Sofia On Cleveland Cocktail Lounge

Rebecca Varidel
4th Jul 2023

Sofia On Cleveland has a secret. Through the restaurant is a lux Cocktail Lounge that manifests some of the best cocktails in Sydney.

The velvety lounge area with the exquisite Sofia cocktails is partitioned from the restaurant view by a working fireplace wall, which makes it just perfect for this cooler time of year. Beyond the welcoming space, one of the biggest benefits of drinking cocktails here at Sofia, is the sensational cocktail list.

Truth be known, we could have imbibed in any of the signatures or classics from one of the best cocktail lists in our city, so we started at the top with the most popular Noah's Arc ($22) which sips so sexily. This treat is based with Malfy Gin Originale, Turkish Delight, apricot, rose and vanilla. There were no disagreements between my friend and me. We shared the work equally. Four cocktails on the signatures, meant two each. Her first Passion-heart ($23) was a pretty rum-based fruity cocktail of passionfruit, peach, mandarin and a hint of a varietal currant grenadine, over which she cooed. Once we'd done our duty testing the other two, we agreed that every choice is a winner - each cocktail is 5 stars.

Another skillfully crafted libation, '+1' grabbed the rye whiskey Dandy Lion ($25) a perfect cool weather cocktail rounded as the name suggests with roasted chicory and dandelion, supported with winter spice of cinnamon & brown butter wash, and finished with Montenegro, toasted pecan bitters, Xocolatl Mole Bitters, and mandarin. I once heard a musician say you can't really describe music with words. Well, the same could be said for these superior drinks, where no words will do justice to just how good these cocktails are.

My second choice could have been my opening, as I am a Sazerac girl through and through. When I had my small bar weekly newspaper column, it was my bar test drink. So, Sofia already had me throbbing with excitement because there are not one, but two Sazeracs on the cocktail list. I went with the signature, although I'll be back at Sofia for the classic sometime soon. The signature twist, named Saz Jazz is the cocktail that every single girl needs in her life, it will make your life complete. Hennesy Cognac V.S ricotta washed Shiraz Gin, Crème de Fraise Des Bois, Absinthe rinse, Peychaud’s Bitters, and a twist of lemon, is more than you can dream about, and will remind you dreams can come true. True words. You must try this cocktail at least once in your life.

Beyond the better than best cocktails, the final reasons for reclining in the respite of the Sofia lounge area, are these. Lounge table service is as good as it gets in any fine restaurant. And, last but not least, you can order anything from the restaurant menu for the lounge low tables.

Nothing to look at here... well that's the understand of the year.

We chowed down on share plates as you do in a bar when drinking cocktails. Faultless dishes, designed by renowned chef Justin North from Concept Hospitality, in conjunction with head chef Nathan Trelevean. Just stunning. Tasty. Classic vs innovation, a little bit like the cocktails. Definitely a perfect food x cocktail marriage. Pomegranate cured Petuna ocean trout with fennel + ruby grapefruit salad, tinglingly sumptuous yet light enough to whet our appetites. Steak tartare was beautifully and lovingly made, well seasoned and balanced and is a great eat by the piece cocktail accompaniment. We also chose from the 'mains' to share Shark Bay prawns which were divinely delicious, and easy to share.

And of course, to complete our night there was delicious desserts - both food and drinks to finish.

Offering drinks, snacks and Sofia’s full à la carte menu, Sofia Cocktail Lounge seats 30 and is ideal for a signature cocktail before dinner, or as a destination in itself.

Now the secret is out about the lounge area, it's probably best to book >>

Photos by Kate Young.