Excellent dining Down Under no longer is a prerogative of the fashionable suburbs of Sydney and Melbourne, and the recent opening of Allonda in Brisbane bears witness to this trend. The restaurant occupies a unit on the ground floor of a newly built apartment highrise in Newstead, a leafy neighbourhood alongside the Brisbane River, and seats a total of 90 guests. The dining establishment has been founded by Sebastiaan de Korte and Kevin Docherty, two hospitality entrepreneurs who’ve earned their spurs with Nota, a hailed wine bar and restaurant in the city’s Paddington neighbourhood. By the way, the restaurant’s name Allonda is derived from the Italian all’onda, literally ‘at the wave’, a culinary term used for cooking Venetian style risotto, and meaning that the finished product should ripple like the ocean current yet maintain its classically creamy consistency. But let’s go back to the understated design codes of Allonda‘s double-height space, shall we?
Created by local architecture and interior design practice Twohill & James, the chosen aesthetic makes use of the building’s concrete shell. The backdrop comprises pristine white lower wall sections while the upper half is covered in a highly textural acoustic-spray material that instantly conjures up a connection to the city’s nearby sandy beaches. And, as said, exposed concrete joins the palette, combined with sturdy metal beams, and all is paired with even more concrete as flooring, albeit in polished form. The main dining section, flooded by daylight thanks to large floor-to-ceiling windows, is flanked on one side by an elongated marble bar. A staircase leads up to the mezzanine’s private dining room and a self-contained, fully tiled-up bar. Additional seating is available outside in the laneway. Allonda offers a similar Modern European-style, designed-to-share menu as its sister establishment Nota.
Seasonal Australian produce will be highlighted in dishes such as Western Australian scampi with roasted tomato butter, a signature risotto all’onda, the venue’s namesake dish, pasta made fresh daily for Nonna’s secret recipe ragu, 800-gram black onyx rib eye on the bone from Rangers Valley, and for the more adventurous, fried black pudding with brown butter mayonnaise. The burrata menu will feature the oozy cheese matched with a variety of different flavour pairings and the seafood bar will be filled with premium raw options that have been sourced locally. Expert sommelier Yanika Sittisuntorn skilfully manages a constantly evolving 90-bottle wine list. She has an artful knack of choosing some less known varietals to take people outside their comfort zone whilst also ensuring they don’t feel intimidated during the process. The same goes with the cocktail menu designed by bar manager Ben Horswell which sees a mix between traditional concoctions and ones with adventurous Allonda flare.
Designed by Twohill & James
Images © Allonda