Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Greenhouse by Joost, Sydney
Greenhouse by Joost has turned up in Sydney with some heavyweight publicity.
No surprise – its attention-seeking cleverness justifies all the high-exposure coverage. This shipping-container-turned-pop-up-eco-cafe has inventively reworked everything from jam jars (as lighting and drinking glasses), and conveyor belts (as flooring) and its inspired sustainability has you continually playing a game of "guess-what-this-was-before"? (Before: table; after: toilet door.) It's "clad" in a vertical garden of potted strawberries and there's a big focus on composting waste, minimising water use and relying on recyclable materials (the staff uniforms are even sourced from op shops).
For a project that makes a high-profile deal about sustainability, it would be awesome if there was more than just one take-it-or-leave-it dinner option for vegetarians. And yes, that dish is only – heart sink – a salad. Luckily though, it is a pretty damn fine salad – carrots and beetroot, roasted-through and flavour-glazed, with some pistachio crunch and generous smears of goat's cheese for extra savoury flourish. (If only it could be upsized into a bigger portion!)
The dessert is a Watermelon Jelly with a bracing rose-berry yogurt (so bracing that you may be grateful for the naturally occurring sugars in the fruit).
Joost Bakker's pop-up cafe (headed by Perth's Greenhouse's acclaimed head chef Matt Stone, who can be seen working both the kitchen and floor in Sydney) is only around until the end of March. Make sure to check it out (especially as the rooftop bar will soon open) before it leaves for Milan.
Greenhouse By Joost, Campbells Cove, greenhousebyjoost.com