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Friday, November 04, 2011

Sonido!, Fitzroy, Melbourne

sonido fitzroy

It was the lure of hot chocolate and cheese that brought us to Sonido. Hot chocolate and cheese? Say it isn't so!

We'd stumbled along Gertrude Street in Fitzroy, Melbourne, early on a Sunday morning, taking in the eclectic mix of boutique clothing shops, vintage stores, art galleries and quirky cafes. Sonido was tucked away at the far end, barely noticeable but for an assortment of pint-sized chairs and tables on the foothpath, as though a kindergarten class was just about to start.

sonido fitzroy

sonido fitzroy
Decor inside Sonido

You know a cafe is cool when there's knitting going on. The cafe is packed with coffee sipping patrons, some of them knitting, others casually whiling away the hours of a lazy weekend. The decor is a cheerful mix of South American records, vintage signs and posters and all the good stuff you find in op shops.

sonido fitzroy
Arepas de queso $8.50
Cheese arepas

We order at the counter and take a seat outside. It doesn't take long for our food to arrive, served on mismatched crockery straight from your grandma's sideboard.

sonido fitzroy
Cheese arepas

Arepas is a flat corn bread commonly eaten throughout the north of South America, particularly Columbia and Venezuela. Our cheese arepas is stuffed with fresco, or fresh cheese that stretches seductively as we pull it apart in the middle.

The corn bread doesn't have a strong corn flavour, and we're encouraged to spread generously with the pat of butter provided. Side dishes of guacamole and salsa add refreshment.

sonido fitzroy
Ropavieja arepa $11.50
'Old clothes' beef arepa

Ropavieja arepa is a traditional dish, made here to a traditional Cuban recipe. The dish translates to 'old clothes' as the beef is cooked to the stage where it literally falls apart, just like old rags or clothes. The beef is amazing, tender and flavoursome, like pulled beef in a spicy sauce.

sonido fitzroy
Aguapanela sugarcane juice with lime $4

Sugarcane juice always reminds me of my grandma, who would boil up stalks of sugarcane which she grew in the backyard. Here the hot sugarcane juice is lightened with a squeeze of fresh lime, and is just as heartwarming.

sonido fitzroy
Chocolate corona con queso $6.50
Traditional Colombian hot chocolate with cheese

It's the traditional Colombian hot chocolate with cheese that we're most excited about.

sonido fitzroy
Traditional Colombian hot chocolate with cheese

Suze stares incredulously at the coffee cup filled with a single slice of queso fresh cheese. The hot chocolate is thick and frothy, and we're shown how to quickly roll the wooden paddle between our palms to aerate the hot chocolate even further.

Pouring the hot chocolate onto the cheese doesn't melt it, but it does make the cheese softer and almost pliable. The chocolate is thick and slightly bitter from the cocoa. The cheese is quite bland in flavour by comparison, but it does make for an interesting meal in a cup.

Cheap, fun and irresistibly laid-back, Sonido! is my kind of hangout.

sonido fitzroy
Inside Sonido! Hello pot plant stand!

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Sonido! on Urbanspoon

69 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne
Tel: +61 (03) 9495 6636

Opening hours:
Tuesday to Friday 8.30am – 4pm
Saturday and Sunday 9am – 4pm
Kitchen closes at 3pm (drinks available until 4pm)
Closed on Mondays

No bookings
Cash only

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7 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 11/04/2011 12:15:00 am


  • At 11/04/2011 10:07 am, Anonymous Adriana @mouthtomouthfood said…

    This place is a must see for anyone coming to Melbourne, I have never been disappointed. If you enjoyed this atmosphere check out Cruzeo Arepa on Brunswick Street, Fitzroy. Same concept,the food will not always reach the table hot and is no where near as good as Sonido, but the vibes, music and cocktails are incredible. Great on a Sunday, when they have live South American bands playing. :)

  • At 11/04/2011 2:01 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Great looking stuff, seems authentic enough to give it a shot. Queso fresco... mmm...

  • At 11/04/2011 2:57 pm, Blogger greenbeenfood said…

    that hot choc has me intrigued! i think i have to try it... dayle

  • At 11/04/2011 3:02 pm, Anonymous Hannah said…

    Okay, yes. I do very much want the cheese with the hot chocolate.

  • At 11/04/2011 8:42 pm, Anonymous Hotly Spiced said…

    I've been wondering for a while now about South American cuisine. Would love to pay this restaurant a visit.

  • At 11/06/2011 5:49 pm, Anonymous chocolatesuze said…

    i miss melbourne! that pulled beef was all kinds of delicious. (also, i miss my rainbow nails)

  • At 11/06/2011 9:04 pm, Anonymous Jenny said…

    Whoah that hot chocolate with cheese sounds crazy. I'd love to try it one day!


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