Boasting stunning views of the Story Bridge and Brisbane River and nestled at the back of the colloquially named "Hopoate Building," is Brad and Angelica Jolly's baby Alchemy Restaurant and Bar. Alchemy has a contemporary feel with warm chestnut wood tones, highlights in red and a charmingly dispersed polycarbonate pieces, which immediately sets you at ease. The staff are friendly and helpful but it didn't stop Stevenson commenting that our waiter bore a striking resemblance to the husky voiced radio announcer, Howell Granger from Black Books. This kept the gorgeous Kate and I amused all evening as he mimicked, "you look Fran-tastic."
Our adventure down the Alchemy culinary rabbit hole began with bread and an elegant quinelle of honeyed butter, while we mused over the menu. Choices, choices ... 'Rack of Lamb with Grilled Spring Onions, Braised Baby Gem and Salsa Verde,' 'Poached Ocean Trout with Green Olive Puree, Brioche Crumbes and Vanilla Veloute,' 'Five Spiced Duck Breast with Rhubarb Jelly, Roasted Root Vegetables and Madeira Jus.' I decided to take a bold step and select the latter. Duck isn't a bold culinary choice, I hear you scoff. Of course it isn't, I just have little faith in its preparation outside of a Chinese Barbecue Shop. I desperately wanted Alchemy to prove me wrong and they did! The duck was beautifully tender, lapping up the Madeira Jus, while the skin was well seasoned and gave a wonderful lift to the taste buds. It was a well put together dish but the only disappointment was the potatoes were under cooked. However my slight disappointment was quickly eased with dessert.
This gorgeous creature is a 'Soufflé of Caramelized Spiced Apple and Brown Butter and Raisin Ice Cream.' It came served in a small copper pot and was finished at the table with a quick intent of a spoon and a cascade of cream. I would be quite happy to have this Soufflé as my final meal on earth, so light with lovely nutty accents. So a night with great company, sensational food and gorgeous atmosphere creates a memorable Friday. Alchemy, you're amazing.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Address: 175 Eagle Street, Brisbane, QLD 4000.
Open: Monday - Friday. Lunch 12pm - 3pm. Dinner 6pm - 10pm. Saturday. Dinner 6pm until late.
Phone: (07) 3229 3175
Price: Entrees from $22. Mains: $38 - $47. Desserts: $8 - $17.