29 Jun Alibi
I am always searching for somewhere fun and up-market on Saturday date night; somewhere that serves great vegan dishes.
Imagine my delight when the Ovolo Woolloomooloo luxury hotel announced that its main restaurant, Alibi, is fully plant based.
Alibi is a fairytale space filled with pretty twinkling lights and decorative pieces. It feels childlike in a perfect world kind of way. The tables are intimate, and our seating for two had a mirror that reflected my partner, not me. Very cutely romantic.
International chef Mathew Kenney weaves his magic over the Alibi offerings ensuring that every dish is vegan yet tasty enough for non-vegans to be caught under the same spell. The best option, I think, is to let the kitchen decide the menu for you and order the degustation. This means a taste sensation through every one of the nine courses.
My favorite dish was the kimchi dumpling, a pretty perfect mouthful, the filling of red cabbage doesn’t taste at all like cabbage, just a yummy Asian inspired vegetable wrap enhanced with ginger foam. My husband was crazy for the steamed bun. The smoked king oyster mushroom wrapped inside the cashew hoisin inspires a deliciously meaty flavour that leaves you craving more.
If I had one (small) criticism, it would be that the cashew cheese and hummus dishes were served virtually at the same time. These are too texturally similar so serving another dish between them would have enhanced the individual flavors.
The delights of degustation are that you taste so many different offerings in one sitting. A raw lasagna isn’t something I would usually order but it’s another enchantment and I would happily order it again.
For dessert, try coconut cream pie? Amazing! And Tiramisu? Exceptional with its frozen creams and coffee sauce.
The thing to love about Alibi is that plant based is so very creative that you don’t have to be. I so often find myself in restaurants mixing and matching dishes to get an adequate vegan meal. At Alibi, all the hard work has been done already, so you just get to enjoy the magical reflection of a romantic night
Take home inspiration
- Asian spices beautifully enhance plant-based dishes.
- Dessert is a definite on the menu. Alibi offers four yummy options so that’s two more reasons to go back (the degustation serves only two).
- Vegan cheese is not an alternative: it’s a preference. We all want to learn how to make it but that’s another fairytale.
+61 2 9331 9088
Review by Catherine Carr