Tucked away in the heart of Brisbane CBD right on the Brisbane river is the quite wonderful Alchemy Restaurant and Bar. When you look at there website, they say this about themselves
Alchemy Restaurant and Bar is a unique Australian dining experience. Located in a stunning position on the Brisbane River, the venue has an atmosphere of relaxed elegance inspired by the exquisite cuisine and the spectacular views.
We didn’t know what we were expecting other than it would be an afternoon filled with yummy desserts. So let’s get started by telling you about this incredibly unique restaurant.
As mentioned, you are n the heart of the Brisbane CBD, and with this means limited on-street parking and over the top multi-story car park costs. We looked before visiting, and we found parking that was going to cost us like $35 plus for a couple of hours (cheaper if brought online mind).
Unfortunately, unless you are in the know, you could easily drive or walk past this little-hidden gem. Which would be a real shame, as you will see as you read further down this piece.
As you may or may not know, Tina and I are massive foodies. Especially the sweet kind generally reserved for the end of meals. Not this time though, we were about to take on some of the best puddings desserts that Brad Jolly and his team offer on a daily basis. We tucked into three off the a la carte menu and then finally one off the degustation menu. We will give you our take on each one below.
- Toasted Pavlova with Carpaccio of Pineapple, Fruit Salad and Mango Sorbet – $18
Well you are greeted with this mini tower of colour and texture, Tristan (our host for the afternoon) described the dessert to us, and we couldn’t help but take in all the colours and complexity of such a dessert. You have to try all the elements separately, then add them together bit by bit to see how this masterpiece was thought up, then put together so that everything harmonised on the same plate.
It’s not until your take the hat off (the meringue topping) you soon realise that chef must have blow torched the top as underneath was a soft gooey marshmallow like constancy that was divine. Those little drops of colour are not mentioned on the a la carte menu, but these intense bursts of flavour add yet another dimension to what was full of different textures.
- Dark Chocolate Marquise with Hazelnut Mousse, Frangelico Gel and Milk Chocolate Tuile – $18
Not only are we massive sweet foodies but the chocolate variety is up there with our first choices. When this popped over my shoulder, I was thinking there is going to be a fight at the dinner table to see who would eat the last bit. But of course, we are far too civilised to fight over a dessert right, hmmm hehe.
You want just to dive in and finish this off in 3 delicious mouthfuls, but to do so would be one of the biggest culinary sins (well not really, but anyway). What you are presented with is a delicious cake-like base that has the regular sugar replaced with icing sugar, this leaves it with a textured consistency unmatched by any other dessert we have tasted. On top of that, you have an incredibly smooth hazelnut mousse that I could have eaten a plate of just on its own. All this is topped with a rather delicate chocolate tuile and a couple of gold leaves which rounded off what was a beautiful aesthetic dessert.
- QLD Strawberries with Rum Soaked Savarin, Mascarpone Mousse and Pistachio Ice cream – $18
By this point, we had had an incredible fruity dessert followed by a chocolate lovers dream. With that came a fruity, nutty little number, Tina’s eyes lite up with the words “Rum soaked…” she loves Rum and a dessert soaked in it had her sold. As you tuck in you will notice that inside the rum soaked cake, are some delicious Queensland strawberries cut into ever so tiny pieces.
On top you have these little freeze dried Raspberries that just melt in your mouth. I had to take a second mouthful just to make sure i hadn’t missed any in the first one. Again like the first dessert you need to try all the elements on the plate before marrying them together. We found that although most of the elements tasted delicious together, when we put everything together on a spoon we lost the pistachio flavour. After some experimenting we came to the conclusion that it was the cream that was pushing out the pistachio in the ice cream.
oh, you cant forget the edible flowers at the top, it will go against everything you mum said as a child.
- Chocolate Wire with Mango Sorbet, Passion Fruit Curd, Melon and Chocolate Fondants
The final dessert, we didn’t know what was going to come out. Was it the famous macaroons that we had seen so much about or was it going to be something different. Oh, it indeed was. This is something that you do not see on the a la carte menu; you only see this on the degustation menu which per person will set you back $125 per person.
So upon looking at this dessert, you can tell that it has taken time to master, the techniques and elements on here are to be admired and envied.
So let’s deconstruct this final dessert, you had a chocolate wire. A chocolate wire? I can only imagine how chef Brad and his team manage to do this. You then have a mango three ways with a sorbet, sliced and drizzle. These all had there own flavour and texture in the mouth, and when you add that to some chocolate wire and chocolate fondants you have a taste I would never have thought about putting on a plate.
As with the other desserts before us, we certainly didn’t leave any left, as It was far too good to leave just the smallest morsel.
So all in all with the desserts we sampled we can only imagine that the entrees and the mains are just as exquisite in the presentation, flavour and execution. But hold on, after all this, we still had a liquid nitrogen experience to have. Neither of us had ever had such an experience, only seeing other chefs use this method on TV.
- Famous Liquid Nitrogen Sweet Gastronomic Nibbles To Finish Your Night – $9 each
As we made our way to the back of the restaurant, we were greeted by Brad Jolly, the executive chef of Alchemy Restaurant and Bar. This was a huge honour to see the man behind the menu we had sampled. We stood and chatted with him whilst he prepared some of the most obscure looking desserts i had witnessed. The first was a piece of honeycomb that when placed in your mouth instantly fused to your tongue, quickly followed by the vapours from the liquid nitrogen leaving you nose and mouth.
The second was a whisky sour type taste, mixed with Lime and Passion Fruit. Infused together in the guns and then pipe it out into the liquid nitrogen. This one only took a few seconds to form a structure that enables you to handle it. But oh my, once it pops you are left with this liquid flavour that is just completely alien to the tastebuds, but equally incredible.
The final one, well I certainly didn’t expect this to come out of chefs mouth. Bacon and Eggs! Excuse me, bacon and egg? They have created an egg and smoked bacon into an aerated foam. I didn’t think that the outcome was going to taste anything like it was described. What you do get is a subtle hint of smokey bacon with a more subtle hint of egg. I have to say chef nailed it with the balance, and something i can tell you would happily have again.
So there we have it, our couple of hours at the Alchemy Restaurant and Bar. I have to go back to what I said at the top about what Alchemy Restaurant and Bar say on their website. Alchemy Restaurant and Bar is a unique Australian dining experience. Located in a stunning position on the Brisbane River, the venue has an atmosphere of relaxed elegance inspired by the exquisite cuisine and the spectacular views.
I have to agree; this establishment offers exactly what they state on their website.
Finally, if you are live in Brisbane or are just passing through on your travels, you have to pop in. Say hello to Brad and sit back and enjoy a culinary masterclass in cooking.