Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Greenhouse - Perth
Greenhouse is Perth's latest "sustainable" restaurant/bar - it features roof-top gardens, recycling of water, worm farms for kitchen waste, recycled furniture, etc. Originally done in Melbourne by designer Joost Bakker, this one is a permanent feature at the new Enex100 on St Georges Terrace in the heart of Perth's CBD. It is instantly recognisable by its 4000 terracotta pots fastened to the outside walls. Or depending on what time of year you go, the outer walls covered in strawberry plants, that gives the look shown above, shamelessly stolen from another Breakfast blog.
I had Friday off work so we decided to try this place out on what must've been the coldest day of the year so far. I suspect my opinion of the place would've been slightly different had it been in the middle of summer but on a cold, windy Perth day, the cold metal decor, hard seats and big take away window wasn't what I was looking for. I do realise that these types of days in Perth are few and far between so I'm sure it's fine for 3/4 of the year.
If the decor was a little too "futuristic modern", the way they serve the food and drinks is very very cool. Looking at other tables, the yoghurt was served in a jam jar and the muesli was served in a big silver steel scoop. The bottles of alcohol behind the bar are not sitting on a shelf, but hanging from string from the ceiling. Good to look at and makes for a very interesting experience.
Onto the food. I wanted my favourite eggs on toast variation of avocado on toast with a poached egg on top. Having heard so much about the way they poach their eggs here and also having a curious fascination for the mushy peas with eggs I'd read about on the Breakfast In Perth blog. I looked through the menu but chickened out of the peas and eggs and went for my usual. Ordered with a long black, I didn't have long to wait. The service was excellent, waited on by a South American guy who couldn't have been more helpful.
I enjoy various ways to drink my coffee but I am a strong believer that you can only really make a judgement about a new coffee from drinking a long black or a flat white. My long black was good. A dark crema with a strong deep flavour. Not to everybodys taste but just the way i like it.
Now, on a Friday morning with not too many people in the cafe, eggs on toast shouldn't be so difficult. Should it? To be fair, it didn't seem to take too long for them to bring it out but when they did, the toast, the avocado and the amazingly well poached eggs were stone cold. Not luke warm or on the way down. Stone cold. Whether they had been left on the counter and had been chilled by the strong breeze flying in the big take away window, I don't know. But it was a massive disappointment, especially after examining and marvelling over the eggs and the presentation of them. I'd still love to know how to poach an egg like that and if I ever do go back, I will have a word with the chef to see if he'll spill his secret.
All in all, it was a strange experience which was somewhat disappointing after the hype I'd heard about the place. I'd like to give it another go in summer to see if the cold feel to the place is more suited to a hot summers day. It certainly didn't do itself any favours on this blustery Autumn day. The coffee was good, service good and the presentation of the food was second to none. The prices were reasonable (for Perth) but still think most places are disgustingly overpriced here. Unfortunately, the lingering memory and the first thing I will think of when I hear the name of this establishment, will be chewing on stone cold eggs and cold, soggy toast.
Scores on the doors:
Final Score 24/50
Would I go again?
Strangely, I feel obliged to give them a second chance. Possibly a bad day at the office? Will be back in summer, get your act together for then Greenhouse!