The Lobo Plantation, Sydney

Descend the winding staircase to the Lobo Plantation past a vertical garden and step back in time to old Cuba. Old-world glamour in an urban hideout, a cool Caribbean vibe and a touch of nostalgia and elegance feel at home in the heart of Sydney’s CBD.

The Lobo Plantation
The Lobo Plantation

The Lobo Plantation is named after Julio Lobo (1898-1983), a powerful Cuban sugar baron who built casinos, dated Hollywood stars and lived the high life before he fled from Cuba in the late 1930s to 1960 to go into exile.

The Lobo Plantation
Split level

The venue, opened just a week ago by Michael Hwang, Eddie Levy and Jared Merlino pays homage to his legendary life.

The Lobo Plantation

Designer Josh Clapp from Taught By Black has created a space that interprets Julio’s hideaway. A stunning domed ceiling, a large mural, red leather Chesterfield lounges, old reupholstered furniture and a herringbone timber floor add touches of authenticity to the new bar, right down to the unisex toilets with murals and hand-painted basins. All that is needed are patrons dressed in white suits to complete the picture.

The Lobo Plantation
Chesterfield Lounges for Groups

The Lobo Plantation specialises in rum and stocks over 150 select varieties from around the world. Among the collection, you’ll find Diplomatico Anejo, Cubaney Rum, El Dorado range, Pampero, Havana Club and Flor de Cana just to name a few.

The Lobo Plantation
Havana Club Daiquiris

An international wine list sits with ten champagnes glass including grandes marques such as Ruinart ‘R’ de Ruinart, Perrier-Jouët Belle Époque and Dom Perignon.

The Lobo Plantation
Flaming Cocktail

The Lobo Plantation has assembled a great international and local bar team with Andres Walters (ex Grandmas), Jason Gray (ex Whistling Shop, Baxter Inn) and Simon Toohey who create the relaxed and fun vibe around the bar.

The Lobo Plantation
Plantain Chips

The menu with a solid list of sixteen cocktails makes good reading while you snack on plantain chips.

The Lobo Plantation
L-R: Short and Stout, Southeast Side

The Southeast Side ($17) is a good choice with which to start, a twist on a classic with gin, lime and sugar with Thai basil that lifts the drink.

Strong and boozy, the Short and Stout ($17) is the go-to drink. You get the richness and sweetness of Ron Zacapa 23, followed by the bitterness from the Campari and ends with a wicked chocolate hit from the chocolate porter reduction.

The Lobo Plantation
L-R: The Communist Sour, Plan-Ting

The Communist Sour ($17) combines Havana Especial, Aperol, orgeat syrup and lemon juice into a sour that is refreshing and easy to drink. Plan-Ting ($17) combines Plantation OP rum from Barbados with Jamaica’s favourite soft drink, Ting (like a lemonade but made with grapefruit) into a sweet, delicious and easy-drinking cocktail.

Bar eats are a collaboration with Food Society in Darlinghurst what have put together a food menu which carries the Caribbean and South American theme.

The Lobo Plantation
Pork Crackling 

Start with Pork Crackling ($7), stripped of fat and served warm with a black pepper infused vinegar dipping sauce. Crisp, seasoned and stripped of fat, this is guilt-free snacking at its best.
The Lobo Plantation
Baked Cheese Balls

The Baked Cheese Balls with guava sauce ($4.50) are light and crisp, melting in the mouth and served with a sour tomato jam on 5 pesos paper money.

The Lobo Plantation
Cuban Pastelitos

Cuban Pastelitos with beef, raisin and guava ($8.50) are among the favourite. Light and puffy pockets of crispy deep fried pastry are filled with a sweet and fulfilling mix of beef, raisins and guava paste. Add a dash of the house-made hot sauce which comes in miniature bottles of Ron Zacapa and 10Cane rum for a touch of heat. The pastelitos are served on $1000 Cuban paper money.

The Lobo Plantation
Tamales en Cazuela

The other go-to dish is Tamales en Cazuela ($11), with corn husks filled with creamy polenta, smashed corn and pulled pork served with black beans and a fresh chopped salsa – preferably not to be shared with your other half.

The Lobo Plantation
Ropa Vieja

Ropa Vieja ($13) melts in the mouth with shredded flank steak that has been slow-braised over two nights in dark beer and brown sugar. The crispy chick peas add lovely crunch and texture to the richness of the dish.

The Lobo Plantation
Pudin de Pan

To finish, the Pudin de Pan ($11) is not to be missed. You can smell the rum in this Creole-style warm bread pudding with a butterscotch sauce laced with Kraken rum which brings out the vanilla and spice characters. This is a feel-good dessert, guaranteed to make you smile on the inside.

More photographs of the Lobo Plantation:

The Lobo Plantation
Bar Area

The Lobo Plantation
Unisex Bathrooms

The Lobo Plantation
Interior of The Lobo Plantation

The Lobo Plantation
Rum Collection

The Lobo Plantation
L-R: Jay Gray, Simon Toohey, Jared Merlino (GM & Part Owner), Andres Walters, Dylan Minehan

From the stunning fitout to a great cocktail list, along with a welcoming and engaging bar team, delicious bar eats that don’t break the budget, Sydney’s latest addition to the bar scene leaves a lasting first impression. And if the ebb and flow of patrons on a weeknight during the first week of trading is any indication, The Lobo Plantation has firmly set its place as Sydney’s latest hotspot and go-to drinking destination.

The Lobo Plantation
Basement, 209 Clarence Street, Sydney
Ph: 0415 554 908
Opening Hours: Mon – Sat, 4pm – 1am

The Lobo Plantation on Urbanspoon

Gourmantic experienced The Lobo Plantation as media guests. Opinions, as always, are your own.


This article is posted on - All rights reserved - Copyright © 2015.

The Lobo Plantation, Sydney was last modified: April 23rd, 2015 by Corinne Mossati

Did you enjoy this article? Share it with your friends using the icons below.

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the founder and editor of Gourmantic. An avid scribe, she has taken pen to paper since the age of five. Her repertoire includes long works of fiction, short stories and travelogues. She is a winner of the GT travel writing competition, has judged the Australasian Whisky Awards and several cocktail competitions. She is also named in the Australian Bartender Most Influential List.


  1. Pingback: Earl's Juke Joint, The Barber Shop, Fat Rupert’s | Gourmantic

  2. Pingback: Best Sydney Rum Bars | Gourmantic

  3. Pingback: Time Out Sydney Bar Awards Nominees | Gourmantic

  4. Pingback: Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards Nominations 2014 | Gourmantic

  5. Pingback: Grace West Wins Mix It to Fix It 2014 | Gourmantic

  6. Pingback: Bar Week 2014 Wrap Up | Gourmantic

  7. Pingback: Time Out Sydney Bars Award Nominees 2014 | Gourmantic

  8. Pingback: Lobo Plantation Rum Journal | Gourmantic

  9. Pingback: Time Out Sydney Bar Awards Winners 2014 | Gourmantic

  10. Pingback: The Lobo Plantation Autumn Menu | Gourmantic

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>