it requires walking through an unlit pathway from the main road.
What really struck me was the lighting in the venue. For a fine dining joint, the lights were awfully bright, creating a less than slightly intimate atmosphere. Arriving at the door only to be greeted by my dining partner, Mr.C and not a maître d took me by complete surprise. We headed straight for the bar as Mr C was already nursing a mojito and I was more than tempted to try an ‘Alchemy’ signature cocktail. I opted for what was called Number 4, a mix of passionfruit, basil, cacao blanc, passoa and vodka. The bartender had no idea what she was doing and the bar manager was called over to coach the process. A few sips later on my watered down cocktail, we were seated at our table nearest to the river and things definitely took a turn for the better.
Alchemy does possess a very extensive and exciting a la carte menu. I was very impressed with all the choices and even stroked the menu lovingly as observed by Mr C!
What really caught my eye were the engaging food descriptions. Not only did it make my mouth water profusely but also gave me a difficult time in making my choice. Mr C and I compromised on sharing two entrees and after long and silent pondering, decided on the Wagyu Bressola with Horseradish Remoulade ($28), Watercress and Grissini Sticks and Scallops with Crushed Pea Salad, Goats Curd and Lemon Dressing. ($28) Of course, a bottle of Les Domaniers Rose from the Cotes De Provence in France was ordered too. ($65) Light and tangy, perfect for the entrees.
Note: Alchemy is famous for its several gluten free options.
Mr C picked the scallops and peas to prove to me that eating peas doesn’t have to be a daunting task. He was absolutely correct. The peas were full of flavor as well as the scallops which were tender and juicy. Each bite was absolutely delightful as it dripped salted and sour juices which came from the lemon marinade. The goat curd was a beautiful accompaniment to the peas.
My favourite part of the Wagyu dish was the Horseradish Remoulade. It had a slight tinge of natural spice but then topped off with the cream from the remoulade. The crunchiness went hand in hand with the very thinly sliced wagyu which almost melted at the tip of my tongue. I didn’t quite understand the breadsticks, I felt that they contributed nothing to the dish.
For our mains, I ordered what had caught my eye as soon as I checked out the second page. The Grilled Lemon Spatchcock with Celeriac, Vietnamese and Chilli Salad ($38) and Mr C opted for the house special, 24 hour braised beef cheek served on a bed of mash.
I was very impressed with the spatchcock. Each bite was better than the last. The menu describes a Vietnamese chilli salad. I didn’t taste any heat in the bed of what tasted more like an asian coleslaw. I loved the celeriac and the moistness of the bird. Unfortunately, I only had a small bite of the beef cheek but from what I could taste, I expected the sauce to be richer. The mash was exceptional and very creamy.
Luckily, we were able to sample and stomach two different desserts. Mr C explained his weakness for Creme brulée and of course ordered the Vanilla Crème Brulée with Peach Compote and Spiced Meringue ($17) while the words ‘mango sponge’ attracted me to try the Mango Sponge with Nutella Mousse, Passion Fruit Purée and Yoghurt Ice Cream. ($17)
According to Mr C, the brulée was quite simple and didn’t blow away his experienced brulée tastebuds. I quite enjoyed his peach compote and sneakily went for seconds. My mango sponge was fairly dry and the blob like nutella mousse did not do the visuals any justice. If I could redo this part of my dining experience here, I would have loved to try the Baked Tim Tam and Mixed Berry Cheesecake with Raspberry Ice Cream.
I must mention that I was very disappointed with my trip to the restroom. I was expecting a nicely decorated area but instead had a complete buzz kill by the very sterile-hospital resembling bathrooms. Almost incriminating for an award winning restaurant such as this one.
Overall, a beautiful evening with a slightly cool breeze and several wonderful conversations over wine. Not a venue i’d write home about. I do look forward to sampling their lunch menu and trying Alchemy by day. Something that really stood out to me was that I noticed a pattern in the Chef’s cooking style. Two out of four of the dishes we sampled had a slightly bitter twist in the after taste. Must be a special ingredient!
Alchemy Restaurant + Bar
175 Eagle St
+61 7 3229 3175