Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Greenhouse, Perth CBD

The Greenhouse in Perths CBD, on St Georges Tce has been somewhere I've been wanting to try for a while now, and so when S and I were randomly in the city together yesterday, we decided to eat out. I had driven past the Greenhouse earlier and that reminded me it was there, so I dragged him over there, even just to see the place. It has a really cool exterior, made with wire and hundreds of pot plants growing ivy, which will eventually totally cover the building. The food is tapas style, intended for sharing which I love, and its recommended to get 3-4 dishes between 2.

Photo courtesy of The Perth Breakfast Club blog, from their post about the Greenhouse.

This is taken from the Greenhouse website, regarding their vision for the place;

All the features of the Greenhouse are carefully considered first for their practicality, recyclability, life cycle and embodied energy and then for their aesthetics and cost. By putting each decision through this rigorous process, it is hoped that the Greenhouse can provide information and examples to builders, designers, restaurateurs and the public, regarding their daily choices of materials, ingredients, and practices.

They have haybales as insulation, a rooftop garden growing produce for the kitchen and bar, and as much as possible within the restaurant has been recycled. The chairs are made from old signs, my wine was served in a science lab measuring jug, which was pretty awesome!

We were sat outside as inside was booked out, but the waiter was really friendly, and moved the heater closer to our table to make us comfortable. We had a look at the extensive drinks list, which includes some great beer, wine, and cocktails. I ended up choosing a flask (which is equivalent to about half a bottle) of Margaret River Rosily "The Cartographer" cabernet, which was $25. S ordered a Bootleg Brewery Hefe ($9) which he loved. My wine was also nice, however I tend to avoid commenting on wines, because Im not fussy. If its red and of reasonable quality Im usually happy!

Considering that 12 months ago, S was a frozen food man, didn't like most foods (he assumed he wouldnt like things before he tried them very frequently) I was worried he wouldnt find anything he liked on the menu. He has admittedly gotten ALOT better and is now on a bit of a food discovery, realising that he might like things he hasn't tried, or hasn't eaten since he decided it was yuk when he was 10. However I was still surprised when he said he could find something on there, even more so when he ordered both of our meals, and 2 of them were vegetarian.

He ended up ordering:

spiced, deep fried cauliflower

wood roasted vegetable salad dressed with salmoriglio

chorizo, fried bread, piquillo pepper, and slow cooked egg, and

sliced deli meats, aussie olives and tomato bread.

Firstly let me just say that the food photos are taken with my phone, a HTC desire, and as such do not reflect the quality of the presentation of the food to its full potential. The food looked great, but a camera phone doesn't capture this as well as other cameras do, so bear that in mind when looking at these pictures!

The cauliflower came out first, and it looked great. S thought it had a meaty quality, and the serving size wasn't small! The spice was tasty, however I found that it became too much after a while. Were I to make this at home (which I would definately have a go at), I would use the spices with a lighter hand. The texture of the cauli was fine, however looking at them, I expected a crunch, which wasn't there. S liked them alot, if theres any way to get a man to eat veges, douse it with curry flavour and fry it.

The next dish to be presented to us was the roast vegetable salad with salmoriglio. Ill admit, I had to google the salmoriglio, which turns out to be a southern Italian condiment. The name is derived from the sicillian word for "light brine", and it includes lemon juice, garlic, parsely, oregano, olive oil, S&P. It was SO nice, this is definately something I need to go home and make. We have roast veg all the time, and this sauce is a light, fresh way of taking your veg to another level! The veges were zucchinis, onions, radish (so nice - will roast them in future!), aubergine, parsnip and swede I think. It was really really good, and really simple. A dish to take home with you in your memory with a realistic chance of recreating it.

We then received the sliced deli meats with aussie olives and tomato bread. The meats came shaved, a salami, prosciutto, and slices of another salami. I could be wrong with these guesses, we didnt actually ask what they were... really nice in any case ;-) the meats were topped with both fat juicy olives, and little nibbly ones, with the thickly sliced tomato bread on the side. S thought the bread was really tasty, which it was, but it would a touch chewy on the crusts for my personal taste, and sliced a bit thick - but this is personal taste so its something for you to decide yourself about! I enjoyed this, as I love this style of eating, however it was my least favourite dish we ordered, and wouldn't order it again (mostly because of all the other things I'd like to try!).
Last but not least, the chorizo dish came out. Chunks of chorizo, little croutons of fried bread, roasted piquillo peppers and parsely, with a very soft poached egg on top. This, the waitress told us, was designed for us to crack and use as a dressing. S is not a fan of soft eggs, so I carefully extracted it and ate it myself! I find chorizo very hit and miss... sometimes its delicious, and other times I just dont like it. This time I really liked it. All the elements of the dish combined made a more-ish, rich mouthful, but a combination that is best shared! It was really tasty, however not something I could eat alot of, because of the combination of fairly fatty/rich ingredients. It wasn'ta greasy dish, but you need to eat it while its hot, otherwise its not as nice due to the fried/grilled nature of the elements in it. Still really liked it though!

Finally, we shared a dessert... there were only 4 to choose from, and for me the chocolate, cherry and coconut was an obvious choice. Part of the choice was the mystery surrounding this dish. All the menu mentions is the chocolate, cherry and coconut. Thats it. So I was stoked when it came out, a long inch thick slice of cake, with a layer of cherrys in it, atop a slate spread with whipped cream infused with coconut. I loved it. It would have been really difficult for me not to have enjoyed it, as I love chocolate and red fruits. It was a modern take on a black forest cake, which is dated to the hills but delicious nonetheless. I was really happy with it.
I really liked the decor of the place, our waitress was really friendly but not in your face. I love that the place is geared toward sustainability, and that makes up part of my opinion of it. I really liked the food, my wine was really nice and presented in a memorable way. My boyfriend came here, as a meat n potatoes kinda guy. He willingly ordered vegetarian food, and really enjoyed it. That is such a WIN in my eyes!I would love to come back and try the other things on the menu, such as the pickled pork belly with quince, or the mohamara, pickled turnips, whole grain flat breads, or the cabbage, mint, radish & feta salad! Id love to get stuck into the cocktails! The lunch menu is similar to the evening menu, but with similar ingredients, prepared in different ways.

If you go onto their website you can also get some of their recipes, such as the fried spiced cauliflower.

All up, it cost $108, which was definately pricey. We both really enjoyed our meal though, and would go back for sure. You're paying for ambience, good food, wine and service. I feel like we got all of those things in spades.

Greenhouse on Urbanspoon

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