Matthew Kenney's plant-based Alibi opens in Woolloomooloo

From left: Group executive chef Kasper Christensen with Matthew Kenney and Ovolo Woolloomooloo general manager David Sude.
From left: Group executive chef Kasper Christensen with Matthew Kenney and Ovolo Woolloomooloo general manager David Sude. Photo: Supplied

One of the world's leading plant-based chefs opens a Sydney venue tonight. Matthew Kenney's first port of culinary call will be his own take on the Harbour City's famed smashed avocado.

Alibi, the sparkling new bar-eatery inside the Ovolo Woolloomooloo, has a menu designed by the award-winning US chef, who dresses his smashed avo with preserved lemon, picholine olives and tomato, then tucks the ingredients up on sourdough toast.

Kenney, a one-time winner of Food and Wine magazine's best new chef award, has seen a smashed avo or two served up by expat Aussies near his flagship Plant Food + Wine restaurant, on hip Abbot Kinney Boulevard, at Venice Beach.

Tomato, basil, cashew pizza at Alibi.
Tomato, basil, cashew pizza at Alibi. Photo: Supplied

The chef, who operates a number of different concepts in the US – including a plant-based pizza restaurant – has aligned the Alibi menu more closely with his Venice restaurant.

The 60-seater is kicking off with a menu that includes kimchi dumplings with sesame and ginger foam, a fresh take on the simple Italian classic, Cacio e Pepe, reimagined with kelp noodles and crispy olives.

There's also a deconstructed tiramisu with frozen almond chantilly.

The interior of the venue.
The interior of the venue. Photo: Supplied

The clean interior design is backed up by a colourful cocktail list big on botanicals and fruit and veg. Beetroot beatbox combines dark rum, chocolate and freeze-dried beetroot with aquafaba and walnut oil.

The Escobar serves sloe gin with passionfruit, lemon, agave and smoked salt in a glass revolver.

Kenney, who is in Sydney for the opening, is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute and had a career-changing encounter with plant-based food that has seen him build a small empire of venues and be cited as a top influencer of US food trends.

A beetroot beatbox cocktail.
A beetroot beatbox cocktail. Photo: Supplied

In February he told Fairfax Media, "I remember getting dragged along to a vegan restaurant in New York, it was amazing experience. I really thought that this is the future of food."

Open Sat noon-midnight; Tue-Fri 6pm-12am.

6 Cowper Wharf Road, Woolloomooloo,