Alchemilla is a plant-based focused, fine-dining restaurant in Nottingham that’s headed up by chef Alex Bond. The converted Victorian coach house offers an impressive space where guests share in the buzz of the kitchen and their complete passion for food. The five, seven and 10 course tasting menus all have plant-based cooking as their focus, with meat dishes still appearing but taking more of a supporting role. Dishes such as: Enoki, duck liver, black garlic; Pineapple rib tomato, lovage, buttermilk; Pork jowl, kimchi, peanut; and Mackerel, chamomile, green strawberry.
Alex made the personal decision to only eat meat of which he knows its provenance, naturally this meant he started to cook more meat-free dishes. Alex says, “I love the diversity that vegetables offer. There’s much more choice and opportunity to build complexity of flavours, which is why I’ve chosen to focus on plant-based cooking. One of the best examples of what we do is taking something like a cauliflower, which everyone has overcooked, flavourless memories of, and creating a dish where the flavours of that vegetable are on another level, like; Cauliflower, Roasted yeast and Almond.
The tone is set as soon as diners arrive at Alchemilla; a living plant wall and an open brushed aluminium kitchen sit within the exposed brickwork of the original coach house arches. It’s the first thing guests see, and that invites diners to join the chefs in their experience of cooking, which is relaxed and fun with laughter often being heard. There’s also a Chef’s Table for eight, which is accessed through the kitchen. This space gives diners an even closer insight into the creation of dishes and the room’s feature bookcase with jars of foraged sweet woodruff and elderflower sit alongside Nordic cookery books and plants, hinting at some of the many inspiration sources behind Alex’s vision.
In July 2019, the restaurant will be opening a roof terrace designed by British artist Wolfgang Butress – best known for The Hive at Kew, London. Raised planting beds will form the structure for booth seating, creating a space that blurs the lines between growing space with social space. There’ll also be a greenhouse, for herbs and tray vegetables and a bar serving the restaurant’s specially created cocktails as well as the usual drinks list. The cocktails give guests a flavour of what happens in the kitchen, using some of the ingredients that appear on its menus, alongside both freshly foraged and preserved aromatics and plants.
Alex has been cooking for over 20 years, with a CV that includes 42 The Calls, Anthony’s, Restaurant Sat Bains, Auberge du Lac, Turners and The Wild Rabbit, where he worked during the week while running pop-up restaurants in Nottingham at the weekend to try an gain support in the city ahead of opening his own restaurant.
Alex was given the title of ‘Chef to Watch’ in the Waitrose Good Food Guide 2019. The guide described Alchemilla as: “one of our biggest (and best) surprises this year. It was the energy, confidence and passion coming from the kitchen that grabbed our attention, a first solo venture from a former Sat Bains chef. Alex Bond’s ambitious but unstuffy restaurant is a hive of activity that shifts the spotlight from meat to plant-based cooking. By using creative techniques to put something unique and delicious in front of diners, Alex shows a perfect understanding of the way we want to eat now.” Other accolades include runner up in the 2018 Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards ‘Chef to Watch’ category, and number 53 in the top 100 restaurants by Restaurant Magazine. Locally he also received Best Fine Dining restaurant for Alchemilla at The Nottinghamshire Food and Drink Awards 2018. Alchemilla was also awarded the Best New Restaurant by the Craft Guild of Chefs in the 26thAnnual Awards 2019.
Alchemilla is also available for private events and intimate weddings of up to 32 people.
Opening and Prices
Wednesday/Thursday 12-1.30 and 7-9:30
Friday/Saturday 12-1:30 and 6:00-9:30
Effective from 8thJanuary
5 courses £60 wine pairings £40
7 courses £70 wine pairings £50
10 courses £85 wine pairings £65
Kitchen Table £100 wine pairings £80