Tucked away in the neighborhood of Poblacion, Alchemy Bistro Bar (Food + Potions) has been serving up straightforward European meals since last year. Surprisingly, it has an extensive menu of not only wines and beers but also food served in generous and satisfying portions.

This restaurant is an approachable spot that’s only a short walk from the hip Jupiter Street and is located quite in the heart of the developing foodie district in Makati. We visited Alchemy last Sunday and found that is a good option for a special date or a night out with your barkada.

Review of Alchemy Bistro Bar (Poblacion, Makati City)

Ambiance: ★★★★★

If you know the manga/anime series Fullmetal Alchemist or are familiar with the concept of alchemy, I’m sure you will love the consistent decorations and displays here at the Alchemy Bistro Bar. I didn’t have any idea until my boyfriend explained that “alchemy” is seemingly a magical process of transformation, creation, or transmutation of matter with the sequence of comprehension, deconstruction, and reconstruction.

Alchemy is associated with the medieval forerunner of chemistry, and this is why we saw test tubes and some lab objects that looked weird at first. As I began to slowly grasp its meaning, everything made perfect sense. The interpretation applied on the interior design was awesome.

Brick and purple-painted walls gave a beautiful sophisticated look throughout the area. On one side of the dining room, full-length windows provided warm and flattering natural light during daytime. On the opposite view, the bar full of wines, beers, and “potions” brought a fitting backdrop as the focal accent of the bistro.

Staying true to the venue’s theme, a picture of the transmutation circle, print of old books as wallpaper, gargoyles, and mannequins without heads were absolutely attention-grabbing elements that characterize the mystical practice of alchemy.

The open kitchen at the side gave a glimpse of some live action going on. It’s always nice to say a quick “hi” to the chef. 🙂

Lushly cushioned chairs were comfortable to sit on, and the rest of the furniture managed to project luxury without scaring away those who might just want a quick lunch or a glass of cocktail. Overall, Alchemy Bistro Bar looked like a great spot that’s chic enough for special occasions but also casual enough for a relaxed dinner with a friend.

At Alchemy Bistro Bar, there’s also an entertainment stage where music is played all night long. Genre of songs rotates nightly and everyone is welcome to dance to the beats.

The second floor showed a different side of the Alchemy Bistro Bar altogether. Bright color combinations and creative dining layouts made sure that there are enough yellow-brown clad seats to make guests feel like they got the best table in the house.

Service: ★★★★★

Personable and thorough, the staff toured us around and introduced dishes on the menu professionally. Her kind gesture definitely won plus points on customer service. Serving of the food and drinks was done well and in a timely manner. It was also a pleasant experience to meet and chat with the owner who also happens to be the main chef of the restaurant.

with Chef/Owner Tina Moscardon

Food: ★★★☆☆

For appetizer, we shared a platter of Baked Oysters (PhP 350, 6 pieces) which I thought were really good. Beneath its crisp, browned surface, a buttery filling of spinach, Hollandaise sauce, and Gruyère cheese offered a delightful contrast to the oyster’s briny and meaty taste and texture.

Baked in the shell, the oysters were fresh and properly salty. It’s one of those entrees that taste so good that it’s hard to imagine anything tasting better.

Next, we were served with the Slow-braised Lamb Shank (PhP 775), a house specialty that’s been marinated and slowly braised for 42 hours. Wow! The tenderness of this New Zealand lamb shank was incredible. It was fall-apart soft off the bone.

Mediterranean couscous, sultanas, pine nuts, mint, carrots, and French beans added a gently sweet spice with a surprising depth. The accompanying sauce also lifted the flavor that went well with the lamb shank. However, in the end, we still thought that the lamb tasted too “mild” or bland for our liking.

Also marinated and cooked for more than 36 hours, the glistening Roasted Organic Chicken (PhP 450) was nice but not so rich. With a tea-like aroma, the taste of rosemary was evident and the flavor clung to every bite. Paired with rice pilaf vegetables and chicken jus, this chicken dish was both earthy and succulent.

The Alchemy Pizza (PhP 450) consisted of ingredients having distinct flavors that sadly overpowered more than complemented the others. The result of putting speck, balsamic reduction, truffle oil, Scamorza cheese, and arugula could be a hit or a miss according to one’s tasting preference.

What’s nice though was that it didn’t skimp on any of the toppings. I just did not appreciate the strong and salty flavor profile of the cured ham. It was worth a try nonetheless.

For desserts, we had the Crème Brûlée (PhP 210), a classic made with Fresh vanilla beans, and the Warm Molten Chocolate Cake (PhP 240), a soft-centered Belgian chocolate cake with chantilly cream on the side. Not too sweet and not too heavy, these treats were enjoyable.

For the most part, I loved how the simple and subtle flavors of vanilla bean and burnt caramel were highlighted in the crème brûlée.

Alchemy Bistro Bar offers a super long list of drinks, but what took our interest were the mocktails. Served in a sexy slanted glass, the Cucumber Delight (PhP 210) tasted okay and quite natural. It was made with a healthy blend of fresh cucumber, mint, and lime.

Louie ordered the Thirst Quencher (PhP 210) that was made with pineapple, orange, and ginger ale. In fairness, there’s a good balance of citrus notes and spiciness of ginger. It’s a drink recommended for serious ginger ale fanatics.

Price for Value: ★★★☆☆

While decors and the theme may look bizarre, food and drinks at the Alchemy Bistro Bar (Food + Potions) in Makati are pretty decent and not the “experimental” type as I initially had in mind. This is a great place to explore when you feel like discovering French fare and more European-inspired dishes plus cool drinks to try out.

Price point is affordable and not alarmingly expensive. They even serve BUDGET LUNCH MEALS from Tuesday to Sunday, and this calls for a great deal for people who live or work nearby. Check out its Facebook page to know more of their promos and upcoming events.

4893 Durban Street corner Polaris Street, Brgy. Poblacion, Makati City
For inquiries, call 02 5007398 / +63 9175555641
Date Published: 09/10/2015
16 / 20 stars


Health and technology freak. Food and lifestyle blogger with a large appetite for food and travel.

36 Responses

  1. Mr_jeng

    Finally! I got in… !!! We should have went together roch!!! Euge, nines and I went and we were floored. we enjoyed the oysters… The lamb and a lot more!! I didn’t know that a place like that existed in that area. Bizzare design but good old fashion cooking …. Tina is just awesome … #busog much!!!

    • Rochkirstin Santos

      I thought the place was a bit hidden so it would be great for them to have more exposure through social media marketing. They deserve the attention. 🙂 We had a great time here. Oo nga sayang, we should have gone together haha. Yup, the owner was cool!

  2. Angie | Big Bear's Wife

    I’m Kind of jealous that I don’t live closer to Alchemy Bistro Bar! I am ridiculously in love with that gargoyle in the dining room! Also, I’d be all over that Lamb Shank! This place sounds and looks fantastic.

  3. rika

    Nice restaurant! I love the interior and the foods look delicious!. Wish I live close by, i would love to visit this place. I am a foodie, always try new foods and enjoy traveling. Thanks for sharing awesome review

    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Great interior+food is always something to write home about. The people here are nice and they keep the mood light and cheerful. Feel welcome to try new dishes and drinks here. Enjoy!

  4. Ourfamilyworld

    The bistro bar has a very nice ambiance. I am not familiar with the anime series, but my cousin is and I’m sure he will be so thrilled to see this. The food looks so delicious!

  5. Notorious Spinks

    This place looks amazing. We actually have an Alchemy here in Memphis Tn . I’m not sure if they’re the same brand or not. I love the modern and laid-back look the place gives off. Adding this to my wunderlist.

  6. tammileetips

    I love the décor of the restaurant it’s so much fun! It looks like a fun place to grab a bite to eat. The molten lava cake and crème brûlée look amazing, a total must have.

  7. Melissa

    Wow this looks like a beautiful place to visit and the food look amazing. I have never been to the area but I may make a trip now, wow this looks good! It’s so hard to find a good place to eat when traveling to a new area.

    • Rochkirstin Santos

      This neighborhood has a lot of restaurants so you might want to schedule a food trip with friends down in Poblacion in Makati. Alchemy Bistro Bar is a good choice for both day and night meals.

    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Alchemy Bistro Bar is still somewhat new. You can visit its Facebook page to see ongoing promotions that will give you more enticing reasons to have a meal here. 🙂

  8. Cara (@StylishGeek)

    Thanks for sharing your review and photographs of Alchemy Bistro Bar. That place looks so chic (love the library of books wallpaper!!!). I will have to visit that place some time when I visit Manila. Thanks for sharing!

    • Rochkirstin Santos

      You’re welcome! The interior design of the place was well thought out. It’s done creatively so you can have the pieces as great conversation starters before your orders arrive. 🙂

    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Take a better look at their menu and you’ll be surprised to find more items. I never thought that a bar like this would serve real food that’s actually edible and quite delicious.

  9. papaleng

    fascinated ako sa place’ interior. The dishes look fine specially that Roasted Organic Chicken. Cook and marinated for 36 hours, eh di labas na labas ang lasa. Yung Baked oyster carry ko rin.

    • Rochkirstin Santos

      I’m getting hungry just by looking at the pictures now especially since it’s lunch time! You’ll find them more impressive once you taste the food and the drinks. 🙂

    • Rochkirstin Santos

      I’m really not the best person to answer this. I guess it will be right to take the bgc bus (west) to ayala makati and then take a bus again to taft but alight at the rcbc building and then take a bus or jeep to makati avenue then walk.

  10. Yvonne

    Hi Roch
    Interesting to read your blog and review.
    I shall look forward to seeing the blog on Vietnam and Cambodia.
    Nice knowing you!


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