We have gone to a lot of cool places to eat – particularly in London (see Jess’s piece on Five Cool Places to Eat in London here), and more recently on our trip to Toronto. Now we have another place in the UK, but up north!
Robert and I recently went to Manchester (more on that soon) and while we were there we not only had a meal at Cafe Football (lots of burgers and milkshakes) but also at The Alchemist by Media City.
We weren’t sure what this restaurant would be like, but we definitely liked the name and the suggestion that some alchemy would be going on inside! We weren’t left disappointed.
The Alchemist has a trendy vibe, but actually we were warmly welcomed (we aren’t that trendy!) and all the staff were extremely friendly. The menu has a lovely range of food, all reasonably priced, and we ordered a variety of items, including snacks – sweet and salty seaweed popcorn and crispy kale (both extremely yummy) and a starter of cheese nachos (which Robert wolfed down!)
For our mains, we chose a fish finger sandwich and a vegetable burrito (which I thought were pretty good value, at £9 each) and we both had our own delicious dessert – waffles with ice-cream for Robert and chocolate brownie with ice-cream and salted caramel sauce for me (so lovely).
But while the food was good, the exciting part of the Alchemist is its wonderful drinks menu, which is full of marvellous potions and even looks amazing on paper! The choice of cocktails was so immense, it took me ages to decide what to have. But it’s not only that they sound so tempting, they also involve magic – drinks which bubble up, or change colour, ones which require test tubes to be used to put them together, and ones which just sound amazing (Bounty, peaches and cream, Mint Aero!). Eventually I chose a screwball, made up of Absolut Raspberry, Briottet Blue Curacao, bubblegum, apple lime and white chocolate cream foam. It came (naturally) with a cherry on top and was utterly delicious.
There are also mocktails on offer and I felt obliged to give Robert the chance to try two. The first he picked was Mango shake, made up of white chocolate cream foam, orange, apple, lemon, mango and passionfruit. He liked it, but wasn’t overwhelmed. The second, however, was a huge hit Bubbleygum is made up of bubblegum, apple, cranberry, lime and bubbles, and it frothed over the glass continuously.
Meanwhile two ladies behind us had chosen something which looked as if it should have been in a lab, involving smoke (and shrieks of delight).
All in all we had such a lovely evening and would really recommend a visit, although the cocktails are not cheap (mine was £8.50 and the mocktails are £4.50). It’s not really a specific place to eat for kids, but there are things that will appeal to them, and if you have a range of ages in your family, this place will go down very well. I have already checked that there is a branch in London (there is) so I can try another cocktail – this time going with my husband – while there are also other restaurants in Manchester, as well as Liverpool, Leeds, Chester, Newcastle and Birmingham. Cheers!