ALCHEMY BISTRO BAR – Stumbled upon this nice little restaurant in Poblacion, Makati and fell in love with the food – the chef that spearheads the kitchen is classically trained, from the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu, her training is evident with the dishes they serve in the restaurant mostly classic dishes prepared well and with gusto. The place serves fine food without being snooty and the hefty price tag and couple that with a laid back, fun place you’re in for a nice dining and drinking experience.
Surf and Turf Skewers of steak bite-sized pieces cooked nice medium rare yielding this tender meat along with shrimp pieces and a lovely cognac green peppercorn sauce. Laced in sauce, it gives it that nice depth of flavour – this is so simple but very good and tasty I wanted to eat it with rice or some starch / carb filler. Goes really well with the drinks that we got too.
These Croquettas are bit-sized pieces of joy – between the nice and crunchy crumb outer bits and the creamy mouth-feel with cheese, jamon and chives as stuffing served with a slightly spicy smoked paprika dip, it will leave you wanting for more.
For a more simple appetizer dish, you might want to try their Artichoke Spinach Dip on a creamy, gooey cheese base and served with these nice toasted pita triangles. It’s a good way to trick no veggie eaters into eating spinach and artichokes too as the cheese beautifully masks its flavour making it a nice treat.
Their Baked Oysters are good too – baked treats that’s topped with a mixture of spinach and this creamy, cheesy bed of hollandaise sauce and gruyere cheese. One bite / slurp treats that gives so much flavour.
I love Gnocchi! And their version is quite good too! Something about this pasta dish just screams homemade, comfort food goodness. Slightly chewy and soft potato gnocchi served in a bed of gorgonzola cheese sauce and then topped with crisped up pancetta pieces giving it that nice hint of crunch to the bite and a spike of savoury flavour as well.
Now this is one simple but very flavourful dish – Mussel Frites “Mariniere” of black chilean mussels, garlic-wine broth and some tarragon served with a side of homemade fries. The mussels and that flavourful broth gives this awesome savoury goodness with traces of garlic in the background – I would also eat this with some crusty bread, mopping every bit of the broth.
Whenever I see or try the dish Beef Bourguignon, it reminds me of one of my favourite movies, Julie and Julia. This tender and flavourful meat dish is a bit tedious to make but it’s all worth it. US Angus beef marinated in red wine and cognac, lardons that’s crispy bacon-like pieces giving you a nice crisp to the bite and some savoury flavour and then you hit those slightly sweet little glazed onions – LOVELY!
It’s no secret that I’m partial to anything with salmon, I just love its flaky and fatty goodness. Their Pan Seared Salmon is served on a bed of creamy mashed potato and a nice buttery dill beurre blanc sauce with the gorgeous piece of salmon fillet served skin side up and that layer of crispiness in contrast to the tender and flaky consistency of the fish. Good stuff.
A classic french dish, Coq Au Vin of marinated chicken quarters in red wine sauce giving it much flavour and then you hit the lardons of crispy savoury pork pieces, pearl onions and carrot puree. The dish was nice and flavourful with a rich red wine sauce that adheres to every piece of the tender chicken meat. Good!
Chef’s Burger of wagyu beef burger patty, caramelized onions, blue cheese, and smokey bacon pieces and a layer of BBQ sauce. It’s a well made burger everything from the quality of the meat, to the doneness as it’s cooked medium rare with a pink center so the meat remains tender and juicy. And then you hit the bacon pieces and the thin layer of BBQ sauce.
Burgers and beer is a match made in foodie heaven and they serve a number of good local and foreign craft beers here. We tried the Katipunan, Dumaguete and People Power Pale Ale, all were quite good and paired well with the other dishes that we tried.
But really the piece de resistance, the highlight of our meal at Alchemy is their Slow-Braised Lamb Shank. Definitely a must-try dish when you dine there, starts with a gorgeous piece of New Zealand Lamb Shank cooked low and slow (chef shares it takes up to about 12 hours for this dish) with the meat so very tender it literally falls off the bone. It’s served with a Mediterranean couscous, sultanas, pine nuts, mint, carrots, and french beans.
I was definitely on a state of food coma having tried a lot of dishes from their menu, but we couldn’t pass on ordering desserts, sweet tooth treats to end the meal.
I love any dessert that has this warm and cold contrasting thing going on so this Warm Molten Chocolate Cake is a big hit for me. Soft, gooey and chocolaty Belgian chocolate center served with chantilly creamy a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Happiness in every bite!
For a lighter sweet tooth treat though, you should try their Creme Brulee made with classic French vanilla beans – creamy custard base with a nice caramelized topping of burnt / torched sugar pieces that cracks with a hit of a spoon. Good with a nice cup of coffee.
I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of food that we tried at Alchemy Bisto Bar in Poblacion, Makati. You get to try classic French dishes in a fun, laid back, and chill setting and without the hefty price tag. I’d love to go back and try the other dishes and more of that melt-in-your-mouth lamb shank.
Alchemy Bistro Bar
Polaris Corner Durban Street,
Poblacion, Makati City
(02)500-7398 / (+63)917 555-5641