A side of renewable energy with your steak might not sound so palatable, but if you’re committed to sorting your recycling, installing solar panels on your roof or carbon offsetting your next flight, is it so crazy to consider if the places you choose to spend your time do the same?
Thankfully there are many restaurateurs who think the same way, and for whom ‘going green’ doesn’t mean adding more kale to the menu.
From cafes to fine diners, here are our top four picks of Sydney eats that deliver on experience and integrate sustainability into the bargain.
1. Love Fish.
Seafood can be a slippery subject when it comes to sustainability. Thankfully fish café Love Fish in Rozelle has taken the guesswork out of respectful choices when it comes to tasty seafood dishes.
Love Fish’s catch (which includes crispy Clarence River school prawns dusted with jalapeño salt) is sourced from producers that catch or grow seafood under strict environmental guidelines.
Here, organic waste is separated and supplied to Earth Power, a company who transform organic waste into high-powered compost and fertilisers, energy is 100 per cent derived from renewable sources, and even the products used to clean down at the end of the day have the environmentally friendly tick.
2. Three Blue Ducks.
Bronte’s café-turned-restaurant Three Blue Ducks may have started out as a dream, but the proof of their green empire is in the eating.
Chef partners Darren Robertson, Mark LeBrooy and Shannon Debreceny have an impeccable fine dining pedigree, which they’ve lent to their vision to create wholesome, delicious food with a minimal environmental impact.
Their farm in Byron Bay provides a considerable amount of vegetable produce to both their Bronte and Byron restaurants, and considering the community and the environment is centric to their operational philosophy. This includes a rooftop solar power system to supplement energy usage, and using biodegradable materials and composting waste to fertilise community gardens.
3. Red Lantern.
Family trio Luke Ngyuen, his sister Pauline and her husband Mark Jensen are a formidable group when it comes to committing and following through with something.
The romantic French colonial stylings of their Darlinghurst restaurant make the perfect foil for a modern Vietnamese menu worth working all the way through.
Jensen sources organic produce from suppliers who are committed to minimising the environmental impact of their farming, while back at the restaurant, they’ve installed rain water tanks, a waterless wok station and responsibly dispose of cooking oil by working in partnership with Cookers, a company that turns cooking oil waste into bio diesel.
Ok, so not technically a permanent place to seek a sustainable fix, but for those who aren’t aware of OzHarvest’s initiatives to rescue food and feed Australia’s vulnerable, you should be.
Founder Ronni Khan’s tireless drive to minimise wastage and nourish the less fortunate takes on many forms, including regular pop up dinners at OzHarvest’s Alexandria centre of operations. Hosted and catered for by some of Australia’s top chefs and celebrities to bring awareness to the cause, keep an eye out on social media or on ozharvest.org to find out about their next event.