Allegra Dining Waterloo[Invite] Making the move into the weekend brunch scene is Allegra Dining in Waterloo. Nestled on the border between Waterloo and Redfern, Allegra Dining promises a modern Australian bistro experience with a distinctive Italian streak to the food. Allegra’s food is contemporary, slick and there’s a melding of East, West and Italian.
Allegra sits amongst other dining destinations in its Dank Street Hub – Here also Kepos and Co and So9. Inside, a mixture of rustic and coolly contemporary furnishing adorn the interior of the venue; its shades of white and warm timber hues. It is an appealing space not unlike one you’ll see in Inside magazine. Allegra comes complete with an impressive looking wine display on their back wall. We’re here for brunch (a reduced a la carte menu – Saturday and Sunday, 12pm- 3pm)
Brunch kicks off with a wispy thin rice puff, topped with tangy mascarpone and garnished with salty, marinated salmon roe. Allegra’s potato crisp covered in a smooth whipped salt code spread is tasty, a mini rosti with a savoury bite. Both comes in at a wallet friendly $3 a pop.
A revelation, Allegra’s fish sandwich: an almost airy fillet of battered fish, with lettuce, cheese and slathered with a piquant, yoghurt tartare sauce with hints of yuzu. It’s a beautiful fish sandwich and the overall effect with the handcut fries is one of complete indulgence. There’s no frozen spuds here.
The pan fried ricotta gnocchi was another standout; beautifully pillowy gnocchis of potato and ricotta with just the right amount of chewiness contrasted with burnt but juicy eggplant and layered with buffalo mozzarella.
A sumptuous Rangers Valley beef flank adorns a lovely rich wild mushroom ragu, and laced with chunks of indulgent bone marrow. Nasturtiums adding an earthy, slightly peppery bite. The flank cooked medium. This is all all delicious. Paired wonderfully with our salad – a bite-sized take on a Caesar: quarter heads of baby cos, dressed with a creamy buttermilk dressing, prosciutto and bread crumbs.
Finishers: both savoury and sweet: a board of the daily cheese (Reypenaer), and an almighty slab of exquisite, fluffy tiramisu, topped with decadent Zokoko chocolate and a generous dusting of cocoa. Rich, but not too rich, this was definitely the highlight of the meal.
True to its namesake (allegra is Italian for cheerful) service was extremely attentive and polite. Handsomely decorated, conveniently located and reasonably priced, Allegra Dining has a great deal to offer. Brunch hours are on Sunday between 10am and 3pm, lunch is offered as a reduced a la carte dinner menu on Saturday and Sunday between 12pm and 3pm, and dinner hours are from Tuesday to Saturday from 6pm. The fish sandwich is essential.