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“Great food, but the waiters were hit and miss”

Alchemy Restaurant and Bar
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Ranked #53 of 4,325 Restaurants in Brisbane
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $13 - $49
Cuisines: European, French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions
Dining options: Breakfast, Dinner, Late Night, Private Dining, Reservations
Description: Alchemy Restaurant and Bar is a unique Australian dining experience. Located in a stunning position on the Brisbane River, the venue has an atmosphere of relaxed elegance inspired by the exquisite cuisine and the spectacular views. Perfect venue for private functions and special occasion. Owners, Brad and Angelica Jolly, have had a wealth of experience in restaurants in Australia and abroad. They are driven by a philosophy that incorporates the traditional values of exceptional service and the highest quality produce. They have consistently maintained Alchemy's commitment to quality. Voted Best Restaurant with the Brisbane Locales.
Level Contributor
49 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Great food, but the waiters were hit and miss”
Reviewed August 17, 2012

We went as a group of 11, and were given a table which felt like it was almost a private dining room, which was nice. The atmosphere was intimate, with soft lighting and dark panelling, with modern finishes, and views over the river. Not too noisy either, despite the hard surfaces.

The food was excellent. Sourdough with butter to start - the waitress couldn't tell me where is was from, and did not bother to find out for me. I had the ocean trout terrine as an entree - magic texture, subtle smoky flavour, delicious. The quail, stuffed with sausage, on mushrooms and lardons was tender, moist and flavoursome. I had to take a call when mains were served, and mine was taken away to be kept warm, and they decided it had to be replated when I came back to eat - top marks for effort. They also came looking for me outside to let me know that the mains had been served.

Dessert was a airy, eggy mandarin souffle, with chocolate icecream and custard. It was too sweet for my liking - exacerbated by the sugar around the souffle pot that it was served in. eautifulcombination of flavours though. There was also the liquid nitrogen bar, where a chef puts various sweet things - honeycomb biscuit, airy sorbet, light cream to turn into icecream - into a bowl of liquid nitrogen to freeze, and then you eat them. It actually tastes good, and is not as much of a gimmick as it sounds like. They gave us some extra servings. It was all a spectacle, but an understated one, if that is possible. I had ordered a particular vodka on the menu, but it was unavailable. Not a big deal.

The bottom line - cost a few quid, but was not outrageously expensive. $110 pp with 3 courses and wine.

Visited August 2012
Thank Zedscape
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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296 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Tumbulgum, Australia
Level Contributor
312 reviews
176 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 178 helpful votes
“Classy Birthday Experience”
Reviewed August 2, 2012

My husband took me to Alchemy for my birthday and we were not disappointed.

From the moment we walked in the door, we knew we were in for a treat. The barman said on our arrival that he was expecting us and asked whether we would like to have a drink at the bar or be seated at our table. A very nice touch!

We were shown to our table which had a superb view of the Story Bridge, Brisbane River and Kangaroo Point.

Our waiter was cheery, helpful and explained the specials of the day and the mind blowing menu!
For entre, I chose Prawn Ravioli with Aged Black Vinegar, Ginger and Chilli Dressing and Sea Bass with Toasted Corn, Leek and Asparagus Emulsion for main. My husband had Prosciutto with Beetroot and Citrus Salad, Goats Cheese and Hazelnuts and for main Ocean Trout with Saffron Bouillabaisse Braised Octopus and Cannellini Beans.

We had heard of Alchemy’s desert speciality and we were not disappointed. Chef Brad Jolly served up the Alchemy liquid nitrogen gastronomic nibbles which are to die for! Another nice touch.

We finished off our meal with Farmhouse style cheddar from SA and a beautiful glass of sticky wine.

What an awesome dining experience. We look forward to visiting again soon.

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank Lonnie24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
213 reviews
104 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
“Wonderful Dining Experience”
Reviewed August 2, 2012

I took my wife for a special birthday Luncheon. She particularly likes the view across the river to the iconic Story Bridge. We were greeted as if there were expecting us and as we had arrived right on time, they knew who we were without even asking! Service was brisk, informative and very professional. We enjoyed a wonderful three course meal with creative menu choices.

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank PKC54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockholm Sweden
Level Contributor
203 reviews
97 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
“Great and straight up service”
Reviewed July 11, 2012 via mobile

I have rarelyhad better service, anywhere. Not that it was sucking up or overly nice it was just straight up damn good. Our waitor was extremely good, funny an spot on with all his decisions.

The food at alchemy is also excellent, all three dishes - top class.

Location is also excellent just on the rivere front.

To top it off they have an excellent wine list.

So, based on my visit i dont think you can go wrong with alchemy. I will for sure come back on my next visit.

1 Thank RichardU71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level Contributor
54 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 117 helpful votes
“A Gem on Eagle Street”
Reviewed July 3, 2012

Just a tip... Always make a reservation! If you can't make it a few days earlier or more, try to make your reservation at least one day before. You'll be surprised at how full they are for every time slot they have available. And oh, it's best that you call to make your reservation, that way you'll know right away if they can still accommodate it ;)

Moving onto the review:

On the final night that my friend was hosting me before I moved into my serviced apartment for the rest of my trip, I decided to surprise my friend with a fancy dinner at Alchemy. It was also one of his top favorite restaurants hence my choice.

I called them the day before to book us a table. Funny enough, I forgot what time was the reservation on the day itself and I had to call back and check. LOL. The lady on the phone (met her in the restaurant and she is the one who's slim, with short blonde hair and wears glasses) was really nice about it.

When we arrived, we got a not so great table close to the entrance and kitchen. I was secretly eyeing the vacant table that was by the window. I just thought to myself maybe it's reserved for someone else so I just kept quiet. While looking at the menu, the blonde haired lady came to us and asked if we would like to switch to another table that's by the window in the next section and I said yes very excitedly. I was so pleased that we got a better view of Story Bridge, Brisbane River and CityCats/CityFerries at our new window seat. So really, like one of the other reviewers suggested, ask for a window seat if you want a better view. It's spectacular at night!

Now the more important part of that night was the food.

** Entrees **

1) My choice: Garlic Creamy Mash (under Sides) ~ Pretty much the best mash I've ever had so far. It's very smooth and absolutely creamy. It gave me the melting feeling each time I take a spoonful of it.

2) Friend's choice: Pork Belly with Spiced Tofu Chilli and Okra ~ I'm not much of a pork person and when people say pork belly, all I can imagine is a thick layer of fat (yuck!). When this was served to my friend, I saw there was some meaty part and I asked to try a bit. It was yum and very flavorful! I told my friend if I knew if there's a meaty part and it was that delicious, I would have ordered that :P

** Mains **

1) My choice: Five Spiced Duck Breast with Mandarin Glaze, Lemon Silverbeet and Roasted Garlic Potato ~ The entrees set the bar high and I was expecting more out of the mains. Whilst my duck breast was nicely cooked and tender as it should be, it wasn't really flavorful but rather bland (perhaps lack of seasoning?). I didn't really taste any five spice to my duck breast or much mandarin glaze on the dish itself. Also, my plate came with some of their creamy garlic mash instead of roasted garlic potato and I wasn't informed by the waiter who served it to me.

2) Friend's choice: Braised Beef Cheeks in Red Wine (Chef's Special) ~ After trying the pork belly, I just had to get a little bite of this too, which my friend gladly obliged. Like my duck breast, I must say I wasn't 100% impressed by this dish either. I'd give them the extra points for being able to braise the beef cheeks till so soft (not an easy task, so I heard) but again, there was lack of flavor in *my* personal opinion. So if you're a person of flavor like myself, you might not fancy this as much OR maybe you would if your definition of flavor differs from mine hey ;)

** Desserts **

1) Friend's choice for me: Liquid Nitrogen Gastronomic Nibbles ~ I seriously wanted something else because they sound yummier but my friend said I *must* try this at least once when I go to Alchemy. Well, I did. It was a new experience. Unique, to say the least. You don't eat this at your table. The waiter will take you to the special table right outside the kitchen where the Chef will be waiting for you. On the night I tried it, I had a piece of honey comb followed by some earl grey long island tea infused cream/mousse and also apple pie cream/mousse (I have a feeling that I missed out on the 4th, if there was in fact one LOL). All those bites were dipped and rolled around individually in a little pot of liquid nitrogen by the Chef. It was a really neat idea! But be warned, the bites are very cold because of the liquid nitrogen. My favorite bite was the apple pie cream/mousse that turned out like a piece of meringue (same goes for the earl grey long island tea bite) upon contact with the liquid nitrogen.

2) Friend's choice: White Chocolate Mousse with Confit Strawberries and Cinnamon Doughnuts ~ Maybe I shouldn't compare this and the Liquid Nitrogen Gastronomic Nibbles because it would be like comparing apples to oranges but I must be honest. I loved and enjoyed this more. It's not unique but it's tantalizing. I loved stealing a little bit of the mousse, top it with the compote and some of the doughnut and have it in one spoonful. After tasting this dessert, it felt like my dinner was complete. I didn't feel the need to want something else or more. That's actually a good thing because I have lost count of the times I wasn't quite satisfied with my dessert and it made me feel like my meal was ended abruptly.

As much as I'd love to give Alchemy a full score, I can't really. Not quite yet. They can probably improve a little here and there when it comes to their service and food.

** Service **

1) It would be great if waiter can inform a diner if something on the dish has been substituted for whatever reason.

2) After desserts, I excused myself to the ladies and only to return to my bill on the table, which my friend/dinner guest had peeked out of curiosity. When I was about to pay, my friend said he's uncomfortable with me footing the entire bill and wanted to give me some cash for it, which I declined. Perhaps don't just bring the bill to the table unless you know who's paying or it has been asked for. It's rude to make my guest feel uncomfortable even if it's unintentionally.

** Food **

1) Just one thing. flavor, flavor, flavor! Some needs a little more :)

  • Visited June 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank ohsillymNg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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