Ovolo’s Alibi lets the Canberra ‘Monster’ In…

Two hotels, two restaurants, two chefs, two cities and one menu. What could go wrong, right? Well our parents may have told us not to open the door to strangers or you’ll let the monsters in, but what happens when you not only let them in but say ‘hey’ take over our kitchen, bar and cook dinner for us and our friends?

We have a feeling this one could be fun – so its carrots at four paces as these cooks take up their legume swords in a plant based challenge as head chef Jordan Brogan of Alibi, Sydney and Executive Chef Daniel Flatt of Monster, Canberra get together for an eight course dual.

Alibi rocked the Sydney dining scene when Ovolo Woolloomooloo did something quite shocking – launch a new restaurant with no meat. Yep, zip, nada, zero. World renowned plant based chef Matthew Kenney collaborated with Ovolo and all of a sudden veggies got a little bit more unpredictable, wild and dangerously good.

Let’s take bread and butter. Sounds boring. Wrong. The ‘butter’ is made from almond milk and coconut oil. It arrives as a golden quenelle paired with edible flowers, nutritional yeast and sea salt. Its buttery, creamy and…it’s even better than butter. Dumplings of four green kimchi stuffed parcels topped with a ginger foam and charcoal bao buns are split and stuffed with cashew hoisin, pickled red cabbage and julienned carrots are good starting points.

Heirloom tomato and zucchini lasagna

The signature dish of lasagna is an architectural masterpiece of zucchini layers (the pasta), macadamia ricotta (the bechamel) filled with pistachio pesto and tomato marinara. Try the brussel sprouts, a bowl of crispy, tamari, maple carrot puree pop-able buttons and the oyster mushroom Mocequa, though we suggest you don’t pair this (as we did) with a Brazilian dining partner, who won’t appreciate the national fish stew dish being messed with!  Finish up with maple apple pie and ice cream. Dining under thousands of fairy lit trees in a Swedish style ‘no roof’ house, inside a hotel, inside an industrial finger wharf, there are so many artistic layers of creativity.

Apple maple pie with vanilla bean ice cream

So expect the unexpected, double down on your misconceptions and just let loose. Fling open the doors, windows, heck, rent out your spare room as Monster comes to town, with its own menu to add just another element of ‘cray’ to an already surprising experience.

Alibi’s letting Monster In on Thursday 2nd May

6pm sitting and 8.30pm sitting, contact reservations@alibibar.com.au

About the author

Karen’s corporate job back in the UK had included entertaining clients in some of the best restaurants. This ultimately sparked a curiosity 'Just how do they do that?' (she confesses she was brought up on meat and vegetables, so this was all very exciting). Currently a Mr & Mrs Smith 'Tastemaker', she’s flashpacked around the world, learning about wine, experiencing different cultures and cuisines and had a two- year love affair with it all. Originally from England, she finally settled in Australia and continues to be besotted by food, wine and travel preferring to focus on the luxury end of town (thread count does matter).