This Saturday, a friend and I went to "Silo by Joost" for our annual meet-up.
There was a 10 minute wait for a table at 11am in the morning What a wonderful find tucked away in Hardware Street, Melbourne. There's a lot written about their no-waste, 100% recycling policy, but what impressed me most was the staff's enthusiasm for what they were doing, the food was not only wholesome, but also very tasty. With recycled jars for drinking glasses there was a nice quirkiness about the place.
The menu was straightforward and seasonally relevant, showcasing mostly "local" produce.
I'd read about "kimchi" in Michael Pollan's new book "Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation", so I was delighted when the waiter recommended it as a side to my coddled eggs with spinach and mushrooms on sourdough bread. Before this, I had assumed that kimchi was something that I was unlikely to come across in my day to day meanderings and so it would remain as a nice concept "fermentation food" rather than a reality on my plate.
While we were waiting for our table we spied one of the staff taking out the compost in two metal buckets, through the front door and around the side of the building; we followed. They were only too happy to show us the composting machine and explain how it worked, and let us see the broken down vege material that had become "dirt like humus" in the 24 hour process. We were told that it would be bagged up and returned back to the farms where they had sourced their produce. You have to be impressed by that level of recycling.
Now if you're in a wheelchair, as my friend was, don't be put off by the couple of steep steps at the entrance, three of the staff came out and helped lift him in his chair up the those stairs and we settled nicely at a table inside and were given similar assistance when we needed to leave - with hassle-less ease.
We could have eaten outside under the umbrellas but somehow being inside helped us to soak up more of the atmosphere!
If you haven't been you should try it at least once.