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Greenhouse by Joost

March 28, 2011

Has there ever been a more photogenic restaurant? I can’t decide if it’s the crazy amazing location and its associated killer views, or the way that orange paint stands out like a beacon on a miserable grey day, but there’s something about the whole ridiculous building that makes me smile.

Greenhouse by Joost

Actually is it just me, or does the furry green verdure and orange highlights remind anyone else of Brobee from Yo Gabba Gabba.

Huh. I guess it’s just me.

Greenhouse by Joost was a pop-up restaurant project helmed by Dutch designer, Joost Bakker. I say ‘was’ because unfortunately the last day of the project was last Sunday, March 27th – though little birdies (aka. Time-Out magazine) tell me that there are plans to give the restaurant-bar a permanent home somewhere in Sydney.

Greenhouse by Joost

Made entirely from recycled or (at the very least) recyclable materials, Greenhouse by Joost is impressive proof of sustainable architecture. The menu consists of locally grown and sustainable produce, and is supplemented by herbs grown in a garden on the roof! Even the waste (which is composted on-site) is used to sustain the herb garden. THE CIRCLE OF LIFE!

Plus, check out the insulating hay bales in the building’s framework. Epic.

Plus plus. Did I mention the entire thing is covered in strawberry pot plants??

Greenhouse by Joost
if only they were big enough to eat!

People told me to be prepared to wait, and knowing it was the last day the project was running – I was prepared for an even longer queue than normal. But the rain-gods were kind, and the on-and-off drizzle kept crowds to a minimum, with a few groups ahead of us in the line bailing out once the rain started to get harder. In the end we waited about 25 minutes to get in – most of which I spent taking photos of baby strawberries, and puddles.

Greenhouse by Joost
lots of puddles

Greenhouse by Joost Greenhouse by Joost
The inside is as striking as the outside. Giant scrawled text adorns the walls and ceiling.

Greenhouse by Joost Greenhouse by Joost
… and I believe I mentioned killer views?

Greenhouse by Joost

Greenhouse by Joost
Cutlery is wooden… which gives me fond memories of the free hare-krishna lunches the COFA SA used to feed us. Ahh uni days. They’d run out of forks by the time we got there though haha.

Greenhouse by Joost Greenhouse by Joost
For drinks, I get a sangria, and my friends get the lemon cider! All served in jars, and sawn off beer bottles. (It makes me laugh to see the large cider sizes getting served in old longneck bottles. So hipster)

Now to the food. The lunch menu is a bit disappointingly reduced in options, and a little on the pricey side. But what we do order is incredibly fresh and tasty.

Greenhouse by Joost
Greenhouse by Joost
The pizza of the day, today it’s margherita, with tomato sugo and manchego cheese. The friendly server tells us that the flour was ground on site that morning – which definitely gives it a rustic texture.

Greenhouse by Joost
Next is wagyu beef gerello with a thai-style papaya salad. The beef – though flavoursome, is sadly a bit overcooked, but the salad is great – fresh, crunchy and tangy.

Greenhouse by Joost
and my favourite for taste and presentation – wood roasted baby carrots, beets and pistachio (though they must have run out of pistachio by the time we got there, I think we got peanuts on our serving)

With such a strong design ethos and architectural concept in the building itself, there’s a danger that the food takes second place. And in a certain way, it does.

Though the food served was wonderfully fresh and different, It’s not exactly anything we’d travel to eat again if it weren’t for the context of the place it was served in. But maybe all the good vibes I’m getting from sitting in Greenhouse are giving me a zen mindset, because I think that’s sort of ok – it works because the context gives the food more meaning. A place for everything, and everything in its place.

If and when Joost open a permanent location in Sydney, I’ll definitely go check it out.

(I just hope the servings are a little bigger next time.)

Greenhouse by Joost

Greenhouse by Joost pop-up restaurant-bar ran from Saturday 12 February to Sunday 27th March 2011. For more information about this and future Joost projects, check out their website: http://greenhousebyjoost.com/

Check out my other photos from Greenhouse on Flickr

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. March 29, 2011 8:11 am

    I tried to go here a few weeks ago and they were closed for a private function. Doh! I didn’t bother attempting another visit as I’d heard they’d be setting up a permanant venue somewhere…

  2. March 29, 2011 2:34 pm

    I tried to get here a couple of times to eat, but never made it in the end. Will be keen when they get their permanent Sydney home, but it seems they need to make the food as enthralling as the setting.

    • April 27, 2011 11:16 pm

      Yeah… I think the concept was probably stronger than the food… but understandably they are working to a very strict ethical guideline which limits the menu somewhat.

  3. April 6, 2011 12:33 pm

    awww i really wanted to visit Joost… looks like u two had fun :)

    • April 27, 2011 11:16 pm

      hopefully you can visit when they open a permanent location :)

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