I first came upon The Sooki Lounge when I attended the HillsceneLIVE#2 - Mini Arts Festival and Magazine Launch last month and one of the performances from that launch was held in the downstairs bar at the Sooki Lounge. You can hire that bar area for functions and it holds 80 plus people and has its own sound system. This baroque inspired venue and relaxed decor was right up my alley. Not living in the area the next time I came back was when I attended the Belgrave South Community Market and I decided to revisit this venue that had caught my eye.
A band (a duo) was on stage and that was enough to hold this 'live' music lover there. As a matter of fact, the Sooki Lounge has entertainment lined up from here to Timbuktu. They seem to work hard at keeping things interesting yet relaxed. The owner (who likes to keep a low profile and no photos of himself) tells me the objective was always to keep it neutral, warm and inviting, reaching all genres and cultures. He had always loved this building and it used to be a Moroccan cafe for six years. It was sold two years ago and became Ruby's Music venue. Both the refurbishment, decorating and plumbing were carried out by him and his partner who is artistic and a painter.
They have Tapas on the menu and keeping it free range and organic you can get Seasonal Veggie Fritters, Patatas Bravas, Spanish Style Chickpeas and Spinach, Grilled Mushrooms, Spanish Omelette, Tomato and Basil Bruschetta, El Sooki Nachos, Crispy Australian Sardines, Salt & Pepper Pan Fried Australian Calamari, Chicken and Serrano Ham Cakes, Chicken and Potato Empanandas, Spanish Meatballs, Cherry BBQ Glazed Free Range Ribs, and Chorizo Sausage. The price for Tapas ranges from $10 to $16. There are also larger share plates of Grande Mezze, Dips, Feta, and Cheese Plates and Soft Tacos. For sides you can have Roquette Salad, Coleslaw, Garlic Bread, Warmed Herb Olives, Homemade Spiced Nuts and Extra Bread. For dessert, Homemade Sticky Date Pudding, Pecan and Walnut Chocolate Brownie and Dessert of the Day. Desserts are around $8 on average and Sides range from $3 to $8.
The Kitchen is open Tues-Thurs 5pm till 9.30pm, Fri-Sat 12 noon till 10pm and on Sun 12noon to 9.30 pm. High standard cocktails, Australian craft beer and cider on tap and bottle, boutique Australian wines with organic quality options are served along with regular 'live' music. Bigger 'Acts' are brought in every six weeks and on Thursdays they have local musicians. Once a month they have an art exhibition and they also run dancing classes downstairs. Belly dancing is free every Tuesday night at 7pm upstairs and at 8pm downstairs the advanced class is run at a cost of $12 by Janelle and Lanessa. Sooki Sundays are 'open stage' jam night sat 7pm, so you can either take your instruments and make some music or just watch the fun.
The Brownie dessert I had was to die for; so much so I started eating it then remembered I had not taken a picture of it yet
You really need to LIKE their Facebook Page to keep abreast of the constantly updated information. They have a lot of entertainment on the rise especially as we near Christmas I reckon. You will find more details on their website . They are at 1648 Burwood Hwy, Belgrave (03) 9754 7567 and operate Tuesday to Thursday 5pm to 1am, Friday and Saturday 12noon to 3am and Sunday 12 noon to 1am.