Alibi, Sydney’s newest cocktail bar and the first Australian hotel with a 100 per cent plant-based dining menu, opened last month at Ovolo Woolloomooloo.
Alibi is spearheaded by renowned US plant-based chef, restaurateur and global plant-based dining pioneer, Matthew Kenney. This is his first venture in Australia.
Ovolo Hotels founder and CEO Girish Jhunjhnuwala says, “We have listened to the market and know that healthy eating that doesn’t compromise on taste is a priority, so we made the decision to partner with Matthew to develop a new plant-based concept not yet seen in an Australian hotel.”
The Alibi menu has been devised to bring as much of Kenney’s food philosophy and style to the plate as possible. Trained at the French Culinary Institute, Kenney and his team use a combination of classical and innovative cooking techniques to give locally-sourced plant-based ingredients a creative makeover. Smoking, fermentation and molecular techniques all feature.
Alibi’s signature dishes include Kimchi Dumplings with Sesame and Ginger Foam, Heirloom Tomato and Zucchini Lasagna with Pistachio Pesto and a fun-take on the Roman classic pasta, Cacio e Pepe, with Kelp Noodles and Crispy Olives. Hibiscus Strawberry Cheesecake with Lime Curd, Vanilla Shortbread and a Sorrel Gel plus a deconstructed Tiramisu with Frozen Almond Chantilly rounds off the dessert menu.
The new menu, overseen by group executive chef, Kasper Christensen, ex-Noma Sydney, also extends to Ovolo Woolloomooloo’s breakfast, room service and conferencing offering, with a focus on, but not exclusively, plant food. Ovolo’s renowned free Happy Hour for guests continues and will feature a 100 per cent plant-based offering.
Kenney says, “The lifestyle is already here, the products are here, the quality of ingredients is incredible. Australia is the founder of avocado on toast – we have our own version of course.
“People should expect a beautiful, bright modern interior with lots of seating options plus a globally inspired menu that matches that – it’s so colourful and vibrant.
“I think some venues don’t have all the components – they might have great food but not atmosphere, for example. But I think Alibi has everything,” he said.
Ovolo Hotels Group Executive Chef, Kasper Christensen, who has Quay and Noma Sydney on his resume, will continue to develop the menu seasonally with Kenney.