The Alchemist Liverpool
Brunswick Street, Liverpool, L2
Review by Lydia Connolly
When my dining partner and I arrived on a Wednesday evening there wasn’t a table to spare as we waited at the bar to be seated. The atmosphere was electric and we felt as though the weekend had come early as we ordered our first cocktails of the night.
Feeling the magic of the evening I decided on the Flavour Changing One (£7.75) and my date settled on the Caramelised Rum Punch (£8.50) which listed one of its ingredients as ‘fire’. True to its word the cocktail was heated over a Bunsen burner before being served with ice to create a sweet cocktail with the warmth of rum and caramel.
Polished copper details added elegance to industrial features including exposed vents and pipes, all coming together to form the ultimate luxury science lab turned cocktail bar. The apothecary theme was incorporated into every detail from Bunsen burners on the bar to salt and pepper shakers in the form of science flasks.
Every point of service was faultless from the hostess and the bar staff, to our fantastic waiter Jack, who’s enthusiasm about the menu and cocktails was a highlight of our evening.
Our starters arrived surprisingly quickly considering how busy the restaurant was. My date ordered Thai fish cakes (£5.25) whilst I plumped for a beautifully presented serving of houmous with crispbread and vegetables (£5.25). Jack informed me that the houmous was made fresh in the kitchen and the additional toppings of seeds and chickpeas gave it a welcome crunch.
The menu is diverse to say the least with options ranging from fish finger sandwiches to Japanese ramen. My dining partner and I were in the mood to explore the Mexican inspired portion of the menu as I chose chicken fajitas (£12.25) with my date deciding on chilli and rice (£10.75).
Again, the presentation was incredible with the chilli and rice arriving in tin tiffin boxes whilst my colourful spread of fajita fillings was almost too pretty to eat. With toppings including cheese, guacamole, sour cream and salsa and chicken served on a sizzling hot plate with peppers and onions, the fajitas were a delight and packed with flavour.
For my second cocktail of the night I chose the Colour Changing One (£7.75), a drink which promised ‘magic’ alongside its list of ingredients. Giddily I became the alchemist as I mixed two beakers of cocktails over dry ice to create my colour changing concoction.
As the dessert menu arrived I was too full to enjoy the sticky toffee pudding I previously had my eye on and instead opted for a dessert cocktail. The Solero (£8.25) came highly recommended and it proved a perfect end to the evening. Inspired by the ice cream of the same name, the cocktail packed eerily similar flavours. A tropical fruity mix topped off with white chocolate foam, The Solero was an excellent alternative to a heavy pud.
The Alchemist is the latest addition to the growing commercial district’s bar and restaurant offerings and it could be the best one yet. Given the atmosphere on a Wednesday I can only imagine what this restaurant has to offer on the weekend. With dishes as dazzling as the drinks menu, The Alchemist has definitely positioned itself as much more than a cocktail bar.