Alongside a fit-out featuring upcycled interior furnishings (light fittings and wine coolers made from mycelium fungus) and tableware recycled from discarded materials, RE- craft their cocktails and dishes using produce destined for landfill.
Pulling up a chair at the bar (constructed from recycled milk bottles) to taste the saved waste for ourselves, RE-’s operations manager, Evan Stroeve, tells RIISE they wanted “every single element of the venue, within our control, to have a story behind it that links back to some kind of sustainable thought process”.
With decades of hospitality experience between Stroeve, and owners Matt Whiley and Maurice Terzini, he likens their decision to launch a sustainable venue to “rewiring the way your brain works”. It’s been a learning curve for the entire team, but one they are ready to lean into.
A sustainable, zero waste ethos has been the genesis for RE-, but Stroeve is quick to add this is a place for everybody, not just the environmentally inclined. Acutely aware of the neighbourhood they’ve joined in South Eveleigh, an inner-city suburb bordering Redfern and Surry Hills, RE- plans to work with the local community to source indigenous produce, celebrating Australia’s native flora flavours and paying homage to the rich cultural tapestry of the area.
For now, RE- source the bulk of their produce direct from local growers in Flemington, diverting food from landfill that is overripe, blemished, or has been considered “secondary” in some way; “anything that aesthetically might not fit on the shelf of a supermarket or restaurant, that’s the kind of stuff we’re looking for”. The team then work creatively to find the best delicious use for it on the cocktail or food menu.
We’re not food waste aficionados, but we’d like to be, which is why we came to RE- to work our way through a cocktail list curated from ingredients destined for unnecessary decomposition. After righteously rescuing edible produce via delicious drinks and dishes, we asked RE- to share their favourite zero-waste cocktails to kickstart your next environmental soiree.
60ml pickled strawberry distillate
10ml strawberry vinegar
15ml milk wine cordial
Garnish with lemon meringue
25ml banana skin rum
5ml burnt butter rum
5ml peanut butter and miso distillate
7.5ml banana caramel
25ml dark rum
20ml banana juice
Garnish with rescued plantain, fried
35ml spent coffee Vermouth
35ml Saint Felix Bitter Aperitif
100ml rescued beetroot and cherry tomato soda
Garnish with sumac beetroot chip