Pavia Rosati: it was love at first soup at a new Melbourne restaurant - Halong Junk Cruises

Pavia Rosati: it was love at first soup at a new Melbourne restaurant

Brothl, Melbourne
Souper-duper … Brothl, Melbourne

Brothl is not about hookers, though I’m sure we’re expected to suppose that it is. It’s about broth and bones, and meals served at a communal table. The dropped vowel is partly modern cheek and partly symbolic of the zero-waste philosophy that inspired Joost Baker, the creative mind behind this new Melbourne eatery, where I had an unforgettable lunch last month. Unforgettable not in the four-hour-food-extravaganza way, but rather in the think-about-how-and-what-you-eat way.

The setup is simple: you walk in, wait for a seat at the long table that runs the length of the narrow space, and order from the menu printed on the place mat. Start with a broth – oats, beef, chicken, fish, vegetable – then add extras – brisket, soba, foraged kelp, day-old bread, mushrooms. The broth is made from upcycled bones from Melbourne’s best kitchens – Attica, Rockpool and the European. Zero waste. In the open kitchen stocks simmer in giant pots.

Compact doesn’t begin to describe this place (the couple next to me were having a passionate debate about failed college romance). My soup was served in a glazed flowerpot, and it was as rich and delicious as I had hoped. From my home town of New York to Melbourne would be a long commute for a bowl of soup, but it’s enough to inspire a return trip.
+61 3 9600 0588, byjoost.com/brothl

Pavia Rosati is the founder of FATHOM travel guides

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