You may or may not be aware of who Joost Bakker is but recently winning The Age Good Food Guide's award for innovation, he is well known in the foodie industry from Perth's Greenhouse fame. With so much going to waste in restaurants without even diners knowing, Joost Bakker's efforts to revolutionise this way of thinking has definitely increased awareness. Silo by Joost is the latest brainchild from Joost which embodies the concept of a waste free zone. By milling their flour, milk being dropped off in reusable pails and their own personal food dehydrator out the back to effectively transform waste to fertiliser for farms, it is the circle of life in the form of a cafe.
The cafe is located on Hardware lane just across from the ever-popular Hardware Societe. Upon entering the cafe, I was almost confused with a throng of people congesting the front area, that I thought that the cafe was puny. In fact, looking past the crowd, it is a very narrow and long space with seating beyond the counter. We sat at the very end of the long communal table with seating made from wood and kegs. Later, another pair were seated right next to us - both parties noted that it was very awkward as I felt as though I was in their breathing space.
They offer a small range of baked pastries and sandwiches at the front. I was too preoccupied with taking photos that I forgot to take some away.
The brown rice was creamy and cooked in an onion broth. Topped with wonderfully silky foraged pine mushrooms, the quark was mild and slightly sour while the cress added a fresh tangy mint flavour to lighten the flavours of the dish. Although the serving was small and I was hungry within an hour again, I thought it was delicious. If the serving had been double the size, I would have been a very happy diner.
Although they have a fantastic concept and actually follow through to the finest details, the prices are quite steep for what you get regardless of the high quality of food. The pair sitting next to us kept commenting on the price of the food in comparison to the portion sizes. So it's definitely not somewhere you go to for a food-coma inducing feed, but more for the quality of food, locally sourced produce and the waste free concept.
Silo by Joost
123 Hardware Lane
Melbourne VIC 3000
(03) 9600 0588
Will I return? Yes, the prices are higher than normal but I liked the food and it will be interesting to see the changing seasonal menus.