Phone: +919611981818, +918041414000
Address: The Chancery Pavilion, 135, Residency Road, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
Time: 11 am – 1 am
Meals for two: Rs. 2,000
Cuisines: Modern Indian
Facilities: Full Bar Available, Table booking recommended, Nightlife, Live Music, City View, Rooftop, Serves Cocktails, Sports TV, Valet Parking Available, Lunch Menu, Smoking Area, Table reservation required, Outdoor Seating, Desserts and Bakes
Alchemy: Chancery Pavilion, Residency Road, Bangalore: Decor
Alchemy is on the top floor of the Chancery Pavilion. It has an effortlessly stylish air about it, with muted tones and mellow lighting. There’s an al fresco deck and on pleasant Bengaluru evenings, this is where you should take a seat at the high tables. Adjacent is the hi-tech brewery supplying the craft beers that are on tap at Alchemy.
Alchemy: Chancery Pavilion, Residency Road, Bangalore: Food
If you’ve been following this column, you would know I’m not terribly taken with all the tweaking, twisting and modernizing that familiar favorites are being subjected to. Food must evolve and innovation is the way, but much of what I see being promoted as modern is merely superficial. The clever presentations do nothing for the palate and are no more than fleeting Instagram stories.
So, it was with some skepticism that I went to dinner at Alchemy, where the food was being described as ‘progressive’. I came away utterly impressed. Everything on the menu strikes a familiar note, but it’s also fresh and exciting, with an unusual combination of ingredients here, an ingenious twist to a traditional dish there.
The Saag Paneer Spanakopita was a delight – a smoked palak paneer filling enfolded in the lightest filo pastry. The accompanying herbed feta dip was redundant. The Chicken Sukka Bulgogi, which comes atop mini appams, sounded like a dish with an identity crisis. What it was was a perfectly made appam topped with chicken with a hint of Oriental spices. Then came a Chilli Chocolate Kebab and, you know what, it works. Again, because the core ingredient, the Seekh Kebab, was of the best quality and the ever so slightly sweet, dark chocolate drizzled over it adds an intriguing new note.
The mains were equally applause worthy. We had the Konkan Fish Fillet, on Quinoa Chitranna with a lemongrass coconut curry. It was a gorgeous pice of fish, beautifully marinated and cooked just right. I felt the curry would have been as good or even better without the lemongrass hit. My pick of the main course selection would be the Crispy Soft Shell Crab. The crab was all crunchy bits and sweet flesh and sat on a Goan-style coconut kokum curry that had a comforting homemade flavor to it. Also standing out on the menu is a Duck Kottu, a take on the popular kottu roti with pulled roast duck. I must also mention the breads here; the Jalapeno & Peas Kulcha and Sriracha Chicken Naan take the bread basket to another level.
For dessert it was a Mysore Pak Cheesecake, which was better than any version of this that I’ve had before, with bits of Mysore Pak in the cheesecake, a mascarpone espuma and crunchy, buttery corn chips. Then the liquid nitrogen canister came out and I thought ‘Uhoh. The Gondhoraj Lemon Mousse platter held squares of lemon sponge, blobs of lemon curd and a thin layer of crème anglaise. Out of the liquid nitrogen emerged a lemon mousse that had a thin shell that you shatter on your plate, revealing a luscious, creaminess within.
To drink, choose from the six house beers – and very good they are – and cocktails that take the classic route with some signatures such as the Indian Whisky Sour that has a hint of spice.
Alchemy: Chancery Pavilion, Residency Road, Bangalore: Service
There’s smiling, efficient service here and the bar staff, especially, do a great job.
Alchemy: Chancery Pavilion, Residency Road, Bangalore: Plus & Minus
The setting, the unique dishes and excellent drinks are reasons to go to Alchemy. There’s not much to fault here.