If you’ve never heard of Alchemilla don’t worry, you aren’t the only one. These guys opened just before Christmas with no fanfare, no social media buzz…in fact no social media presence at all. And if you were to walk by it you wouldn’t instantly know it was a restaurant – these guys are trying to fly under the radar which frankly makes the whole thing scream FINNIESTON!
A new trendy mysterious hidden restaurant you say????…..naturally my interest was piqued instantly!
So last Sunday evening MrG and myself headed down to this new Finnieston hotspot with our buddy Lisa to see what these guys are all about. And because the only online presence Alchemilla has is an instagram account, we had no clue what we were walking into but we were excited to find out what Alchemilla has to offer.
This place is everything you think a hip finnieston restaurant will be – large open kitchen, pine all over the place, lite mostly by candle light, retro school style wooden chairs, a bar along the kitchen area to sit at and eat….check check check – it’s all there and it’s all achingly cool
Staff wise they were fantastic – they were happy to talk us through the menu, advising how many plates we would probably want to order and recommending drinks. The food was well paced at coming out and each plate was described when it was placed on the table. Couldn’t fault the staff in the slightest
The food is very much in the style of Ox and Finch, with plates designed to share which are sized between a starter and a main. I would say the menu isn’t really massive with only 4 veg options, 3 fish options and 3 meat options – so if you have a table of 4/6 you might end up having to doubling up and order the same dish a couple of times.
Now for the food – we tried 7 dishes plus 2 desserts and each one was just FAB-U-LOUS! There were definitely a few standouts but each dish was just wonderful!
Roquefort Bruschetta, Quince & Watercress – I’m having a bit of a love affair at the moment with cheese so this tempting plate of food ticked all the boxes for me. The bruschetta was a lovely big thick slightly doughy slice of sourdough bread which had been lightly toasted, and topped with a whole field of watercress, a good amount of tangy smelly roquefort and chunks of fruity quince. Utter GFG bliss!
Parpadelle, Walnut Sauce & Parmesan – This dish probably wasn’t as exciting as the other dishes, it didn’t pack as big a flavour punch but that was why I quite like it. The large pieces of Parpadelle were obviously made fresh in house, the walnut sauce was subtle and gave the dish just a whiff of nutty flavour, and the very light sprinkling of parmesan just enhanced the nutty flavour of the dish and added the tiniest hint of texture. A delicious simple dish.
Squid, Chickpeas & Lemon – This dish is my kind of food heaven and was probably my favourite dish. I normally have squid as calamari and was unsure about having it nekid (without the batter) but when it arrived the plate was so pretty and the squid was so wonderfully tender that I scoffed this down in about 30 seconds flat. I wasn’t sure how the chickpeas would work with the light squid, but it went surprisingly well and obviously the lemon just makes squid sing. It was utterly gorgeous!
Sea Bream Ceviche, Coriander & Lime – When Lisa wanted to order this I kind of just went with it, but wasn’t mad keen on the sound of it. But Bloody Nora – it was like a full blown fiesta was partying on down on my taste buds. The Sea Bream was served in delicate thin slices and very obviously super fresh, and the coriander and lime were a great big flavour bitch slap in the face. It was a punchy bold flavour that genuinely had me moaning in sheer pleasure. Another simple dish with simple ingredients that just blew me away.
Ox Cheek Parpadelle – Okay so don’t laugh but this dish kind of reminded me of steak pie….I know it sounds silly but bear with me – the melt in the mouth shredded ox cheek came in a mega thick rich meaty gravy and then served with the fresh slightly spongy parpadelle it tasted a wee bit like the soggy bit of the underneath of pastry (i.e the best bit) And when I mentioned it to MrG he agreed, so I couldn’t have completely lost my mind. I really enjoyed this dish and would highly recommend it.
Lamb Chops, Pickled Red Cabbage & Buttermilk – Probably one of my least favourite dishes, not a bad dish just one that I was less excited about. The Lamb chop was cooked well, the pickled cabbage for me wasn’t pickled enough, I would have liked it to have a bigger pickled kick (that’s purely a personal thing tho) It also came served with charred mint leaves which I enjoyed with the lamb, and I’ll be honest the buttermilk wasn’t really doing anything for me. Still a nice dish, it just didn’t rate as highly on the foodgasmic scale as the other dishes.
Chicken, Jerusalem Artichokes & Shallots – This is probably one of the most delicious chicken dishes I have ever had. The chicken was so moist and juicy with perfectly crispy golden skin, and a strong fragrant rosemary taste. It was a cracking dish, but after the fish and pasta dishes I found myself a little bored by it. But that says more about the quality of the fish and pasta dishes than it does about this very delicious chicken dish which I would be more than happy to order and enjoy again.
Hazelnut Meringue, Lemon Curd & Cream – I think this dessert could best be described as tart…..very very very tart. The meringues texture was just a knockout – crisp and brittle on the outside and gooey and marshmallow like on the inside, with the occasional little slither of hazelnut dotted throughout. The Lemon curd tho was seriously tart, I liked it a lot but I think if you don’t like MEGA lemon flavour this is probably not the best dish for you.
Chocolate Torte, Salted Caramel & Creme Fraiche – Now this dish would make the angels sing and the gods weep! It was everything I love best in a dessert – crumbly biscuit base, dark smooth velvety chocolate filling, warm sweet salted caramel and a healthy dollop of light creme fraiche. To me this is a perfect dessert!
Pricewise our bill came to £129.30, with our food total coming to £97.20. I would say that the price is fine because the food was sublime but I couldn’t say it was great value for money, especially when compared to Ox and Finch whose food is of a similar quality but the plates are cheaper. However, I was 100% thrilled with my meal and happy to pay the price for the overall experience.
Alchemilla is outstanding – like really truly amazing. The vibe is cool, the staff are helpful and the food is sublime, this is an exciting new addition to the Glasgow food scene and is sure to be a bit hit for years to come.