On the seventh floor of the fancy Stratford Hotel, Allegra is almost comically swish, with gently dimmed lighting, stone surfaces, funky plants and smooth jazz music.
Happily, the food is every bit as good. A savoury choux bun snack that came filled with chicken liver parfait was the first saliva-inducing hint of what was to come. Topped with crushed pistachios, it was creamy and rich, with citrussy preserved kumquat giving it a much-needed bite of acidity. Next up, an artichoke velouté was a good-looking bowl of pure comfort: smooth, velvety and moreish, with a pool of sharp quince to balance it all out. It also came with a sweet little fried brioche bun, topped with some shaved chestnut.
Mains were similarly strong. Poached Cornish brill, artfully wrapped in charred green leaves, fell apart at the prick of a fork. The wild venison loin, meanwhile, was sheer decadence on a plate. The tender, pink-middled slices came doused in meaty gravy, with pickled blackberries adding a lightness, while the accompanying celeriac was roasted and well seasoned. Desserts, too, were on-point: a highlight being the ginger cake, deconstructed and delightfully crumby, also with crunchy, caramelised pecans.
But there were a couple of low points, too. A cottage pie of braised venison shoulder, which came with the deer-themed main, was upsettingly salty; and a waiter tried to upsell us on the wine. On the whole though, service was top-notch: staff were friendly, explained all the dishes, and even poured all the posh sauces for us. Allegra is a seventh-floor wonder, one where you just have to embrace all of that fancy-pants glitz and glamour.