Alchemilla describes itself as ‘unique, imaginative, plant-based dining’; they are not a vegan restaurant, but their menu is centred around high quality plant-based food. Alchemilla showcases British fruit and vegetables, with the addition of other non-vegan ingredients to demonstrate the full spectrum of flavours and textures that plant-based food has to offer.
Alchemilla offers 5-, 7-, and 12-course tasting menus, with the option of wine pairings. Prices range from £50 for the 5 course tasting menu without pairings, to £135 for a 10-course meal with wine pairings. We decided to go for the 7-course tasting menu, without the wine pairings, which was the perfect amount. Each course is quite small, but with the complimentary addition of three pre-meal ‘snacks’, you will definitely not leave feeling hungry.
A highlight of my dining experience was the third course, simply called ‘aubergine, kimchi, peanut’. The umami aubergine worked perfectly with the sharp kimchi and the creamy peanut sauce, and was an absolute delight.
Another particular favourite was the ‘hen of the woods and black garlic’, which consisted of a meaty, savoury mushroom with a creamy rice milk-based sauce and lovage oil. The texture was incredible and the flavours worked so well together – I could have eaten three of these. It was also really nice to try black garlic for the first time, which gave the dish a really nice smoky sweetness.
I also loved one of the desserts, ‘blackberry, meringue, hazelnut’. I would never have put these ingredients together but they worked in complete harmony to create a beautiful end to the meal.
The service was just the right level of attentive, and its location at the top of Lenton is really convenient for students. The staff were really helpful, and answered all our questions or querieis in a really friendly manner. The atmosphere is serene and the décor is elegant, focusing on placing modern fixtures within a really interesting, older setting.
I think that Alchemilla would be great for a special birthday meal or a celebratory dinner after graduation, but is definitely not an everyday restaurant. They cater for meat-eaters, vegetarians and vegans, so there is really something for everyone. I would definitely go back, and really enjoyed the entire dining experience.
All images courtesy of Alex Bennett.