Saturday, January 15, 2011
One of the most talked about restaurants in Perth at the moment has to be Greenhouse. A small, eco-friendly oasis designed by Joost Bakker, complete with a rooftop garden providing much of the produce for the kitchen and the bar. The exterior is covered in potted ivy and strawberry plants, and almost everything else, from the furniture, to the fittings, to some of the serving ware is made from recycled and reclaimed products. Check out the time lapse videos of how the restaurant was built, it’s absolutely brilliant and definitely a sight to behold on a bustling city street!
The amazing young chef, Matt Stone has a great vision to use the produce they grow to create beautiful, seasonal dishes. While this seems to be the flavour of the month in the food world (even though this is the way that people should be cooking and eating), I have yet to see anyone do it better than Greenhouse. It was a busy Friday lunch when we visited, I booked in this lunch a few months ago and the wait has felt particularly long!
The restaurant itself is a beautiful space – simplistic, rustic, but rather stunning with bottles hanging above the bar and a gorgeous mural painted on the wall.
I ordered a cocktail to start, a blend of gin, naked barley water, rosemary and strawberries. All of the barley-based drinks I’ve had in the past have had a lovely earthy sweetness that I was expecting to find in this drink, but it was completely overpowered by the gin. A little disappointed, unfortunately this drink wasn’t really my style.
The menu is full of great dishes, with a daily pizza, pasta and “bits and pieces” special to make the most of the great produce. I decided on the Spiced Lamb Kebab with Mohamarra served with flatbread on a little wooden board rather than a plate. It came out looking rather dangerous, I was a little scared I would impale myself on the metal skewer.
The lamb was deliciously tender, atop a delicious house made whole-wheat flatbread with a spicy capsicum dip, fresh parsley and mint. I really enjoyed this dish and I’m looking forward trying to recreate it at home!
Steve picked the pasta special, which was fettuccine (made in house of course) with salted snapper, tomato and saffron. It was a great combination of flavours in a beautiful dish, however I thought perhaps a little under-seasoned.
We also ordered a side of potato bravas, which were served in a flowerpot with the aioli served on an old jar lid. The potatoes were deliciously crispy and were also delicious dipped into the Mohamarra that came with my flatbread!
Of course we couldn’t leave without trying dessert! We shared the Valrhona chocolate parfait with hazelnut and vanilla bubbles. I’ve always been a bit wary of foams and such, because for me they don’t add all that much to a dessert but in this case it really worked. The parfait was rich and decadent with the various “crunchy bits” – honeycomb, hazelnuts and chocolate crumbs – to add a nice textural contrast.
I really enjoyed lunch at Greenhouse and I respect what the guys are doing. It’s very cool to see recycled objects in new ways – the door handles to the bathrooms are the tops of old gas bottles, there are car rear view mirrors in the men’s room. Seasonal produce driven cooking should be the norm, not just for restaurants but for home cooks as well. The food at Greenhouse is not fancy or pretentious; it’s accessible, honest, fresh and downright delicious.
Greenhouse – 100 St George’s Terrace, Perth (08) 9481 8333