Grace Dent ‘A restau­rant at the start of a long and im­por­tant jour­ney’

The Guardian - Feast - - Feast -

Al­most all new restau­rants claim to be a labour of love, hewn from an unswerv­ing chef’s blood, sweat and tears. Chefs are re­ally dra­matic peo­ple. How­ever, the open­ing of Al­chemilla in Not­ting­ham is a gar­gan­tuan feat by any mea­sure.

Al­chemilla lives be­low-ground in a crypt-like space, for­merly an aban­doned coach­ing house on the Derby Road. The premises sat unloved and fes­ter­ing for more than 100 years, full of rub­bish and rot. It was the sort of love­less hell por­tal over which Kevin from Grand De­signs might be­come quite an­i­mated. Es­pe­cially if chef Alex Bond had told him he planned to spend part of spring 2017 ren­o­vat­ing the place him­self.

But I rejoice in peo­ple who have this type of vi­sion. Be­cause now Al­chemilla is quite gor­geous. It’s a sort of House Stark Game of Thrones vault with a ca­pa­cious, open brushed alu­minium kitchen, serv­ing a veg-cen­tric menu, that’s not re­motely veg­e­tar­ian, sit­ting at least two miles out­side the main Lace Mar­ket area to which Not­ting­ham tourists gen­er­ally flock. The sheer chutz­pah of it all meant I felt warmly to Al­chemilla even be­fore I ate a bite.

Bond has worked pre­vi­ously in places such as 42 The Calls, Auberge Food

At­mos­phere ○

Ser­vice ○ 192 Derby Road, Not­ting­ham NG7, 0115 941 3515. Open lunch Wed-Sat, noon-1.30pm; din­ner Tues–Sat 7-9.30pm (6pm Fri & Sat). Set menus from £50 a head, plus drinks and ser­vice

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