It’s summer, it’s hot, OK, it was hot and now it’s just wet, and I had my usual 2 weeks off which for the most part was spent in the garden building decking.

But one day we did venture into Cardiff and decided to have lunch in the recently opened Alchemist.

The Alchemist is a restaurant and cocktail bar with it’s own take on things, you might be mistaken to think you stepped back in time and have entered some mad scientist’s workshop – the type that would have Robert Downey Jr as Sherlock Holmes solving clues and tracking him, only we got here first!

It may be obvious to those of you (well maybe the couple of you) that read this blog often that I like and appreciate good food, couple that with an establishment that does something different and it’s something to write about.

Luckily we went during the school holidays and this place was not full of screaming kids enjoying various weird and wonderful cocktails, although that might have been an interesting sight.

Let’s talk about Ben, well Benjamin to be precise but he signed the receipt Ben so we’ll stick with that, he was funny, he was entertaining, he helped make it an experience and the world needs more Ben.

One thing I did notice which I have never been asked before in any restaurant is if either of us have a food allergy, its a simple question but shows an understanding of how important this can be in some people’s lives.

But back to the food, the menu has a huge choice with plenty for both of us for many, many visits and maybe even some for some friends if we can ever find time to take them!

We started with something simple but always good, bread, its warm, its tasty and it has oil and balsamic to accompany it.

Tasty & warm dunking bread!

Now we could jump straight to the mains, but lets talk Cocktails – no, not for me, I was the designated driver so I opted for the mysterious and enjoyable cocktail of H2O or cold dinosaur wee if you think about the water cycle.

My wife however went for a cocktail called ‘The colour changing one’ which you could almost mistake for the title of a Friends episode where Chandler does something funny, Joey does something Joey, Ross gets angry, Rachel flirts, Monica mentions Richard and Pheobe has an eggplant.

The beginning, the glass, some ice and 2 vials of liquid……Sherlock would be proud
The colour change is complete, including dry ice special effects for that true Mad Scientist.

So that was the first cocktail she had as I was enjoying my diet drink – Yep, sugar free water…..

And now for some food

A very good Tandoori Seabass fillet for my wife and I went for the bread haddock sandwich with skin on skinny fries – gotta love skinny fries, they are skinny so you eat can twice as many!

So the food came and went (as good food normally does) and much discussion (about 5 seconds) of shall my wife have another cocktail or not, which of course ended up with a yes, so Ben (back in the story again) recommends the screwball, which is meant to taste just like the actual ice-cream and apparently it did!

My second cocktail was a flat white, that strange drink consisting of roasted and crushed beans with almost hot water pumped through it and topped with warmed cow juice.

All in all it was an awesome experience, everything from the mad scientist feel to the excellent service from Ben, in a non terminator way, we’ll be back…..