Greenhouse by Joost
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.
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.
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??
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.
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.
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.
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 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/