Modern European excellence
Category : Restaurant
| Cuisine : Modern European
Address : 20 International Way, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, The City, London, E20 1FD, UNITED KINGDOM - Directions
Web : allegra-restaurant.com
Opening Times : Tues-Fri: 6pm-10.30pm, Sat: 12pm-3pm, 6pm-10.30pm, Sun: 12pm-4pm, Mon: Closed
Stratford isn't in our usual orbit but Allegra at The Stratford Hotel came highly recommend so we jumped on the train and headed into the far east for a late lunch. The restaurant is attached to a farm in Essex, just forty minutes away, and head chef Patrick Powell has drawn from its larders to create a menu that blends modern European influences with a laser-sharp focus on seasonality and fresh produce. We were very curious to ascertain whether the destination was worthy of the mileage.
Guests access Allegra through a lift on the expansive groundfloor lobby and are whisked up to the seventh floor, where hard work has been done to create a rarefied and relaxing seventh-floor eyrie. The entire room is a masterwork in light, natural materials. Guests walk beyond a long wraparound bar crafted from slate and marble, past brass screens and potted plants, into a quiet haven boasting circular tables and dark wooden chairs that could have been carved in Rivendell. It's all very relaxing.
We kicked off our meal with half a dozen excellent Achill Island oysters, complemented by a pickled seaweed mignonette. A starter of Jerusalem artichoke velouté with quince, chestnut and brioche was pure class, while a sourdough pain perdu with wild mushrooms confit egg and celeriac was rich as Croesus. Equally excellent mains included cod with crown prince pumpkin, shellfish sauce, shiitake and glazed pumpkin seeds was as easy on the eyes as it was on the palate, but hand cut pasta with venison ragu and smoked bone marrow stood out as the best dish of the day. We rounded it all off with a confit apple mille-feuille served with vanilla and salted caramel.
Allegra is an important restaurant, both for its utilisation of its own personal farm and its location in a previously uncharted neighbourhood for fine dining. It's already been championed across the culinary scene - we look forward to seeing if it turns into a popular destination for diners.