Sonder might look teeny-tiny from the street, but you'll be shocked at its large interior. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, this former terrace house has at least six indoor-outdoor dining spaces, which have been transformed into something reminiscent of a friendly, artsy sharehouse. There's stimulating floor-to-ceiling art murals, mismatched furniture and a surprise courtyard. Styled with succulents, flowers and hanging wall planters, it's a massive contrast to inside — you'll think you've accidentally stumbled into the neighbour's yard.
A small menu kicks off the dinner service from an even smaller kitchen. A few grazing dishes are perfect for sharing, like the pickled zucchini bruschetta with goats' curd ($11) and the grilled rosemary king prawns with barbecued corn, green chilli and coriander ($20). The dish's charred smoky flavour combined with the fresh tomatoes, lime and a punchy dressing makes for a tasty meal. Add a coconut margarita ($19) to the mix and you'll want to whip out the maracas. But that's as adventurous as the entrees get. The remaining options are simple, like the burrata with fresh figs and olives ($17).
If you're after something more substantial then you can't go wrong with a few old favourites. A 300-gram wagyu scotch fillet with rocket salad, shoestring fries and horseradish butter will set you back $32 and is best washed down with a chilled bottle of beer — after all, there's nine on offer. A big fan of fungi? Then the mushroom and asparagus risotto with crisp enoki and truffle oil ($26) is a vegetarian delight.
Sweet tooths, beware: the dessert offerings are not for the faint-hearted. You'll either love or loathe the Sonder Sundae with salted pretzels, berries, Oreos and chocolate fairy floss. It's a total blowout, but not one that's particularly worth it — nothing in it is house-made. And if you're a nighttime coffee drinker, we suggest sticking with a latte or flat white, as less common orders — like a long macchiato — don't come out quite right.
Sonder feels like it's still finding its dinner feet, but it's nothing a little fine-tuning can't fix. Located in prime Paddington real estate at Five Ways, it's a much needed casual dining spot, and perfect for a relaxed mid-week catch up with family and friends.