Welcome to the wild world of Greenhouse, which prides itself on being a sustainable restaurant.
Dreamed up by designer wunderkind Joost Bakker, who first came to prominence with his temporary Greenhouse installation-cum-cafe in Melbourne's Federation Square earlier this year, Greenhouse has been built using only recycled materials. Hay bales, beer bottles, road signs and old tyres have a found a new lease of life in the eatery.
According to head chef Matt Stone, everything about the restaurant is recycled, aside from the painting by (Australian artist) David Bromley.
Even the crockery?
I've been making platters out of scrap corrugated iron," he says.
"There were also off-cuts from the kitchen benchtops and timber walls that we cut into random shapes and sizes to serve as platters as well. There's not a lot that's going to be the same. We do have some standard crockery that we will use but as we evolve I'd like to keep making our own bits and pieces.
"The cutlery is bought, as the resin handles from the set we had originally made melted in the dishwasher."
Recycling feats aside, Stone also plans to make Greenhouse as renowned for its fresh food as for its sustainability.
The rooftop garden is already well underway, with much of the crop harvested for the kitchen.
"Because of the style of the menu, we're relying on fresh local produce," he says.
"We can grow all sorts of different things in the rooftop garden that aren't readily available in fresh markets and supermarkets.
"At the moment we are growing most herbs, heirloom carrots, baby beetroot and capsicums.
"There's also nasturtiums, which we'll use for garnishing, and apple, lemon and kaffir lime trees. And strawberries, of course. I'd also like to get in some heirloom tomatoes. Our grow lights should be going up shortly. Once they're installed the garden will go nuts, so we'll be able to turn out vegetables really fast."
Several of the dishes the restaurant will produce will be sourced entirely from the rooftop.
"I'll probably base two or three dishes from the menu around things that I can source from my garden. For example, we might have purple, orange and white carrots that can be used in a salad or for a roast baby carrot dish."
The artisan bread will also be made in-house.
"We'll be doing all our own breads. It's a full-day process. Yesterday we did our first batch. We started at 8am and were eating it by 10pm last night. It was a pretty long process.
"And we're wood-firing the bread too, so that's a learning curve in itself. There's no yeast at all, it's 100 per cent sourdough. We're also milling our own flour, which is pretty cool. You don't buy ground coffee beans, do you? It's essentially the same process. It's easy and the flavour is so amazing."
So the big question is, where are the now-famous bees?
"That idea has been put on the backburner for now while we get set up," Stone laughs.
"But definitely in the new year we will get the beehives. I plan to use the honey in ice-cream, on our bread and in salad dressings."
Link to Fresh, the West Australian, December 2009