Doing it for the environment: Greenhouse, Perth

30 Apr

I’ve been meaning to go over to Perth for ages now, and several people ask me why. I have quite a few friends there, and as it was about 8 or so years since I’ve last been, I thought it’d be nice to do a visit, my way.

The Sister, who studied in Perth (and the reason why I visited at all those years back anyway), was thinking of returning for a visit herself, so we just ended up planning it together. A sisters’ get-away of sorts, over the Easter weekend. She being a big foodie too, is always out on the prowl for new eats. She researches and also keeps fairly up-to-date with the food news, like new popular restaurants. So naturally, she had a plan of attack, and led the way.

The Greenhouse

I came across Greenhouse in the Gourmet Traveller (March 2010) once before, but I never really managed to read up much about it till after my visit. As it turns out, Greenhouse on St Georges Terrace in the Perth CBD, is one with an interesting concept. It is not just about the emphasis on honest-to-goodness, tasty food, but also about understanding where it all comes from. This doesn’t apply only to their food, but to their space as well. Greenhouse was built using the Productive Building system by its designer, Joost Bakker, so as to ensure functionality and sustainability, with the consideration for aesthetics and cost. Greenhouse therefore is built with a combination of recycled and/or recyclable materials, grows some produce on the roof, fertilised by the products of processed organic waste, by means of a worm farm. Not exactly something I could tell just by looking from the front. Covered in green creepers, it catches attention as the only piece of actual nature in the concrete jungle. I was drawn in by the ambience. It was rather earthy and inviting with the raw, natural essence, yet done with a very modern feel. A wood-fired oven in the kitchen, stacks of freshly baked bread, a bar and espresso counter, a mix of higher benchtops and the usual dining tables. Modern cosiness.

L-R: True to the concept, a light designed out of steel coil wire; The nice little natural touch

The Sister was rather disappointed that the dish she had intended to order was no longer served on the breakfast menu, while I asked the waiter for his recommendation. Might not always be accurate, but there’s no knowing till you tried everything anyway. Besides great way to decide when you can’t make up your mind!

Crushed Peas and Basil, Poached Eggs and Toast

I went with the waiter’s suggestion, was rather happy with it. I couldnt really taste that much basil, but the freshness and sweetness of those peas were spectacular! I say so, because I don’t usually like peas. I usually only get them boiled up from the frozen veggie mixes, and they taste pretty horrid, but THIS.. The peas were large and cooked perfectly, crushed slightly to break them up and absorbed more seasonings. The colour was fantastic and just called out to me, “Eat me.. you know you want to… I will be unlike any other pea you’ve ever eaten..” And it truly was. Perfectly poached eggs, smooth and silky with a thick oozy yolk, spilling over the peas, the flavour combination and the crunch of toasted sourdough, was a good match. While I can’t say it blew me absolutely away, it was definitely the one dish I remembered that clearly for the whole trip.

Scrambled eggs on toast

This was an ENORMOUS amount of scrambled eggs! Even more than what I usually get served up at Bill’s. But, while it was tasty and not overdone (otherwise, BLASPHEMY!!!), it lacked the same creaminess as what you get at Bill’s. I find this really depends on personal preference, though, so you can take what you want away from it.

Clockwise from bottom-left: Pork sausage, sauteed wild mushrooms, wood-roasted tomatos

We got sides to just add a bit of variety. The sausage was not bad, but it had a really strong smell that I still do not prefer from sausages (as they seem to have, those I had here), the wild mushrooms were alright, but the roasted Roma tomatos were really lovely and sweet.

It was a really nice experience because of the combination of ambience, decent service, and good food made with what we can actually call, fresh, quality produce. Decently-made coffees, the peace after a good meal. The day was already looking up!

It’s nice to see such restaurants that give a damn about not just good food, good produce, but also the space they create cook and share it in. Ecologically-friendly, which bodes well for their sustainability, I’m sure environmentalists would be giving this place a thumbs-up too. It is definitely a place that will help me remember Perth this time round, and I hope someday I’ll be back and try those pancakes I had my eye on… Hm..


100 St Georges Terrace

Perth, WA 6000


Mon & Tues 7am -late

Wed to Sat 7am -12am

* For more info about its concept, design, and food, visit their site here.


One Response to “Doing it for the environment: Greenhouse, Perth”

  1. sooks May 2, 2010 at 4:22 am #

    back to perth just for the pancakes?? that sounds like a plan.. 😉

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