Steaming hot mugs of lemony chicken stock; thick, chunky, bone-based soups; and smoothies that mix raw cacao, nuts and fruit with condensed beef-bone broth cubes. This is what you get at Broth Bar & Larder, Sydney’s first dedicated bone-broth shop.
Those living and shopping in the east will recognise the brand and tastes from Star Anise Organic Wholefoods, Soulla Chamberlain’s backyard wholefoods business. “I've been operating from home for the past five years,” says Chamberlain. “I outgrew it. There were stock pots all over the house. Every room was lined with boxes, I had to crawl over them to get into my bed.” She now runs her business out of the old Iggy’s bakery site. With the extra space, Chamberlain expanded the takeaway section of her wholefoods business and added what she’s calling the broth bar.
The original part of the business, now called The Larder, still sells the frozen-stock varieties. There is also an array of raw chocolate and date-based treats; activated nuts; gluten-free flours; raw-milk cheeses; and various nutrient-orientated cooking products, as would be in a regular health store, but more deluxe. Chamberlain’s muesli is a prime example. Every ingredient goes through a week-long activation period, the theory is that soaking and dehydration results in optimum crispness and nutritional value.
The new section, The Broth Bar, takes up just five stools under the store’s glass façade. There you can get all the broths and health snacks from the Larder in a restaurant format. The broths, made simply with bones, salt, pepper, bay leaves and thyme, come hot to the hands in a Mud-designed mug with the option of a flavour bomb, 50c extras – a squeeze of lemon, some spices, coconut milk or a slosh of fish sauce and tamari. “The broth bar is an extension of my own kitchen. It reflects how my kids and I eat at home,” Chamberlain says. The same broths are the base of Chamberlain’s soups and, somewhat experimentally, also her smoothies and popsicles (brothsicles). The broth isn't a predominant flavour in the sweet options, though. You’d never guess it's there, you only taste the base, whether it’s cocoa, cashew or caramel. The stock cubes are just for a nutrient kick, Chamberlain says.
It’s not all bones and stocks, though. The bar also serves a provincial plate with a light chicken-liver paté-, fermented vegetables, raw-milk cheese and Iggy’s bread and veg for dipping and spreading. For those interested in Chamberlain’s wholefoods philosophy, she is offering health consultations and cooking classes run out of her new store.
Broth Bar & Larder
49 Belgrave Street, Bronte
Mon to Sun 8am–6pm