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Alio Restaurant, Surry Hills

September 19, 2011 7 comments

I haven’t purchased many deals online – I have read from fellow food bloggers and friends that it can be a bit of a hit and miss. However, when a dear friend, S, forwarded me a scoopon deal – $69 for a 3 hour cooking class and fine dining experience with Ashley Hughes, Head Chef of Alio Restaurant in Surry hills, we both couldn’t resist. We learnt how to make Pasta, Bread, Seasonal Sides and then sit down for a 3 course meal. I have wanted to try Alio so thought this would be a  ‘good’ insight on what the restaurant would be like.

Both S and I arrived at about 6 pm – I was starving already! We were greeted by Tracy, owner of the restaurant and taken to a room downstairs, where we met Chef Ashley Hughes. It’s a demonstration cooking class – learnt how to make focaccia, pasta dough and fresh stock!

Now I didn’t take a photo of the step by step process, but did get the secret recipe and ‘hoping’ to make it one day! Whilst Chef Ashley was cooking, we were presented with some mixed marinated organic olives, I love olives and these were just superb.


The soup – stracciatella – roman chicken broth with cheese ravioli. The soup was just delicate and simple but incredibly tasty and the perfectly cooked ravioli was a wonderful complement.


After about 1.5 hours of demonstration, we were all eagerly waiting to eat our meal. We started with the focaccia bread and I have to say, it is the BEST focaccia bread I have had in a long time – cooked with garlic and rosemary it was fluffy, tasty, and just simply irresistible! I think we were all fighting for every single last piece – yes, it was that good!


I love mushroom risotto, so was uber excited to try when I found Chef Ashley was making it. Porcini and field mushrooms – it was deliciously creamy and mushrooms – LOVE! It was hard not to have another serving or two.


The next pasta dish was supposed to be fettucini with mussels, but I am not a massive fan of mussels, and neither is my friend S, so asked if it can be omitted and Chef Ashley was more than happy to make us a separate one. Chef Ashley made the pasta, you can really tell the difference between fresh pasta and pre-packaged one and I have to admit, I am a HUGE fan of fresh pasta! Not sure if I can be bothered making it though – so much effort! (and I don’t have a pasta maker!)


The pasta was cooked to perfection, the tomato sauce excellent, I do prefer my pasta with a hint of chili to give it that extra kick, but this was just as good!

A simple salad – rocket, pear and feta – one of my favourites and so easy to make!


To end, tiramisu – served in chinese tea cups. I love tiramisu so this was a win-win for me. It was the perfect way to end a wonderful meal.


I have to say, I am definitely keen to try their other dishes – the braised coorong beef ribs with wet polenta or twice cooked pork belly with beetroot puree and mustard dressing has my name on it! It was an awesome experience, and a great insight to Alio Restaurant. No doubt both S and I will be back for dinner with our respective partners! I have to say, it was a pretty good deal from Scoopon!

GA’s rating: 7.5 / 10

Alio Restaurant

5 Baptist Street

Surry Hills 2010

Ph: +61 2 8394 9368

Alio on Urbanspoon