A Brothl in every town? Sustainability specialist Joost Bakker reckons that's a fine idea – so long as we're talking about high-end soup kitchens using luxe base ingredients rescued from Australia's finest restaurants.
The florist and designer turned no-waste entrepreneur relaunched his Melbourne CBD cafe Silo this week as Brothl, a soup specialist where stocks are made from bones saved from the kitchens of Rockpool, Attica and European.
"I've been doing the flowers for Rockpool for years, ever since it opened," Bakker says. "I would go in there every week and see the bones from their meats and seafood, and I said to Neil [Perry], if you are not using these, could I take some?"
The crew at Rockpool were more than happy to oblige and now Brothl's menu centres on four intense, nutritious broths: a 48-hour stock from the bones of Rockpool's Cape Grim beef; a chicken stock simmered for 24 hours; and a 12-hour seafood version from fish and crustaceans, including marron and crab. There's also a vegetarian stock made using kelp foraged from the Bellarine Peninsula. All broths are made with rainwater from Monbulk.
The savoury broths cost $10 and diners can choose from a range of 18 add-ons ($1-$8) including house-made spelt or soba noodles, beef brisket, poached chicken or mussels, kimchi and bacon. Devotees of Silo's organic oats have not been forgotten – a "breakfast broth" ($12) made with fruit skins, seeds and cores will be served with oats, seasonal fruit, nuts and optional Schulz milk.
For Bakker, it's a step towards his goal of seeing more organic waste consumed as nutrient-rich food. The name Brothl came to him on a plane flight; when he got home he "Googled it about 50 times", which caused his wife to raise an eyebrow when she saw what he was looking for.
Brothl, 123 Hardware Street, Melbourne, open Monday to Saturday 10am-10pm, 9600 0588, byjoost.com