Saturday, 28 July 2012

Review - Sonex Cafe

Friday, 16th March 2012    (visit 1)
Thursday, 19th April 2012 (visit 2)

Sonex Cafe
324-326 King Street 

Cuisine: Vietnamese, Asian, Western Breakfast

Taste Rating: 7.5/10   Value Rating: 7.5/10

Sonex Cafe on Urbanspoon

Sonex Cafe looks like a milkbar. From the outside, it looks dark on the inside. Most people probably hurry past this place at the corner of King Street and La Trobe Street. The menu pasted on the front window gives a clue that they serve food. Looking in through the windows, there are people seated at the tables at lunch times.

Not knowing what to expect, we went for lunch on a Friday, our first visit. The menu is basic and sits on the top of the counter. There are a few photos of the food decorating the front of one of the counters. There are a few tables,  mainly for two persons, but can be combined. It looks like a family run business and the people are friendly and helpful.

The menu has Vietnamese dishes but also what looks like Malaysian and Chinese dishes. There are 10 'cooked to order' main dishes on the menu, plus rice/noodle combinations from the bain-marie. There are also salads, sandwiches, party pies, quiches and sausage rolls.

We ordered Laksa and Beef Salad with Vermicelli.

What a surprise! The Laksa had beautiful colours (see photo) and tasted great! It could probably be called a Malaysian curry laksa. The Beef Salad with Vermicelli was tasty, with nice slices of beef.

Happy with the food, we came back for a second visit the following month, with a third person. We ordered Beef Noodle Soup, Chicken Curry and Beef with noodles (from the bain-maree) and Crab Meat Noodles.

The Beef Noodle Soup turned out to be Beef Pho. It was good.  One of the mint varieties used for the pho was Cinnamon Mint (Shiso family); the taste may suit others but I found it bitter.

The Chicken Curry and Beef were selected from the pre-cooked food in the bain-marie. These tasted quite ordinary.

I had high hopes of the Crab Meat noodles. I ordered this from one of the photos pasted under the counter; this dish was not on the printed menu. The crab meat was not easy to distinguish in the broth. It seemed to be in a mince-type omelette. This wasn't a memorable dish.

Overall, we will come back to try the other dishes, as well as order the curry laksa, beef vermicelli and beef pho again. This is a simple, unpretentious place with a few gems on the menu at reasonable prices. Worth keeping in mind for lunch times.



Beef Salad with Vermicelli

Beef Noodle Soup (Pho)

Cinnamon Mint from the Beef Pho

Chicken Curry and Beef with Noodles

Crab Meat Noodles
Inside the Cafe


  1. Their beef salad is legendary!!

  2. Hi Anon,

    Thanks for your comment. Yup, the beef salad with vermicelli is one of the gems in their menu! Will definitely order this again.