Where was I this week?
I was at Greenhouse – an eco-friendly pop up restaurant installed by Joost and his amazing team.
Who is Joost?
Well I’m glad you asked. With Dutch heritage, Joost (pronounced Yoast) Bakker creates restaurants (some temporary, some permanent) in which people can experience first-hand his vision for sustainable living practices. From growing food onsite, to vertical gardens, to using items that other people throw away, Joost has sucessfully built a framework from which he can inspire the wider population to move towards greener living practices.
So what does this mean for us?
It means we get to touch, taste and smell our way through a very unique restaurant experience with a beautifully executed message about sustainability, low environmental impact and simply enjoying delicious food made from fresh ingredients. What struck me through my personal experience with Greenhouse was a wonderful feeling of country life coming to the city. You’ll see what I mean when you see the images that capture the Joost story.
Where is it?
Joost was approached by the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival to install a Greenhouse pop up restaurant on the banks of the Yarra River at Queensbridge Square at Southbank for the duration of the MFWF which runs March 2-21. If you’re in Melbourne, this is a very special experience and not to be missed.
There it is, that little brown building at the centre by the bridge.
Diners sit inside and out.
The orange building at a distance is in fact covered with a vertial garden of pot plants.
Recycled materials for the construction elements.
When I arrived Joost was busily assembling the table arrangements.
Coffee was served in a beautiful, lead-free-glazed ceramic pot…I mean, mug.
Service is up and running.
The chairs are super comfy.
They’re made from aluminium irrigation pipes and leather off-cuts from a Victorian tannery.
Each day grain is milled on site for bread, pizza bases, pastries etc.
The merchandising shop in one corner.
The online store is here.
The staff are very friendly and helpful, ready to answer any questions you have.
They clearly love working here.
The menu has been developed by the amazing Matt Stone.
All fresh ingredients, grown on site where possible…more on that later….
Licensed too – all on tap.
Jars for drinking – yes even Nanna’s old jam jars get a look in here!
Onions and carrots all ready to roll.
The dudes in the kitchen will ensure that your visit tastes great.
The distinctive ‘it’s all about the pot’ ceramic range.
An inviting display of colour and shape.
If only I could post a smell sample here!
Joost himself – this week he has been giving guided talks to school groups.
The children were fascinated and keen to learn.
The rooftop bar.
It gives spectacular views to the Melbourne skyline.
And it’s also home to the herbs …
… and the lemongrass …
… and the bees!
Get outta town bee hives at a restaurant?
Gentle, sleepy bees.
Glass bottles are melted and reformed flat to be used as plates.
The toilet area is a whole other discovery.
Urine-diverting toilets harvest the urine which is then used for fertilising mustard seed plants.
All this and more going on inside Greenhouse.
You’d be mad to walk by and not stop in to experience it first hand.
Brilliant stuff Joost!!!
My one suggestion for Greenhouse?
As a keen visitor I was hungry not only for the delicious food but also for facts. The back of the menu could feature say, top ten fascinating facts highlighting the key elements regarding the construction, the food, the toilets, the pottery plates, etc at Greenhouse.
Where is it again?
Greenhouse is located at Queensbridge Square at Southbank during the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, 2-21 March 2012. A permanent Greenhouse is installed in Perth. Last summer’s Sydney pop-up was a huge success…stay tuned for a Greenhouse near you.