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Vegan High Tea at Alibi

Home > Sydney > Cocktail Bars | Food and Wine | High Tea | Restaurants | Vegan
by Andrea Penze (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer, editor and content creator living in Sydney. Visit my personal blog
Published April 13th 2021
It's high time you tried a vegan high tea

"If you didn't tell me it was vegan – I wouldn't know."

High tea at Alibi, The Ovolo Hotel, Woolloomooloo, is an unrivalled affair. Available between 12pm-4pm, Saturday and Sunday and starting at $55, high tea here is value for money. The food is exquisite. And it's vegan. For those of you who just turned your noses up, keep reading - let me explain.

Alibi bar and kitchen, high tea, industrial-chic, urban, fairy tree, vegan dessert
Looking down the corridor from the bar to the restaurant

If the last time you ate plant-based substitutes was more than 3 years ago, I appreciate your apprehension. Vegan food, however, has transformed in recent years and no longer does it mean sludgy 'beef', plastic 'cheese' and sacrificing flavour.

high tea, vegan high tea, Sydney vegan, Sydney, vegan desserts, vegan chocolate, desserts, vegan food
High Tea at Alibi

My boyfriend loves meat and dairy. However, he has a girlfriend with a severe dairy allergy. If he wants to hang out with her, he must avoid eating dairy products too. So, together, we dine at various vegan restaurants where I can eat safely, sans an allergic reaction.

We both love flavoursome food; it takes more than meat and three-veg to excite us, and we are always on the hunt for vegan restaurants that deliver on flavour.

pink room, red room, velvet chairs, decadent, plush furnishings, industrial chic
Some of the rooms at Alibi Bar and Kitchen

This leads me to my opening statement, said by my boyfriend while we feasted upon decadent sweet and savoury vegan assortments at Alibi High Tea.

Alibi is proof that vegan dining doesn't have to sacrifice flavour. At the helm of this exceptional ship is food designer Matthew Kenney and head chef Jordan Brogan. They stretch food creativity beyond the limits of the layman's imagination.

purple room, bar, lounge, cocktails, drinks, alibi
The purple room in the bar area

The Alibi Bar and Kitchen is located inside the Ovolo Hotel at Woolloomooloo. While Alibi may not offer the unparalleled harbour views of its neighbouring restaurants, stepping inside is other-worldly.

Originally operating as a woolshed, the impressive 100-year-old historic finger wharf hotel has been uniquely transformed into an industrial-chic, uniquely stylish space.

A spectacular gold-tiled wall marks the entrance to Alibi Bar and Kitchen, which is housed under a front gable roof illuminated by small globes. Accessible via a grand, lit staircase, the entrance is bound to make an impression. NB: There is lift access behind the stairs too.

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The Grand Entrance to Alibi. Note: there is a lift behind the staircase

Giant LED trees are scattered around the restaurant, which is made up of rooms peeling off from the main walkway. These rooms are bright spaces comprised of various lounges and colour themes. Alibi Bar and Kitchen sits in the middle of the Ovolo Hotel, and through the semi-open ceilings and walls, you can admire the historical woolshed. There's a pool table and Packman, too! The front section of the restaurant makes up the bar area. There is a bar menu you may dine from.

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The Pink Room — just one of the many unique private spaces to dine

The restaurant is located at the back half of Alibi Bar and Kitchen's space, with dining tables and chairs. I have had high tea at Alibi twice and was once seated in the bar area, and most recently, the restaurant.

The ambience will vary slightly between the bar's rooms and restaurant, each special in its own way. If you have a preference, ask at the time of booking.

pool table, snooker, packman, red room, velvet chair, alibi, bar
The Pool Table in the Bar

High Tea at Alibi is as casual or formal as you want it to be. The main attraction here won't be you anyway, it will be the food and drinks.

Starting at $55 per person, including a glass of sparkling rosé, which can be substituted for a mocktail, all packages come with free-flowing tea and coffee for a 2-hour limit.

The tea list is extensive and consists of extravagant teas such as Lime Pie, a lime and coconut white tea, Ginger Snap with ginger, cinnamon and honeybush, and Dragonwell, a buttery pan-roasted green tea. You will also find classic flavours such as Earl Grey, Chai, and English Breakfast blends. There is also the highly Instagrammable yet average tasting Vivid Colour Changing Tea which changes from blue to purple with squeezed lemon.

vegan, high tea, sweet, savoury, food, alibi, bar, vegan restaurant
You might not be the attraction, but you can be the envy of your friends at Alibi's High Tea

Currently, at Alibi's high tea, you will be served four sweet and four savoury foods. I started with the pea and coriander tart with crumbled feta cheese*, pictured below, expecting it to be my least favourite of the selections. It was surprisingly delicious.

tart, savoury, high tea, vegan, alibi, woolloomooloo, vegan food
Pea and coriander tart with crumbed feta and the blueberry cashew meringue

The rest of the savoury selection includes a melt-in-your-mouth duck* pancake bagel with a cashew cream cheese* and corn custard* which my boyfriend loved, though it was my least favourite.

The sweet offerings include a strawberry tomato compote, which is a tantalising clash of sweet and savoury with hints of raspberry and basil cream, a mango cheesecake, and a blueberry cashew meringue.

ferrero rocher, vegan chocolate, vegan dessert, vegan food, vegan restaurant
The chocolate, hazelnut, praline sponge that tastes like a Ferrero Rocher

My favourite was the chocolate hazelnut praline sponge. I exclaimed with excitement upon eating it - describing it to my boyfriend as a Ferrero Rocher, which are the chocolates I miss most of all since developing an allergy. My boyfriend confirmed its likeness and described it as a dark chocolate version of a Ferrero.

vegan food, High Tea, tea, coffee, wine, mouth-watering, Alibi, Woolloomooloo
Sunlight streaming in at High Tea

Complemented by pots of Lime Pie and Breakfast Blend tea for me and a pot of Chai tea for my boyfriend, the whole dining experience was delectable. The food at Alibi is mouth-wateringly good and worth going back for again and again.

*These foods are vegan, despite their dairy sounding names.
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Why? For a decadent vegan high tea that will both satisfy and leave you wanting more.
When: Sat-Sun, 12pm-4pm
Phone: 61 2 9331 9088
Where: Alibi Ovolo, Woolloomooloo, 6 Cowper Wharf roadway, 2011
Cost: starting at $55 incl. sparkling rose and free flowing tea and coffee
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