Choosing where to go for birthday lunch is a pretty big decision for me, but this year it was pretty simple. We'd been to Alchemilla in December and I was totally blown away by the food, so we booked for lunch on my birthday.
Side note: a review in the press suggested this place is booked out months in advance – it wasn't in December and we also got a booking without any issues in February. I just wanted to mention that as it initially put me off phoning to enquire about a same-day booking in case that was true!
Alchemilla is a new addition to Finnieston and the chef (Rosie Healy) formerly worked at Ottolenghi. It's owned by the same folk who have Tabac in town and Chinaski's in Charing Cross. It's very relaxed with incredibly tasty food, so here's what we had.
This was our first dish and it's a real show stopper if you can appreciate the simplicity of the ingredients. The light sprinkle of dill and fennel were just perfect and the whole dish had a real zing to it. Even the cucumber was delicious and I loathe cucumber.
What a beauty! Seriously, this is probably one of the prettiest plates of food I've ever seen, and I'm glad to say it wasn't just about the looks – it tasted totally lush, too. I liked the different textures throughout and the beetroot was served with quite a bit of crunch which I loved. Again, a really nice combination of flavours with delicious herbs and seasoning.
I wasn't sure what to expect from this dish but I was delighted with it. The pheasant had a nice crunchy skin but the meat was incredibly tender, which contrasted really well against the crunchy radicchio. There was a good amount of pomegranate too – it can sometimes be used in absolute bucketloads and overwhelms dishes. Not in this case, it was just the right amount.
We'd had this dish on our first visit and since then, I've been dreaming about the silky sheets of pasta which were just heaven. I have to concede that on this visit, they weren't quite the same as they had more bite to them but still, it is a luscious dish which I'll be ordering every time I visit for as long as it's on the menu! There's an umami flavour to the pork ragu which left me wanting more... so much so I was very close to ordering another plate of it rather than dessert.
I decided getting another plate would be too much, so we shared a chocolate torte. I really enjoyed this dessert – the salt was a delicious contrast and overall it wasn't too rich or sweet.
I'm struggling to find fault with the place – I really love Alchemilla. The menu might be confusing to some as it's a variety of sized plates and portions, so the pricing reflects that. Our lunch for two came to £55 including soft drinks which I think is reasonable for Finnieston and the quality of food. The seating can be a little narrow and there are some stools upstairs which personally I don't love. Other than that, it's a lovely place with excellent food and is now firmly on my Glasgow-favourites list.
Note: I've not tested it out but I have been told that Alchemilla is a dog friendly restaurant which makes me incredibly happy!