In the Finneston corner of Argyle street, snug in between notable restaurants like Six by Nico, The Crabshack and the Gannet, you will find the bright, colourful and modern Alchemilla. Opened only a year and half ago, Alchemilla has certainly established itself as one of the places to visit when in Glasgow. Loved by critics and diners alike, it’s also already mentioned in the Michelin guide.
In it’s heart is chef Rosie Healey who trained with a new favourite chef of mine (and old favourite of many in the food industry and food lovers alike) Yotam Ottolenghi. Needles to say, that Chef Healey absolutely does him justice with her fantastic food offering at Alchemilla.
The food in Alchemilla is served in “small dishes” and it’s created to be shared. This is perfect as you and friends can order a fantastic variety of dishes to try. Most plates are priced at around £6 – £15 (the latter for meat/fish options) and are usually served beautifully and simple. In Alchemilla you’ll find a fantastic variety of fresh, seasonal vegetables and produce, as well as delicious seafood and meat options. Most dishes are cooked with a few ingredients, playing around with the flavours and highlighting the best of each main ingredient. Alchemilla shows us that there is no need to over complicate food, and that simple can be absolutely delicious.
A friend and I shared five dishes during our visit which was just spot on in terms of the amount of food we had. Saying that, though, it was incredibly hard to narrow down to just two dishes as everything on their daily-changed menu sounded absolutely delicious. I think I could have happily ordered everything on it. The menu is split into four parts: vegetables, fish & seafood, meat and desserts. We narrowed our choices down to two vegetable offerings, two fish and one meat.
The vegetables were two that I don’t particularly favour that much – the asparagus served with a sort of a pumpkin seed cream and brown butter, and a globe artichoke with an emulsified vinaigrette sauce. Both were incredibly delicious, though they are not vegetables I would usually eat. I was really glad to try them in Alchemilla because they were just stunningly prepared. I really enjoyed pulling out the arichoke’s leaves and smothering them in the creamy vinegraite and the crisp and tender texture of the asparagus.
To go with them, we also ordered two fish and one meat dish. We went for one of the specials on the board: pickled herring with pickled potatoes, carrots, onion and dill and a smoked haddock carpaccio with roast red peppers. As for the meat, we had the ongled steak with spinach and pickled clams. It is hard to describe just how well everything worked in each particular dish. The freshenss of the pickled vegetables against the salty pickled herring created both a beatuful taste and texture with every bite. The smoked haddock carpaccio was one of my favourite dishes of the night. I have never thought about pairing sweet roast red pepprs with a lightly smoked fish but it worked so well, flavours just bouncing off of each other. Finally the onglet steak, which was tender and soft paired with acidic clams. It was certainly an interesting flavour combination, not one you’d come cross very often.
This is preicsely what I loved about everything we ate in Alchemilla. The beautiful and sometimes unusual pairings of flavour combinations, served in a simple and relaxed dish. Allowing you to just appreciate the textures, flavours and ingredients dacing on your pallete. I cannot wait to go back to try and keeping trying all of what Alchemilla has to offer.
On a sepearte note, I really hope Rosie Healey releases a cookbook because I want to cook her food every. day.
Alchemilla is located on 1126 Argyle Street, Glasgow. You can find them on instagram: @thisisalchemilla. Our bill came to around £60, drinks included.