We first came to hear about Joost (pronounced as “Yoast”) during season 3 of Masterchef (as you do), when the two teams had to cook using Greenhouse’s philosophy, sustainability.
Who is Joost? Well you can read his brief bio here. What I did find interesting, is that he is a fifth generation tulip farmer!!!
For 20 days (2nd March – 21st March 2012), the Greenhouse will be serving up breakfast, lunch and dinner with seasonal ingredients in a menu constructed by Executive Chef Matt Stone.
What is the Greenhouse?
It is aptly explained on their website, and I shan’t bother rewording it, as I think it’s perfect as it is.
“THE GREENHOUSE IS ABOUT DESIGNING AND OPERATING BETTER PLACES FOR PEOPLE. PLACES THAT LET US TOUCH NATURAL MATERIALS, UNDERSTAND WHERE EVERYDAY THINGS COME FROM AND TASTE FRESH FOOD STRAIGHT FROM THE GARDEN.”
This is really what it is all about.
What you see, touch and feel, is what you get.
From the moment you walk through the wooden panelled walls, you are greeted with sights and sounds from all directions, screaming one thing.
Most of their furniture is made from recycled materials. They have potted herb pots lining the external walls. Giant Basil plants grow in used wine casks and barrels.
Within the internal structure, logs of wood with mushrooms growing line the walls.
It is definitely a fun, quirky, hipster joint.
In terms of food, the menu is sharp, short and simple.
As we waited at the bar for our seats, we casually sipped on our house-made Ginger Ale and Lemonades, regaling in the hustle and bustle and movements in this busy restaurant and bar.
Once we were seated, our waitress informs us that there were some slight changes to the menu for the day. There were to be no desserts, pasta or pumpkin.
The former caused me to squeak in dismay, the latter, a mere “meh!”
We placed our order.
I ordered the Baby Squid, Fennel & Melon ($18.00).
I can’t say that I was charmed by the squid dish much at all. Sure the flavours were balanced and the melon was sweet. Perhaps, they were going with the trend of less is more. The, “Let’s not mess with nature and serve everything just as is”, philosophy.
The dish was tasty, but didn’t “wow” me. However, that being said, the squid was cooked just the way I liked it (not overcooked or rubbery) but still retaining the springy yet tender texture associated with squid.
As we waited, and waited for the Boy’s dish to arrive, we couldn’t help but think that perhaps we had been forgotten. It had been 30 minutes since we placed our order (I’m an impatient city girl :P).
However, right on the 35 minute mark, his dish arrived, Spiced Chicken, Quinoa, Yoghurt ($25.00).
Upon his first mouthful, all I could hear from him was, “mumble, Mmm, mumble, it was worth the wait, mumble, Mmmm”
After getting him to repeat that, I stole a mouthful of chicken.
And then another.
He was right. That chicken was beautifully cooked. Tender, smokey and char grilled to crispy perfection. It had a wonderful balance of taste and aroma, balanced by the hint of acidity from the yoghurt. The pickled citrus rind added a wonderful sweet-tangy sensation with each mouthful.
We had a winning dish. I picked the bones, and licked my fingers cleaned.
What can I say?
The food at Greenhouse was a mixed bag. The squid was good but not wow. The chicken was beyond wow and deserved a gold medal and a standing ovation.
Would I head back? I will try. The wait is long during peak times (average lunch hour wait on a weekday is 30-45 minutes for a table). I may head back on another weekend, but I’m hoping to get my hands on that chicken one more time!
*Disclaimer: All food ratings & review are purely based on my own experiences and how I feel about the service, food and quality at the time of visit
Food/ Cuisine: Modern Australian
Dining Style: Casual Dining
Overall Food Rating (Based on the Dining style): 7.5/10
Restaurant ambiance: 8/10
Service/ Attitude: 7.5/10
Value for money: 7/10
2 – 21 March 2012 (as part of the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival 2012)
Daily from 8:00am – 10:00pm
Southbank VIC 3006
How to get there:
I’m absolutely smitten by the concept of sustainability here! Fakegf has told me about this place and it looks like I’ll have to force time apart to visit here before they shut down. Love the exterior, all covered in herbs!
I dislike having to queue for my food, but this place looks cool!
this looks interesting, i remember the restaurant vaguely from masterchef last year..hmm waiting time of 30-45 mins? gosh thats long!
this place looks really awesome!
I saw this place on the news the other night, love the concept! Hope very much to get there myself but getting into the city on the weekend is not easy and a wait that long in my lunch break … not likely! 🙁
I went to the Greenhouse on the night it opened so only had finger food (which was all good) love the space and was interested to read what the actual menu was like. A shame they could not serve so much of it but sounds like the chicken was a winner!
AHHHHHHH…. I had no idea that this was the same Joost from Sydney (like the one we saw on MC)! NO DUH, Winston… Sometimes my brain doesn’t know when to function, I swear. Anyway this place looks too awesome to pass up! Really wished we could’ve gone on that lunch to try it out that day, aih! Seems like it’s getting some buzz as well so might try and duck in before the lunch rush. YUM =D
Ohh i remember seeing him on Masterchef!!! All the food and drinks looks amazing 🙂 Damn I miss out on this event as well >_<
Naww I went to go to Joost in Sydney and the day we decided to go, it was closed for a private function 🙁 gutted
I love the idea of the greenhouse but always seem to miss it when it comes up! Will have to visit. Love how the drinks are served, very cute 🙂
I want to stay in this kind of house I am sure its really nice to live here..Thanks for sharing this to us..
zing!! must go here, thanks for the tip 🙂
I remember watching that episode! Love their philosophy. Hope to squeeze in a visit while it’s around.
35 minutes is quite a long wait, but for delicious food I would wait.
Last time me and my friends visit Greenhouse and it was a great experience. We wait for a while but it is all worth it. The food is good and the place is comfortable. It is a good place for self recharge for another site visit.
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