Greenhouse – 09 May 2014

After dreaming of visiting this place, I finally got the opportunity to see this magical, sustainable restaurant that Matt Stone is famous for. Seeing the permanent structure also made me appreciate just how much effort went into the Sydney popup: no lights so everything was candle powered, all served on wooden plates, wooden cutlery, tables and chairs made from old posters that I remember seeing all over the city. Perth still needed lights to survive and metal cutlery for the food, but they had chairs made of old roadwork signs, all wooden things made from recycled wood, and the door handles made from old gigantic plastic things. I’m also fairly convinced that I saw an old shovel as the handle to the door to the stairs of the rooftop bar.

The pictures here are from two visits, a lunch and a breakfast.

Two pacific oysters au naturale. These ones had a decent sprinkling of salt and smelled of the sea.

My friend had their pasta. I generally am not impressed by pasta, so I don’t remember how this was.

I chose the kangaroo dish with celery, beetroot and native apples. I noticed the charred leek/onion that was sprinkled on this dish – it was the same as when he made it in Masterchef! This was lovely and I really appreciated the native ingredients.

During my attempt to go to Greenhouse for breakfast, and along the way, the weirdest thing happened. As I was GPSing along, this guy walking next to me came up and said, “if you follow the guy ahead, you’ll get to the right place.” This confused me to no end! How does a stranger approach someone and say follow the person in front? So I then said that I was actually looking for breakfast and wanted to go to Greenhouse. His then again puzzling reply was, “oh, you’re here for the convention?” Life is definitely stranger than fiction!  There was some “Imagination” breakfast function going on at Greenhouse that morning, and I had to explain that I was a tourist who had heard about the restaurant’s reputation and wanted to visit – and that it’s impossible to miss the building. Then lo and behold, we were magically there. Due to the fuction, I had to return in about an hour for it to be actually open.

A flat white using 5 Senses coffee beans. Not too bad, but nothing too standout.

Chai cured ocean trout, kale chips, beetroot, sour cream, 62 degree egg, potato hash with added avocado. This was such a good breakfast, and was more filling than it looked! It kept my appetite in check, which was great, since I usually get very hungry very quickly. A super scrumptious hipster dish! Yes, I just called it hipster.

The best bit about the whole experience though, was when I noticed a wall of scribble. And when I looked closer, it was messages from all different people who’d visited!

Apparently there was some sort of gathering of famous food people last year, and so here are an amazing number of signatures! Pete Evans, Maggie Beer, Luke Nguyen, Manu, Jill Dupleix, Terry Durack (I wish I recognised more signatures and names!)… and… JOCK. OMG, who could Jock be? Could it really be the Jock? So I asked one of the waitresses, who wasn’t sure so she asked someone else, saying “I think she’s a friend of his.” I did my best not to laugh out loud and explained that I’d come from Adelaide and that I loved Mr. Zonfrillo’s food and that he had a great restaurant. The other waiter knew about this and said that they’d all come for a convention of sorts, and that Orana was Matt Stone’s favourite restaurant in Australia. Not sure if he was just saying that or whether it’s actually true, but definitely a wonderful tidbit of information that I loved!

For me, this was the pinnacle of my experience in Perth – much moreso than even Rockpool Bar & Grill. This is why you come to Perth, to see a wonderfully unique restaurant being so successful in what they do.