For the quality and craft exhibited in each dish at Alo’s you’d expect an ambience that was slightly more starched. But it’s cosy, welcoming. Working with a natural palette, with shades of wheat and wood, offset by sleek black details in the chairs and the overhead lights, the dining room has a warmth to it. And there’s an openness to the space – with the bustle of the chefs in the kitchen visible to the diners, with huge windows letting in natural light – that’s compelling.
From a seat in the dining room, guests at Alo’s can see suspended pots and pans, tubs of spices, huge tomes from venerable global restaurants – hello, El Bulli – and, of course, chefs bustling about over burners and chopping boards, and hovering over plates, making sure each is perfect before sending across the dividing line of the bar.
Dishes at Alo’s are created using classic and modern techniques and are indeed plated with precision, each one artfully arranged. There’s the seared asparagus, which is plated with a tremulous egg yolk and sprinkled with shards of bright green pistachios. And smoked deer with apple, sauerkraut, jalapeño and salt. Dishes bring together ingredients and flavours in interesting and, ultimately, delicious ways, like the sweetbreads, shrimp and pumpkin curry, and the dessert of chocolate with smoked beets and vanilla. It’s palate-pleasing, to say the least.