Est Est Alea a local neighbourhood restaurant serving up an a la carte and tasting menu of diverse flavours.
Dario is a little bit of a “Rockstar Chef” with renowned Yum, Yum Nostalgia and more recently Cube Tasting Kitchen literally rocking the Joburg foodie scene with phenomenal flavour combinations and presentation almost to beautiful to eat. We all held our breathe as Cube served its final meal and waited in anticipation for the next chapter.
Little has changed at his new Parktown North Eatery, Est Est Alea - a trendy restaurant space with brilliant service backed up by a phenomenal kitchen team. Est Est Alea takes degustation to a new level with a 6 or 9 course food journey that is well worth the price tag - think pungent soups topped with cloudy potato foam, silky risottos with shaved truffles, confit duck with grapefruit and licorice and playful desserts which will make you think you might have fallen down the “rabbit hole”.
This restaurant is an absolute must for any self acclaimed foodie - and even more exciting is the very affordable and more’ish 2, 3 and 4 course lunch journeys which make this Rockstar Chef even more accessible - yes, the ambience is different but it is all about the food after all
Do yourself a favour and try Est Est Alea - you won’t be disappointed
I had heard a lot about this restaurant and was excited to give it a try. I do consider myself a bit of a foodie having eaten at some amazing restaurants in this country as well as abroad. Wth this in mind, and based on the price charged I did have high expectations. I had the full tasting menu, with my wife having the half. We also selected the wine pairing option.Without going into detail on every course, my summary is as follows:
The courses did not flow into each other
A few courses were so over seasoned, they were inedible
Food was clearly prepared hours in advance and merely re heated.
I believe this is a new menu as a colleague of mine was there the night before us and said he was very disappointed after having loved a previous visit with a different menu.
In summary, not a good experience for the price. I get the feeling they are trying to do too much, trying to be something they are not ready to be yet. Do less things better is my advice.
I was sadly disappointed by my visit this time. It was for lunch on a Saturday. I have been twice before, both previous occasions in the evening.
Lunch was disappointing because the food was just warm, not cold but not hot either. And the portions were tiny. I am used to the trend whereby fine food restaurants offer small portions, these were too small.
The service was excellent, the wine list exciting as was the menu.
I will try again for a dinner, perhaps this lunch was an 'off day'.
We were celebrating our 11 year anniversary and the staff and chefs made us feel incredibly special. Everyone was informed that it was our anniversary and we were given a special treat to end our meal. The previous year we had gone to another upmarket Johannesburg restaurant and although the food was excellent we just felt like a number in the restaurant. Est Est Alea made us feel like honoured guests. The food was excellent and the wines were delicious, different and excellently paired with the food. We will definitely be back.
Est Est Alea remains to me much the nicest of the Johannesburg restaurants.
Food remains a highlight and with the pork (however Dario cooks pork, it’s always magnificent) and duck dishes always a specific highlight. So much so that I was there for dinner twice last week!
The newly revamped premises are comfortable and relaxed and the service is prompt and attentive. Of interest is the wine cellar which is always filled with unusual wines at bargain prices - also they are all available per glass if you feel like trying three or four.
All in all, haven’t had a disappointing meal there and will be back in future.