On gorgeous days such as today I find myself craving, fresh, light and simple foods much like the beautiful lunch we had at Greenhouse by Joost. Sadly Greenhouse by Joost has moved and is no longer situated on Campbells Cove against the backdrop of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. It was a pop-up restaurant within a shipping container which aims to create no waste. An interesting idea and a great concept – the chairs are made from aluminum irrigation pipes and leather off cuts, drinks are served in recycled jars and water in wine bottles, sustainable using fresh produce and waste is composted. Reflecting on the service we received at Quay also reminded me of the sincere apology we received when we dined at Greenhouse by Joost earlier in the year, which made a huge difference in our mood.
We find the huge orange building covered in greenery at 1030am and find that the restaurant is already a buzz with the lively chatter of customers. We’re promptly seated where we have a view of the Harbour Bridge and where we receive plenty of natural light. I especially loved the flower in the glass jars with our table number written on it. There are no menus when we arrive, however the walls are littered with words from the dinner menu. Our waitress kindly explains to us what’s on offer for breakfast this morning as all foods are made on the premises including breads. I choose the cinnamon donut and a cappuccino and Bill goes for the breakfast bar and a "jar" of freshly squeezed orange juice. Not long after our drinks arrive, however after 45 minutes our drinks were empty and we were still waiting for our food. We feel pretty guilty as we sat at our table for nearly an hour with no food on the table, while a line forms outside the restaurant in the rain as they huddle under their umbrellas. After an hour of waiting our waitress comes to our table, kneels down talking to us at eye level, sincerely apologised and explained our order got lost and never went through so she would try and get our food to us asap. It seems as thought we weren’t the only people who’s orders were forgotten as she starts to make the rounds around the restaurant – the table next to us chuck a tantrum, devour the food and leave. Finally our waitress brings out our food and offers me another cappuccino and advises that our breakfast this morning would be complimentary.
Since it was nearing the lunch service we ask the waitress if we could just stay for the lunch service and she was more than happy to accomodate for us and our lunch is served soon after we place our orders. I ordered the seared mullet where the skin was perfectly crisp and the flesh was soft and moist served with sweet, juicy tomatoes on a plank of wood. Bill went for a lighter lunch ordering the wood roasted baby carrots, beetroots and pistachios with some labne. The carrots and beetroots were caramelised bringing out the sweetness of the vegetables, while the labne gave it a touch of sourness and the pistachios added texture.
Normally we would have been pretty pissed that we had to wait an hour for breakfast to arrive, but for some strange reason we both felt pretty calm, content and at peace. I’m not sure whether that could be attributed to the positive concept that Greenhouse by Joost promotes or whether the simple and gorgeous dishes just made us super super happy. Nevertheless we had an enjoyable morning together. If only Greenhouse by Joost was a permanent addition to our harbour, it would be a great place to bring friends visiting from overseas and also bringing a positive awareness to the community.