Last week I was in Sydney to see Madama Butterfly at the Sydney Opera House; what a fabulous experience. I love opera and am a subscriber to the opera house so get to visit about four times a year to see operas of my choosing and Madama Butterfly was my third choice this year. It was wonderful and my friend Rosi and I really enjoyed the performance. It also gives me the opportunity of walking around Sydney’s beautiful harbour.
I had read about a totally plant-based restaurant in Sydney that had a vegan high tea, so booked in advance as it a popular place run by internationally renowned chef Matthew Kennedy. The restaurant Alibi opened in 2018 and is located on the first floor of the Ovolo Hotel at the pier at Woolloomooloo Bay.
The hotel has an industrial feel with open pipes and structures but the restaurant/bar still has a cozy feel with colourful velvet chairs and bright carpets and small lights lining the many artificial interior trees.
We arrived at 2pm and were shown to a booth already set with colourful cups and saucers and linen napkins and given the high tea menu. First thing I noticed was the metal owl looking down on us from the rafters as there are quite a few interesting items around the interior.
There are three options with the high tea; tea and coffee, free flowing rose wine or free flowing French champagne. We chose the tea option. My choice was ‘Refresh-A-Mint‘ which was a twist on traditional peppermint tea with an addition of pineapple; thirst quenching and lovely. Rosi chose the ‘Grey Rabbit‘ a fragrant earl grey tea with real bergamot as earl grey is definitely her favourite tea.
Our waiter gave us a quick run-down of the high tea and within a few minutes a fabulous mirror lined three layer stand arrived; two actually, one for me and one for Rosi!
The waitress then asked us if we wanted a thorough explanation of the delicacies or did we prefer to experience the tastes ourselves. We preferred her to explain each delicacy. She did a wonderful job and suggested which we should eat first. We followed her suggestion and started off with the peppermint gum pea tart topped with dark bitter chocolate. Wow…so delicious (I think this was our favourite dish of the day).
We then tried the pickled infused lemon myrtle cucumber with macadamia ricotta, beetroot and topped with orange segments. These tiny savoury treats were rather filling but of course we kept eating and tried the salt baked sweet potato with crispy salt bush, sunrise lime and then topped with vegan sour cream; all beautifully placed on a crossini.
Our next tasting was the compressed watermelon with vegan feta, native finger lime and lemon balm; lovely and refreshing and we ate this before moving onto the sweet dishes. We first tried the almond meal ‘scone’ with vegan cream; really nice but the base was a little too dense for me. The cream was delicious though!
Next we ate the wattle seed and almond tiramisu. Rosi loved this but I think I much preferred the hibiscus and raspberry pavlova with aqua faba meringue and cream. Wow!! I haven’t eaten a pavlova since becoming vegan so was incredibly happy this one was so delicious. Rosi then tried the passionfruit and butterscotch tart with poached pears – said it was nice but still the tiramisu was still her favourite. I decided to take my tart back to our apartment as by this stage I was really full.
And our final little delight was the plum Sacher chocolate cake, but unfortunately we were too full to eat this so the waiter kindly packaged this up for us to take away also. Maybe I should of started with this one as it really looked amazing.
Next time I visit Sydney, I intend to return to this fabulous restaurant/bar and enjoy a plant based meal as by all accounts the food is fabulous judging by the many five-star reviews.