Allora is an Italian restuarant situated in Sandton. The location should have been hint number one that the food wouldn’t be great. I find restaurants in Sandton to be dismally average.
The decor was conceptualized around the idea of a traditional Italian village. It didn’t bear no resemblance to an Italian village in my mind with the mosaic giving it a tacky look.
I liked that there are different types of focaccias we could order for starters. We tried the garlic and butter (R28), fresh rosemary, basil, sage and coarse salt (R32), fior di latte mozarella, cherry tomato, basil and pesto (R83) and one with olives. The garlic focaccia was a hit because the butter combatted the dryness. The fior di latte option was expensive and bland.
I found that while the menu has a variety of meat, poultry, seafood, pasta and pizza dishes, nothing quite stands out as an appealing must try dish. I decided on the Ai Porcini pasta (R105), porcini mushrooms in secco wine and pesto tossed with rocket and rosa tomatoes. One look at the dish when it arrived and I knew it was going to be bad. I thought the dish was pesto based but the “pesto” was a few stems of greens shopped up. The mushrooms were bland and rubbery and the sauce was the water the mushrooms were cooked in. I took two bites and I couldn’t force myself to eat more. The dish went down as one of the worst dishes I have attempted to eat.
I tasted the Petti al Balsimico (R98), a grilled chicken breast drizzled with balsamic vinegar, mustard-seed and honey sauce. The chicken wasn’t so much drizzled as it was soaked in balsamic. A below average dish that had tough chicken pieces drowning in a sickly sweet sauce. The side portions of chips served were a stingy small size.
Those that ordered steaks enjoyed it – but people generally aren’t as fussy as I am when it comes to food. The pizzas looked oily and made of cheap cheese. If cooking a steak is the only dish you can do well then rather become a steakhouse. Steak dishes range in price from R121 -R159.
For dessert I had the lemon, mixed berry and mango sorbet (R44). They all tasted artificial with the berry and mango not even tasting like the flavours they represented. By the time I got my dessert it had already started to melt as the one waiter stood with desserts waiting for the other to finish serving coffee. I was irritated seeing my dessert melt before me so I took it before it was properly served only to have to wait for a spoon. One of the teaspoons still had leftover food stuck on it.
Allora definitely does not do well serving a large group of people. The problem was two waiters bringing out four meals on a little tray and only one waiter allowed to serve the food. The waiter hierarchy did not work for a table of 25 people. It created an awkward social experience of people having to wait to eat or start eating and be done before others have received their food. I had high hopes for Allora but it turned out to be a food disaster. I left hungry and disappointed and would not recommend it to anyone.
Ring: 011 784 2152
Hop: Corner Gwen Lane & Fredman Drive, Sandton