Sip Song Bar is so tiny that it is easy to overlook. Which would be a shame though, since this is one of the most fantastic places I have been to in a long time. As the name implies, Sip Song Bar is most of all a bar. It does serve Thai street food though and you are well advised to give it a try before you start imbibing their wonderful (and strong) drinks. Especially since behind this bar is Mamamon Tthai Eatery.
We met early on a still warm evening and took our beer outside. The neighboring shop has wonderful deep windowsills on knee level which make for a excellent seat with a cushion. Eventually we sauntered inside though, we were here for the food after all. Or so we thought.
As much as the diminutive size of the bar irritated me at first, it’s also a great ice breaker. Sitting knee to knee with virtual strangers, you don’t stay so for long. Quite soon you talk to the other people in the bar, check on their food or give recommendations on what to order. It is a fantastic set-up, made even better by Mia the hostess. She is the life and soul, besides the great chef in the kitchen, of Sip song Bar.
We started with beef thaitar, love the play on the name, which came with crispy puff rice crackers. I didn’t care so much for the crackers, but the tartar was very tasty and I ate it with the sliced cucumbers. Definitely a worthy first course. But honestly, I would definitely not eat that on the streets of Thailand. Probably not even in a restaurant there. It’s always tricky with raw meat. Here though, I have no such qualms, and rightly so. Wonderful dish!
Next up was Yum Tang Kwa, a cold cucumber salad with coconut and poached shrimps. Also very tasty, a bit harder to eat though with the sticks. Maybe that was half of the fun already. The seasoning was perfect, with just the right spice level.
Nam Khao Tod, which was rice salad in betel leaves bites with pickled mustard leaves. To me that was the real street food, since it is bite sized and easy to eat with your hands. Definitely a pickled taste here, otherwise it was gone in a flash. I can’t say that I remember much more of it.
We got the typical papaya salad aka Som Tum Thai with the poached shrimps. Not everyone in our group is a fan of the dried shrimps. I have to concede though that this is really an acquired taste. Lots of flavor here, as in every other dish before, with nice spice level. By then I already had a runny nose.
Last but not least we tried the homemade chive cakes, an excellent base for more cocktails. A plate full of warm fried packages with chive in the middle, beansprouts around, and a soy vinaigrette on top. Maybe not the most interesting dish, but definitely a useful one.
We had a couple of more of ‘Jan’s beer‘. Not really sure if a beer with a child in front is such a great advertising, on the other hand it promises to bring out your inner child. Not sure if that happened, but really liked it. A very pleasant beer!
But let’s not forget the cocktails, because Sip Song Bar is foremost a bar. At a later hour most of the people coming in, order a cocktail and then go outside for a cigarette and a bit more space while enjoying their drink.
I can’t say how this concept will work in winter, but so far this has been the most interesting place I have been to this year. Sometimes size really doesn’t matter. Yours, Pollybert
Sip Song Bar
1090 Wien, Lerchenfelder Straße