Thursday night: all’s quiet on street level, but downstairs the tables are full or reserved with cute branded LP records. There’s no such thing as a school night anymore. The Prohibition era vibe comes through strongly with white shirted, apron-clad barmen at your beck and call. After trying soda syphons last time, I wanted to stay adult with my cocktail selections. A black pepper kick makes the Mexican Standoff ($19) nice and spicy; while Bulleit Bourbon makes Roy Orbison ($18) smooth and mellow, a bit like its namesake. The menu has expanded from hotdogs to Harlem heart attacks – though Fried Chicken and Waffles ($16) with pots of clarified butter and maple syrup, is the best version of this dish I’ve tried, so you’ll die happy. You’ll find the Pulled Pork Burger ($15) is not too wet, and not too dry; Texan BBQ Pork Ribs ($14) are equally delightful; and Cheeseburger Spring Rolls ($9) give you some finger food fun with tomato and mustard on the side. This sort of food really calls for beer, and when you’re drinking beer here, the on-tap Monteiths American Pale Ale ($9) wins on freshness with lovely toffee characteristics. Bottled Blue Moon ($9) is less interesting, however the lemon it’s served with cuts against the excesses – and there are excesses.
The Soda Factory
16 Wentworth Avenue, Surry Hills
Ph: (02) 8096 9120 sodafactory.com.au
American, Cocktails $