With lots of red velvet curtains, red roses, red dining table cloths and an attractive French lady who's d'un certain âge as the hostess/waitress, Les Alchimistes is very much a Parisian affair. It certainly has the ambiance of a 'date night' restaurant - somewhere that's special, intimate, above average in quality and price but not a snooty or stuffy sort of place.
The complementary starter of what I think was a creamy potted smoked fish very morish. It had finely diced scallions, lots of tender, chunky pieces of fish (which I suspect was hand-picked) and a pinch of paprika, which was smothered in a light but creamy mayo-based sauce. Yum.
I forget the name of the dish that the Lawyer ordered, but it was essentially steak and mash. For the price, we were expecting the steak to be a bit bigger/thicker. But it was tasty.
I opted for a light meal of a pumpkin and sweet potato soup with chestnuts. It was a lovely smooth soup and was just perfectly spiced. The soft but waxy chestnuts gave the soup substance. Twas very elegant.
Our mains also came with some bread.
We shared a creme brulee for dessert. This was nicely executed - a thin, crisp caramel crust, and smooth custard below, which was peppered with vanilla bean seeds.
Verdict: we liked it a lot
A very French affair. If you want something that's special and a bit different, this would be the place to go.
16 Rue Favart
Telephone: +33 1 42 96 69 86