For our anniversary I like to take us to new restaurants. Lucy can be a little bit of a picky eater so it can be a bit of a chore finding somewhere where she will eat something on the menu!
I must admit, when we first arrived I was deflated. There was a little sign above a very small pub. Inside the pub there was a handwritten sign indicating the restaurant was upstairs. When we got upstairs the restaurant was totally empty of customers. In fact, it was empty of customers, except us, for the duration of our stay! The restaurant itself is pleasant, at first glance at least. When you looked closer there were cracked window panes, dead flies on the window sills and several of the dining chairs were in need of some serious TLC.
The waiter we had was very friendly and not overly attentive. We were offered drinks and bread when we arrived. They had two beers on offer; Doom Bar and Peroni. I had the Doom Bar and Lucy had the Peroni. This wasn’t a wine drinking evening. We didn’t want starters so we got stuck in with the mains.
I had a 10oz Ribeye (medium rare) with tobacco onions and cheesy mash and Lucy had a 10oz New York Strip (well done) which came with French fries. The steaks were delicious. Cooked exactly as we had ordered. The sides were ample, tasty and well seasoned.
We both fancied a dessert so were excited to see the sweets menu. Lucy went for Raspberry sorbet and I had Pecan Maple Tart with vanilla ice cream. The sorbet was really good; nice and fresh and sharp. The tart was okay. It tasted nice but it was greasy with butter and I couldn’t finish it.
When the bill came I knew it was going to be expensive. And honestly, I think it was overpriced. With the mains coming in at around £30 each adding on the drinks and desserts gave us a bill over £90. For 2 courses and a drink each I think it’s excessive for a venue such as this. The steaks are really good, but we won’t be back because it’s just too expensive.
After dinner we went off to The Alchemist on Bevis Marks, about a 5 minute walk from the restaurant. Immediately I could see that I would happily have spent my entire evening here instead. We walked in a saw a bartender expertly making 2 exotic and scientific cocktails. I later found out that they were Caramelised Rum Punch (the caramelise brown sugar and then throw the other ingredients in giving lots of sparks and flames) and Bubblebath (the concoction literally bubbled out of the glass; it was amazing). We had a quick look at the menu and I chose a Smokey Old Fashioned (described as Woodfood Reserve, Maple Syrup, Dilution, Jerry Thomas Bitters, Smoke) and Lucy had Peaches and Cream (Briottet Peach and Pink Grapefruit, Lemon, Prosecco, Fizz). Wow. This is a fantastic bar. The theatrics of the experience really make it.
We got a little peckish so ordered off the bar menu. Salt and Pepper Pork Cracklings. Very tasty and light but for the amount we got, we didn’t think it was worth the price.
We had a few more drinks between us before we left. A Barrel Aged Negroni (Tanqueray, Campari, Vermouth, Oak, Time), a Ballbreaker (Tanqueray, Briottet Pink Grapefruit, Lemon, Blackcurrant Ball to Break) and a Vesper Martini (Portobello Gin, Reyka, Lillet, Lemon Bitters, Dry/Delicious). The last one was particularly memorable as it was served in a hop flask which you get to keep!
I would tell you how they made some of these cocktails but I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise!
They also have a restaurant area at The Alchemist. It looks really nice and comfortable. I took a quick look at the menu and there’s plenty there to keep us interested too!
It was a good experience to celebrate the third anniversary of our wedding. The Alchemist is definitely on the list for another visit with so many crazy looking and sounding cocktails still to try. Missouri Angel certainly isn’t.