Updated 13/9/19 with soft launch details
In a nutshell: Sky-high restaurant in Stratford for ex-Chiltern Firehouse head chef
Summing it all up: The former head chef of Chiltern Firehouse is moving up in the world, literally. He's opening this seventh-floor restaurant with sky garden in The Stratford in, yes, Stratford.
After many, many months of trying to wrangle some info about it, we can finally let you know the full deal about Allegra. And we have to say it really does sound like one of the year's biggest openings for London. In a nutshell, it's a seventh-floor destination restaurant at a new Stratford skyscraper. And if the destination makes you hesitate - remember how Tom Brown's Cornerstone over at nearby Hackney Wick turned into one of the hottest restaurants of last year. But the more we hear about it, the more we're desperate to check it out. Here's why you'll want to too:
Irish chef Patrick Powell arrives here after four years heading up the kitchen at Chiltern Firehouse, alongside Nuno Mendes. Before that, he worked with Anthony Demetre at Wild Honey and he learned his craft at Dublin’s Michelin-star L’Ecrivain. That puts him alongside other notable Irish chefs working in London like Picture's Colin Kelly and Anna Haugh who's about to open Myrtle. But this is Powell's first solo venture and you can be sure he's going to be aiming high.
The view AND the outside space
It's not just that Allegra's going to be up on the seventh floor (accessed by a private lift) with 360-degree views over London. After all, there are plenty of high rise restaurants in London. But not many of them have a huge outside terrace and herb garden. Come summer this will be a smashing place to sit out with dishes like heritage rib eye being served from an outdoor grill serving up - and protection from the elements being given by a "triple-height, cedar cantilevered roof". "We want people to be able to visit for a cocktail and stay long into the evening, looking out over the best views of London," says Patrick.
What self-respecting modern European restaurant in London doesn't have its own curing room? That's where they'll be making charcuterie to serve up at the bar alongside snacks, oysters and olives. And it doesn't stop there. They've also bought land at Full Circle Farm in Kent to ensure a direct link to much of the produce they'll use in the restaurant.
And the dishes, as you would certainly hope, sound lovely.
- Mackerel tartare, salted cucumber, buttermilk & apple
- Grilled asparagus with hand-picked crab, pistachio and ginger
- Smoked eel pie with parsley sauce
- Suckling pig with swede cake, peanut, mustard fruit & sage
- Pot roasted summer cabbage, with potato and baked cheese
- Baked apple mille feuille with Epping honey ice cream
If you need someone else to make decisions for you - opt for the eight-course tasting menu, featuring highlights from the kitchen.
The glass wine room
Sounding just like something a Bond villain would want - the restaurant's sommelier has the run of a glass-encased walk-in wine room, where you'll be encouraged to taste and choose your own wines. Oh, and the wine room's retractive glass walls will open out onto the terrace.
The man behind it all
Harry Handelsman is the man who took on the St Pancras building, turning it from derelict Spice Girls video location to glitzy hotel and apartment development. Oh and he also Chiltern Firehouse with Andre Balazs. The man has form for making areas of London super cool.
More about Allegra
Where is it? Olympic Park, 20-22 International Way, London E20 1GQ
When does it open? 26 September 2019
Soft launch info: 50% off the food bill from 11-25 September 2019. Book online.
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