Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Silo by Joost

After the success of the no-waste pop-up restaurant at the 2012 Melbourne Food and Wine Festival,   Greenhouse by Joost, it seems like man responsible decided to open up a more permanent fixture. No bins can be found (no waste remember) and everything is has either been up-cycled, is recyclable or is to be consumed.

Tumblers made from Old Glass Bottles
The space is fairly small with half the space taken by the bar and the open kitchen. Diners cram into the remaining space although there are a couple of seats out the front on Hardware St.

Silo by Joost
Silo by Joost

There seem to be more staff bustling around this place than actually required, but it did mean we had very attentive service. The coffees we ordered were good, but that's nothing less than expected from a Melbourne cafe these days. I did like the up-cycled terracotta pots they came in though; dressed up enough to be classy, but still allowing some of their history to peek though.

Latte by Silo by Joost
The task of choosing food from the admitted limited menu was harder-than-expected. Consisting of only a few items including sandwiches, a salad and a soup of the day; we eventually went with the remaining two options. After a slightly longer than expected wait, our lunch finally arrived.

Leek, Egg Yolk, Seeds
The Leek, Egg Yolk, Seeds that I ordered consisted of exactly what its name suggests, with the addition of clover (?). I'm probably showing my ignorance, so if anyone can correct me, feel free to. In any case, the leeks were sautéed to bring out their natural sweetness, the egg yolks were poached till they were creamy parcels and the peptitas added a nice crunch. I do wonder what they did with the egg whites, but I assume they would have been reserved for another dish.

Sain's Rainfed Rice
I ordered the rainfed rice for my friend (he couldn't decide), and it turned out to be a pretty good decision. The rice had the texture of a smooth risotto, with an added silkiness as a result of the goat's cheese. The mushrooms (which I hope they foraged for) were a little lacking in flavour, but good nevertheless. It was all topped off by a generous serving of clovers (?) again.

It wasn't until we went to pay for our meals that we realised what a unique machine our coffees had come from. 

Coffee Machine at Silo by Joost
I love the look of this, although I'm not sure about the practical applications. I can't deny that it's partially responsible for making a good coffee though.

Overall, I enjoyed my experience at the very slightly pretentious cafe. The food was good, but the servings were small for the price paid. The atmosphere bustled with energy, and the staff were friendly. I'd come back here, but only if I knew that dinner wasn't too far away.

Silo by Joost
123 Hardware St, Melbourne
Mon-Sat 630am-330pm

Silo by Joost on Urbanspoon

12 comments:

  1. I recently blogged about Silo and I totally agree with you that the prices are quite steep for what you get to eat... But maybe the whole feel good inside and out with the knowledge of chipping a but for the environment will compensate it? I dunno...

    I checked out Their breakfast and the egg dish was quite good too. http://pigouttravels.wordpress.com/2012/07/22/silo-by-joost/

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    1. I think they definitely charge extra for the feel-good factor. Glad you enjoyed the breakfast fare - I'll have to check it out!

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  2. I need to check this place out for breakfast. I have no idea what those clover things are but yes, they DO look like actual clovers haha.

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  3. It looks like it's just vegetarian! Eepp but I shall brave the vegetables to sample this! The clover things look like a type of sorrel called oxalis to me! But I could be wrong :)

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    1. I suppose it's easier to have a sustainable restaurant when everything's vegetarian.

      And you could be right about the sorrel. Thanks :D

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  4. I loved my visit to Greenhouse when I was in Perth - may have been due to the awesome company I had but for sure the sustainability element is probably what you are putting you money towards. Yet to visit but clearly if they have made it down to Melb, it's time to go say hello ;)

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    1. Let me know how you find it. I certainly appreciated the experience, and if Greenhouse is back for 2013, I'm going!

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  5. I know what you mean about it being a bit pretentious but its good to see a cafe being so creative both in terms of food and the environment. Ps - that coffee machine not only looks good it is also apparently the most energy efficient coffee machine you can have.

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    1. I think I'm liking this place even more now. Thanks for the heads up on the coffee machine too.

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  6. Hi,
    I've eaten there four times in the last fortnight - I've tried:
    - the leeks and eggs (and clovers ;).. ***Yummy
    - the 4 grains ... ***Amazing and really filling
    - the special which was fresh fish and asparagus with wild flower spinach (so sweet - little yellow flowers that taste yum)...
    - one of the tasty sandwiches and the most divine muffin ***Wow
    I have to say I haven't once felt that it was overpriced - which I often feel in other cafes. I think the reason for that is I know the cost of eating locally sourced, organic, bio dynamic, eco food when I buy it myself ... so to get the amazing flavours, health benefits and be eating something tasty for the same $10 I'd spend on a meal in any other cafe that would likely contain ingredients that have been in contact with MSG, additives, chemicals, oils, trans-fats, pesticides and flavourings that I haven't the first clue where they came from is such a bargain to me.
    They don't always have meat dishes because part of their ethos is that everything they serve has to be organic, packaging free, locally sourced, bio dynamic where possible and a load of other amazing things but ask about the specials on Thurs or Fri and you're more likely to get a one off surprise dish.
    Needless to say I'm a huge fan :)

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    1. Wow! You've eaten there a lot (although I can understand why). You're likely right on the cost of good food - I've started buying some more earth-friendly food myself and don't care so much about the price anymore.

      I'll definitely head there Thurs/Fri next week. I'm interested to see what specials they have.

      Thanks for the very helpful comment :)

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