Deciding on a place for Valentine's Day this year and based on the reviews thought that we would book into Alchemy for dinner. Booking was easy and advised that it would be a set menu for the evening as well as 3 separate sittings, which I thought was okay given that it would be a busy evening.
We booked the last sitting at 8.30pm and arrived around 8.15pm to find the place not too busy at all. Bar staff were friendly and helpful and we were under any pressure to get to our table.
The menu looked really good from the start - entree, main and dessert. We ordered cerviche of kingfish / pork belly for entree, beef cheeks / lamb shanks for main, and chocholate / cheeseboard for dessert. The cerviche was sensational but the pork belly was a real let down in flavour and too much sauce which overpowered everything. The beef cheeks were very overrated and given that this is now the "in thing to serve" we were left very disappointed given that we raise our own cattle and have cooked beef cheeks at home for many years. Lamb...well nothing too much to write about.
Dessert....well...looking around at the other couples and on the waiters recommendation we went the chocolate dessert. Looked good when it came out until I tasted what looked like ice cream and just about put it back on the plate !......disgusting taste and flavour....and my partner agreed. I had to ask the waiter and he said it was milk sorbet (of course I should have read the menu)......all I can say is that it must have been made from sour milk !!
Accompanying the dinner was a bottle of Riesling from SA and knowing a thing or two about wine it wasn't bad but it wasn't good either. In fact, we did not finish our glasses over dinner so that was a bit disappointing.
As far as atmosphere goes for the evening....poor, poor and poor. The place definitely lacking in a decent atmosphere and mood lighting. The table was dressed very poorly with salt and pepper shakers like you have at home. Small bowls of salt grains and crushed pepper would have been quiet at home.
Overall experience was underwhelming given all the recommendations that I had read.
Service was okay but I don't think that we will be back. Would we recommend this to our friends??...probably not. Alchemy.....sorry but the magic just didn't happen.
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