“Imagine a world without waste.”
It is easier said than done, but Silo by Joost is taking the first step and showing you how to do it. The name Joost Bakker is no stranger to many as this Dutch-born artist is the force behind the innovative ‘Greenhouse’, one of the first waste-free sustainable restaurants in Perth.He has also brought the concept and set up similar pop-up restaurants in Melbourne and Sydney last couple of years. Silo is his latest project, a permanent sustainable cafe nestled in Hardware Lane in Melbourne’s CBD, which has fast becoming a popular spot for brunch-goers.
The waste free concept starts from the suppliers, fresh produce are encouraged to be delivered to the cafe every morning in returnable, recyclable, reusable crates – Schulz fresh milk is delivered in returnable stainless steel pails; Hepburn Springs mineral water arrives in recyclable eco-kegs; flour is milled from organic grain and used to make fresh bread every day; nothing is going into bin. Bin? what bin? There is actually no bin in the cafe; all organic waste will be treated in a dehydrator and turned into nutrient rich dry fertiliser which will be delivered back to farmers for their crops.
The cafe itself is extremely pokey and tiny, a coffee machine is continuously brewing to cater the demand at the front, patrons are welcomed to squeeze in shoulder to shoulder with the others at the communal table, while chefs and waitstaffs are working frantically right next behind us. They don’t really have a kitchen per se, a long bench is set up along one wall right next to the communal table where customers get a good glimpse of all the actions while dishes are being prepared and plated.
Many love their Chai Latte here at Silo which comes with organic loose tea leaf and spices brewed in a clear glass jar, a pot of honey on the side for those who likes it on the sweeter side. I am a coffee man, and their flat white is smooth and strong.
The breakfast menu is short with only a handful of items including toast, porridge, oats, and coddled egg that comes with few different options. I want something simple and quick before meeting and opt for the crunchy spiced oats with fruit and yoghurt. It is fascinating to observe the chefs prepping our orders right behind us. As I watch on, it takes a good 10 minutes for the chef to plate up my breakfast meticulously inside a yellow glazed terracotta bowl. The spiced oats are crunchy as how a nicely toasted muesli should be, served with fresh green apple, banana and passionfruit, all mingle with creamy yoghurt and rhubarb compote that delivers a sweet tartness in the mix.
I polished the plate clean, I am just doing my part to reduce food wastage, that is all.
Silo by Joost 123 Hardware Street Melbourne 3000 03 9600 0588 Mon-Sat 6.30am-3.30pm