Alchemy– the ancient science of transmuting ordinary items into objects of value, and an art that relied heavily on the principles of religion and magic. The name itself foretells the gastronomic experience awaiting guests at Alchemy Bistro Bar in Makati. The newly opened bistro bar is located in the busy streets a few blocks from Makati’s Central Business District, and a little off Makati Avenue which is equally populated with foreigners and tourists. Getting to the bar by foot from Makati Ave. made us appreciate the bar like an oasis in the desert. It stood out amidst the mundane, and became the most likely place to retreat to in the vicinity.
Stepping inside the bar provided another story altogether. The choice of design elements, such as statues of gargoyles overhead, provided a touch of mysticism to Alchemy. The well-stocked bars (one on each floor), provide a wide variety of potions and elixir, so choose your poison wisely.
If there’s one thing that does not necessarily hold true in comparing Alchemy Bistro Bar to the lost science of the 18th century, it’s that the gold in this place was made with ordinary materials. The ingredients are guaranteed to be of the highest quality, and the team takes pride in delivering a great meal and an equally great experience without having to cut corners. With the culinary prowess of Chef Tina Moscardon, and her extensive background in French cuisine, Alchemy’s menu included gourmet dishes that would take the definition of mouthwatering to the next level. The cheesy and tasty Baked Oysters and the Chef’s Pate offered a glimpse of the flavorful gastronomic adventure that was about to take place.
For the casual (aka non-fancy) diner, you can choose to enjoy a brick-oven prepared pizza with your choice of beer or alcoholic beverage. Their thin-crust pizza allowed for more flavor to be enjoyed. Our pizza picks included Prosciutto Crudo, Scandinavian, and the Alchemy Pizza. I originally picked the Prosciutto Crudo pizza, but eventually found myself leaning towards the bestselling and flagship variant, Alchemy Pizza. What I especially liked about Alchemy is the arugula that balanced the flavor, and kind of wished there was more that came along with the pizza. I found the Prosciutto a bit too salty for my liking and had hoped that there was something to balance the overpowering saltiness of the prosciutto in the dish, too.
The melt-in-your-mouth goodness of the Slow-Braised Lamb Shank should be enough to convince anyone of the quality of the dishes at Alchemy. Slow-cooked for over forty hours, the thick chunk of lamb meat falling off the bones, mixed in with Mediterranean Couscous, Sultanas, nuts, and French Beans, made this the gold discovery for the night.
What makes Alchemy Bistro Bar different from the other bars in the vicinity, and from most bars for that matter, is the special care and attention they have given to the food. Normally overlooked by bar guests and diners and usually considered as a temporary fix for hangover hunger, or something to munch on while enjoying the drinks, bar food is almost never the star of the show, and many in the industry have come to accept that. However, the combination of a great roster of alcoholic beverage offerings with a well-thought of menu is game-changing. The geniuses behind Alchemy Bistro Bar has succeeded by creating a watering hole worth the visit for crazy partying or even a quiet night-out with your closest friends, even sans the alcohol. The experience of great food and great potions bringing people together is what makes Alchemy Bistro Bar the place to be, given any night of the week.-HANA