Vegans, it's a great time to be in Sydney. In February, world-famous animal-free chef Matthew Kenney opened his first Australian restaurant in Woolloomooloo. And now, the city's own Alfie's Kitchen – creators of innovative, plant-based degustations – has announced that it's moving into permanent digs.
Before this, Alfie's shared its creations at secret warehouse feasts, held at various spots around Sydney. If you've ever attended one, then you'll know that head chef and co-owner Joey Astorga creates original, beautifully-plated dishes, often featuring native ingredients. Examples include paperbark smoked leek with finger lime and kipfler potato; hazelnut pâté with salted plum, roasted beetroot and toasted wattle seed; and rhubarb and lemon myrtle mousse with frozen strawberries.
Both these – and numerous other delights – will be on the menu at Alfie's new home, Paperbark. A collaboration with Sydney's plant-based fast food joint Verd, the restaurant is moving into the Casba complex on Danks Street in Waterloo, where you'll also find Kepos & Co. and Allegra Dining. At dinner, choose between a la carte and tasting menus. Or, if you're peckish, go for bar snacks, such as salt, vinegar and pepperberry potato churros.
When the weekend rolls around, brunch will be on offer. Astorga is planning some fun takes on classics. Think smashed avo, soldiers and toasties, but with unusual ingredients, such as finger lime and marinated oyster mushrooms.
The drinks list is big on small-batch, minimal-intervention Australian drops. "The wine list reflects what we drink, small producers who care about every aspect of what they do," said Alfie's co-owner Hellene Algie. "We want to highlight the great minimal-intervention wines being made around the country." There's also a bunch of local craft beers and a signature cocktail menu made up of botanical-infused concoctions.
Paperbark will open on Wednesday, June 20 at Casba, 8-18 Danks Street, Waterloo.