HOT: Sookie La La, 593 High St, Northcote

sookie la la
American diner Sookie La La has set up shop on the Thornbury/Northcote border of High Street, where the 86 tram runs virtually empty and it’s easy to find a car park.

Sookie La La‘s aesthetic is pared back art deco, with wooden diner booths, high padded leather stools by the bar and two small tables fronting the unadorned glass window, making you the window dressing.

sookie la la

The small menu is classic all-American with a few touches of Central America tossed in. You’ll find burgers, fries, bagels and pie, along with serious ice cream sundaes like the ones I used to get at the Big Pineapple.

Unable to decide amongst the ‘shorts’ list I went for a buffet approach and ordered the Cortes taco ($12.50), the sorullitos ($7.50) and a half serve of the mac ‘n’ cheese with kaiserfleisch ($4.5).

sookie la la

The taco was a substantial beast. It wasn’t really authentic with the addition of scrambled egg but more of a hybrid Mexican/American breakfast dish. The tortillas were dry rather than pliable but the combination of black beans and the punchy tomato salsa zested up with fresh lime made up for the base’s unappealing texture.

sookie la la

The mac ‘n’ cheese came in its own miniature paella pan and was addictive. The cheese was creamy and mild, accented with little salty cubes, seeded mustard and rosemary and dusted off with smoky paprika. I could have easily eaten the full serve!

sookie la la

The sorullitos were billed as Puerto Rican hushpuppies, which turned out to be deep-fried cornmeal/polenta and manchego balls . The five balls came served in a coffee mug (cute!) accompanied by a very mild chipotle aioli. It’s the sort of dish that’s best shared – otherwise you won’t have room for dessert.

sookie la la

Ta dah! We shared the strawberry ice cream sundae with a drizzle of hot chocolate fudge sauce, a liberal sprinkle of honey roasted cashews and two jaunty syrup waffles wedged in the mountain of ice cream. It’s a bargain at $8 considering I paid $6 for a single scoop of ice cream recently. I’m returning to try their other flavours and for those with dairy intolerances or are vegan, you can even try the coconut silk sorbet sundae!

On my way out I spied a generous slab of pumpkin pie ($6.50) made by the owner. I couldn’t resist taking some away or you can have it at Sookie La La served with ice cream.

As befits an nostalgic favourite 50s diner the service at Sookie La La was friendly and welcoming and the solid food will want you coming back for more. 

Sookie La La, 593 High St, Northcote 03 9486 5417

Monday 10:00am-5:00pm

Tuesday CLOSED

Wednesday – Sunday 10:00am-5:00pm

Sookie La La on Urbanspoon

HOT: Michelle Lane of Mishy Lane

Just in time for L’Oreal Fashion Week (14-21 March), today’s HOT Chat is with fashion and product photographer and graphic designer Mishy Lane.


I came across Mishy’s work through the daily newsletter The Colour, and liked her use of colour and textures – plus we have a little in common because she has also moved from Brisbane to Melbourne and is currently living in the northside. Thanks Mishy!

Mishy, tell me a bit more about your background in graphic design and photography and your work as Mishy Lane?

My background is mainly in graphic design and marketing. I have a multimedia degree and studied graphic design at Shillington College in Brisbane, which was the most fun you could possibly have studying!

Since then I have been working for architectural companies and doing freelance in my own time. I always loved photography, but never quite took it seriously. I just used to make my friends pose for me, and I’d throw them up on my blog for fun. Last year I took some styled interiors / homewares shots for Nesting Bird Interiors with my friend and stylist Natalie Moore, and they were featured on the huge American design blog Decor8. That’s when I realised my photography was getting much better.

nesting bird 2

What’s a typical work day for you?

To be honest I am very much struggling to deal with full time work and freelance design / photography. I really admire those people that take the leap and pursue their passion as a full time business. I dream of the day when I can afford that, but until then I spend 8.5 hours working in the city, buzzing on caffeine, and then come home to work some more. Weekends I try and catch up with friends and fit in some photo shoots. Seriously there aren’t quite enough hours in the day!

What are some of the most interesting or challenging projects that you’ve worked on?

They have all been challenging because I learn something from every project. Nothing stands out in my mind, other than working with a very young, hungover model which really tested my patience!

What are your next plans for Mishy Lane?

At the moment I am trying to manage my time so I can keep building Mishy Lane as a business. I’d love to collaborate with creative people; models, stylists, designers and magazines. I am also assisting with a new Melbourne based label  archie which is launching online soon.

What advice would you give to someone starting their own business?

Don’t be shy. Spread the word about your business and products. My mother always said that if you don’t tell people how great you are, then no one else will. I use free mediums like blogs, and social networking sites to meet and talk to like-minded people.

Where do you turn for design advice and inspiration?

The pros! If I see a photoshoot in a magazine that I love, or a designer featured somewhere online, I’ll contact them to tell them I loved it. I also quiz them about their design process / equipment etc. They are usually happy to respond and give you some tips. I especially love Paul Barbara and in particular his Love Lost project which inspires me madly.


You’re pretty new to Melbourne – what have you discovered around Melbourne that’s HOT?

Yes, I’ve only been here a month but so far everything is HOT! I’m slowly working my way through the Melbourne Design Guide, and heading to places that friends recommend to me.

I live in Northcote so I have been really enjoying the Wesley Anne (250 High St, Northcote +61 3 9482 1333) for an Sunday afternoon beverage, and Curry Masala (240 High St, Northcote +61 3 9481 3559) also on High St for a great cheap dinner. The El Joyero (923 High St, Thornbury +61 3 9480 4070) is a new little spot that does an awesome coffee.

(All photographs thanks to Mishy Lane)