Brother and sister duo, Neil and Lianne Gottheiner have kept Bondi locals under the thumb using a weapon called “fish pie with truffle” for the last seven years at Brown Sugar on Curlewis Street. But recently, the team have expanded their operation into a freshly whitewashed (and perfectly named) space around the corner – Lox Stock & Barrel – where they’re busily preaching the pleasures of New York-style deli fare. With head chef Kurt Mengetti, previously of Baroque, working hard in the kitchen, it’s something of a European dream team.
“We’ve all got German, Polish and Russian backgrounds,” says Neil. “We grew up eating corned beef, rye and bagels with our grandparents, and there was a bit of a gap for that kind of thing here, so that’s what we wanted to do.”
Four varieties of chewy, pleasantly dense bagels are boiled onsite every day. They’re not too sweet, and if it’s a truly Jewish-style meal you’re hankering for, try the cafe’s chopped liver, egg and onion on an onion-topped bagel, or the house-made brisket pastrami on rye bread brought in from Bondi’s Organic Bakery, just down the road.
Even after all this talk of bagels, there’s a heavy lean toward a health-conscious menu here. Salads are textural (good work has been made of the mandolin), fresh and herby, Neil at the ready to tout the digestive benefits of a diet that includes fermented ingredients. An effort to use sustainable fish is another box ticked. Sardines are cured and come grilled on toast for breakfast, while slices of albacore tuna find their way into a panini with jalapenos and miso-dressed slaw. Match it with a Bloody Mary mixed with pickled jalapenos and house-made tomato juice if it’s that kind of long lunch (even if it’s not, it should be).
Gypsy coffee is extracted by hand through a truly old-school, lever-powered manual piston coffee machine, and we hear there’s an espresso cocktail on the books incorporating salted dulce de leche. Dinner at the cafe is on the cards for the future, and if the current busy lunch and breakfast trade is anything to go by, it’s time to head beachside sooner rather than later.
Lox Stock & Barrel
140 Glenayr Avenue, Bondi Beach
(02) 9300 0368
Daily 7am–4pm (with dinners coming soon)