Friday, October 2, 2015

REVIEW | Alchemy Bistro Bar



Alchemy Bistro Bar

Address: Durban Makati, Metro Manila
Contact: (02) 500 7398


How To Reach

Take the MRT and get off at Buendia station
Walk out of the station and head towards McDonalds; there is a jeepney terminal en route to Washington
Ride the jeepney and get off at Makati Avenue (landmark should be the Petron Station)
Head towards Jupiter street and take the first left
Walk a few meters until you reach the 4th corner; Alchemy has a big sign and impossible to miss

Important:

Alchemy Salsa Social Nights happen every Wednesday at 10:30 pm, with DJ Mike and a mix of his repertoire which includes salsa, bachata and kizomba

The Interior & Design

Outside

From the outside, one is impressed with a black and white motif mixed with modern glass mirrors. While chairs and plants embellish the outside seating with a board that indicates the specials/highlights of the day. The glass entrance door is remarkably installed with a wooden handle bar. The mix of a traditional and modern interior in this bar certainly gives it a unique feel to it. But wait till you reach the inside because there is more.

The neighboring establishments are mostly Korean restaurants and 24-hour grocery stores.

Inside

As you step inside, the bar greets you as if inviting to have a drink and start the night right. The polite bar tenders and waitresses are attending to all your needs. Best part of it, is that these staff are always smiling.

So you walk to the bar and then it hits you- the gargoyles on the ceiling add that quintessential Baroque feeling to the place. As if you've just been transported to an old European abode; and what with the chandeliers that resembles a traditional candle chandeliers in a cavern fit for the round table of King Arthur and his knights.

The wooden dining tables and chairs are all so comfortable that it makes staying inside all the more pleasant dining experience. And because the lighting is just enough, it gives the atmosphere the extra romantic ambience to it.

And speaking of lighting, as soon as the Salsa hour hits the clock, the lighting effect becomes more lively and alive. It's like the lights are also dancing on the salsa rhythm.

Don't forget to check out the open air on the second floor. It's as equally delightful as the first floor!

The Dance Floor

Of all the salsa clubs in the Philippines, I dare say that Alchemy by far has the best polished wooden floor which is apt for dancing salsa. During the early hours, the tables and chairs occupy the floor. However, as soon as salsa takes over, the floor is cleared; tables and chairs are placed on the sides. This gives enough space for all the salseros.

The Music

A DJ plays latin dance music during salsa nights. He plays the songs from his laptop which is a mix of salsa, bachata, and kizomba. Because the songs are mixed by the DJ, expect some songs to be cut in the middle (as with my experience with the bachata tracks). I would say that salsa dominates the playlist, followed by kizomba and bachata.

The Cocktails

The bar has a reasonable list of cocktails & wines anyone can enjoy. For beer lovers, you shall find them a variety of beers.

They even have these local set of beers which are purely Filipino (check out the bar for some samples of these).

The Price

The price is reasonable which starts from 100 to 350 Php.

The Crowd

The crowd in Alchemy is a combination of middle to upper class folks, with a mix of foreigners (a lot of them Koreans since there are many Korean establishments around). The ages are from 30s and above.

During salsa nights, dance instructors are paying the club a visit and dances with the guests. There are also a group of social dancers from salsa organizations. The great thing about the place is that it is not very crowded and salsa dancers have enough space to dance on the floor.

There is also a more relaxed salsa atmosphere as people tend to enjoy more rather than compete with each other.

The salsa leaders are mostly experienced to professionals. With the exception of the trained salsa students from the Philippine Salsa School most followers are composed of beginners to intermediate dancers. 

Even the owner, Ms. Tina was hands on during the Wednesdays salsa night. She was very warm to all the guests and was making sure all are having a wonderful time. Ms. Tina definitely raised the bar higher in terms of hosting events like this.

But at the end of the day, the point of dancing is to enjoy- and at Alchemy, a salsero will definitely have a great time.





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