Greenhouse by Joost! – 13 March 2011


Greenhouse by Joost was a special pop-up in Sydney, at the picturesque Circular Quay, with a view of the Harbour Bridge, Opera House, as well as tall ships as they sailed past. It featured in MasterChef in a challenge of minimising waste, but I had first heard about it after Matt Stone featured on an episode of Iron Chef Australia. Being a zero waste program, I was very interested to see the philosophies transformed into a viable dining venture – this was the closest I was going to get, short of travelling to Perth and visiting the actual Greenhouse.

It was just a green rectangular pop up by the water’s edge, accompanied with a shed that was covered in a mural of orange butterflies. Close up, the green walls were made of countless strawberry plants in pots, some of them flowering happily in the sunshine. There were no lights on the inside, relying on natural light, and beeswax tealights after sunset.
Inside, the walls and ceilings were covered in block letters full of inspiring words of food and sustainability.

Table numbers were tied upon jars of basil, and the menu simply printed on paper. The tables themselves were wrapped in old posters that I recognised from my numerous trips around The Rocks.

The prices were a tad steep, but for the once-off experience, was worth it. Everything that came after was quite enlightening.

Sydney rock oysters with salt and lime. All the food came on simple wooden boards, and all the cutlery was wooden too. They were a tad fragile, my brother having snapped a fork, but other than that, it meant that it could be recycled.

A plate of prosciutto, rocket and bread. This prosciutto was lovely as it wasn’t overly salty. I totally wanted a second plate!

The lamb special with greek yoghurt was amazing, though coming in at $40 was steep when I hadn’t experienced the world of fancy restaurants – in those days, a main costing more than $25 was very expensive for me!

There was also a moment when a waiter came past and offered us additional bread, as they had made extra and needed to give it away. Score! We ate most of it, though couldn’t finish the rest as we were quite full.

It was very enjoyable, and it’s worth going to places like Greenhouse, Silo and Brothl to check out more of their work!