The Alchemist has officially reopened its doors to show off its £550k refurbishment and its revamped menu.
The bar’s flagship site in Spinningfields has been part of Manchester’s bar scene since 2010, and is back open for business this week after its extensive makeover.
Guests are now greeted by a cosmic-inspired bar and restaurant space packed with dark black and grey walls, navy tiling, twinkling white lights and touches of brass.
The theatrical potions-inspired cocktails that The Alchemist became famed for remain in situ – expect plenty of bubbling, smoking concoctions with more than a few hidden tricks in the glass… colour-changing cocktail, anyone?
In fact, many of the drinks are so fanciful that they actually come with a safety warning (do not eat or handle the dry ice, please).
The food offering has been overhauled in a way that will delight plant-based diners, collaborating with Meatless Farm to create a menu that’s 44% vegan and 58% gluten free.
Dishes include plant-based, chicken-style bites in either a tangy Korean gochujang sauce, or salt and pepper, with a disarmingly convincing texture.
There’s also tofu ‘prawn’ toast, plant-based duck bao with miso mayo, and Meatless Farm beef-style burgers on the sustainability-focused menu.
Diners will find a strong Asian-fusion slant to the food here, including cheese and kimchi toasties, katsu curries, gyoza and curried fish.
The Alchemist is bringing its theatrical spin on hospitality to food now too, with mini sizzling yakitori grills delivered to tables loaded with barbecue chicken and sides.
The Asian inspiration carries through to desserts, in a crispy sweet bao stuffed with berries and miso caramel, and a yakitori caramelised pineapple.
Culinary director Seamus O’Donnell said: “We’ve really tuned into our guests and team members’ feedback and have worked our food offering to bring it even further in line with the sustainable efforts of the brand.
“We understand that many people have dietary requirements and are choosing a more Flexitarian lifestyle. Our menu is now sitting at 58% vegetarian and 44% plant based.
“Of course, theatre hasn’t been compromised with locally sourced seasonal fish from the coast of Scotland used in our electric-pink trout and the addition of our Yakitori grills, enhancing the magic at the table.
“We try to keep a sense of play at the forefront of our menus so doing that sustainably has been a great challenge and we’re proud to see it pay off.”
Featured image: The Manc Group
Unexpected Manchester city centre street named ‘one of the most polluted’ in the UK
A new fieldwork study has revealed the worst air polluted city centre streets in the UK, and a popular Manchester thoroughfare has been named one of the worst.
Except, it’s really not the street you’d expect it to be.
For some bizarre reason, despite the fact it’s a pedestrianised commercial shopping street in the heart of Manchester city centre, Market Street has been named one of the most polluted streets in the country.
Recordings were taken at high streets in the 25 largest towns and cities in the country over a two-week period, and the results found that 76% are exceeding the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) recommended annual level of air pollution, The Hoot reports.
The study enlisted a planning consultancy to collect samples using an air quality monitoring device at 11am on either a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday to ensure as much comparability as possible between the locations.
The study comes after a poll of 2,000 adults found that 36% have concerns over the health of the community due to air pollution, or the health of their family (26%) or themselves (25%).
Speaking on the shocking findings from the new study, Sam Clarke, who is the chief vehicle officer at the sustainable energy business, said: “With millions set to hit the high street this festive period, we wanted to look at the state of the nation’s air quality in the locations people will be doing most of their Christmas shopping.
“It’s shocking to see that so many were above the World Health Organisation’s annual recommendations for air pollution, and that one in 10 shoppers are even planning on foregoing the highstreets altogether due to air quality.”
20 streets in the UK were over the recommended World Health Organisation recommended levels of 5 µg/m3).
The Most-Polluted Streets in the UK
Stoke-On-Trent (Parliament Street) – 11.7
Newcastle (Northumberland Street) – 11.5
Leicester (Gallowtree Gate) – 11.2
Coventry (West Orchards Way) – 11.1
Hull (Jameston Street) – 10.7
Bradford (Broadway) – 10.6
Southampton (Above Bar Street) – 8.8
Nottingham (High Street) – 7.7
Luton (George Street) – 7.6
Manchester (Market Street) – 7.6
Northampton (Abington Street) – 7.3
Birmingham New Street – 7.3
Liverpool (Church Street) – 7.1
Derby (St Peter’s Street) – 6.9
London (Oxford Street) – 6.8
Sheffield (Fargate) – 6.3
Brighton (Western Road) – 5.6
Leeds (Briggate) – 5.3
Portsmouth (Commercial Road) – 5.1
“If we’re to reach the World Health Organisation’s annual target of 5 µg/m3 of PM2.5 in our air, collectively we need to change our behaviours,” Sam Clarke added.
“With vehicle emissions being a key contributor, anything we can do to travel more greenly, from walking more to cycling, and including electric vehicles, is a very valuable set forward to improve the air we breathe daily.”