New to Repulse Bay, Sip Song promises to deliver authentic Thai flavours in a casual beachside setting.
District: Repulse Bay, Hong Kong
How much: Small plates between $45 and $110; fish and meat dishes between $165 and $355; soups and curries between $95 and $195; rice and noodles between $95 and $255; vegetables and sides between $15 and $70; desserts between $65 and $75
Must order: Roti Kor Muu Yang Prik Pow; Kai Loog Keuy; Roti Kluay
The best for: Casual group dining by the beach
Living in Hong Kong, we’re lucky enough to have beautiful beaches right on our doorstep – along with weather that means it’s warm enough to take a trip down to the coast for about 10 months of the year. But apart from the salty hair and sandy toes, the best thing about a beach day is obviously the food (and drinks!) that come with it. We’re blessed in our city with numerous options, no matter what beach you’re heading to – and now there’s a newcomer in the Repulse Bay area, Sip Song.
Describing itself a casual Thai beachside eatery and bar, the restaurant promises an array of Thai favourites – with all of the dishes delivering the calling card flavours of “the big four” (sweet, spicy, sour and salty). The décor of the restaurant only goes to emphasise the vibrant theme, with bright, colourful and patterned tablecloths and wallpaper adorning the space. Well and truly feeling the relaxed, holiday vibes that Sip Song conjures up, we started our meal with some cocktails. Inspired by classic drinks with a Thai twist, the cocktails on offer are just what you’ll want after a hot day on the beach, with favourites of ours including the Stormy Siam ($95, with dark rum, jasmine tea, lime, ginger honey, angostura bitters and ginger beer) and the Coriander Mojito ($105, with rum, elderflower, calamansi, coriander, Sichuan pepper and soda). Surprisingly mild and subtle in flavour, both drinks worked as refreshing antidotes to the spicy plates to come.
When it comes to food, offerings at Sip Song are wide and varied. The large menu covers everything from soups and curries, to grilled meats and fish dishes, rice and noodles and smaller fresh plates. We sampled a little of everything from the menu, and although we loved the creamy and aromatic flavours of the Kaeng Keaw Waan ($110, vegetable green curry with baby eggplant, mushroom, snake bans and tofu), we found it to be the small plates that stood out for us.
Favourites dishes included the Roti Kor Muu Yang Prik Pow ($95, “Don’t Tell Mom” Roti Pancake, BBQ pork neck, chilli jam, fresh herbs and crispy shallots) and the Kai Loog Keuy ($55, Thai Son-in-Law Scotch Egg, minced chicken and crispy shallots). A great sharing plate to enjoy with a drink, the roti pancake was almost like a Thai-style pizza, with the flakey roti topped with a generous amount of sweet and spicy barbecue sauce, tender cubes of pork neck and a fresh hit of chilli and coriander. We would recommend enjoying one between two. The “Thai Son-in-Law Scotch Egg” was also a winner for us. Delivering the required oozy and jammy egg yolk, surrounded by flavourful chicken and a nicely crisp exterior, we enjoyed the Thai take on the Brit classic, with the addition of sweet chilli jam adding a further layer of addictive flavour.
When it comes to more classic Thai dishes, Sip Song’s Som Tam Thai ($85, Green Papaya Salad with palm sugar, fish sauce and fresh chilli) ticked all the boxes for us. Fresh and spicy, with a mild sweetness coming from the addition of sweetcorn, the dish proved popular. However other traditional dishes weren’t quite as well executed. The Sip Song Phad Thai ($210) was generously prepared with plenty of prawns but lacked a little something in flavour to make the dish really stand out. Contrastingly, we loved the punchy yet fragrant flavours of the Phad Kee Mao Gai ($135, Drunken Style Spicy Noodles with free-range chicken, green peppercorns, baby corn and lime leaf), but found the flat noodles used to be a little over cooked.
After an array of flavourful and spicy dishes, our palettes were ready for a hit of sweetness, and the dessert menu at Sip Song is sure to delight. The Instagrammable Ube and Coconut Ice Cream with jackfruit chips, salted peanut brittle and Thai whiskey caramel tempted us, but it was the indulgent Roti Kluay ($75, Banana Roti Pancake with condensed milk and chocolate), and the Kao Neaw Ma Muang ($75, mango sticky rice) that won us over. The flakey layers of roti were full of caramelised banana flavour and topped off with a generous amount of condensed milk and chocolate sauce (cut neatly into easily consumable squares of goodness) it took us straight back to the night markets of Thailand. The classic mango sticky rice was also a hit, with the authentic rendition of the dish featuring wonderfully ripe mango, sweet rice and just enough smooth and rich coconut sauce, topped with a scattering of crispy popped rice for texture.
Our verdict: Given its location and casual dining style, Sip Song is sure to be a hit with Repulse Bay weekend crowds. The sharing style plates are always going to go down well with hungry groups, but we recommend opting for more of the smaller plates (and to save room for dessert!).
Sip Song is open now Monday to Thursday, 12pm to 2:30pm and 6pm to 10pm; and Friday to Sunday, 12pm to 4pm and 6pm to 10pm. Reservations are available for groups of six or more.