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Photograph: Courtesy Sip Song

A guide to Thai street food

Sip Song brings the Sabai-Dee vibes to Repulse Bay

Time Out Hong Kong with Maximal Concepts
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Thailand is known for its stunning beaches, extreme hospitality and of course, street food. If a visit to the Land of Smiles isn’t on the cards, Maximal Concepts’ newest eatery and bar, Sip Song is a love letter to Thailand that brings the same liveliness and warmth to Hong Kong’s South side. 

Sip Song’s menu is inspired by the childhood memories of Head Chef Nuch Srichantranon. Using simple techniques, the pillars of Thai cuisine and fresh ingredients, Chef Nuch recreates the comfort foods of his childhood for guests. Born in Thailand, trained in Australia and inspired by mum, he grew up eating in local-style cafes, snacking street-side in Bangkok and feasting on fresh seafood by the beach on the Southern coast of Thailand. 

Food in Thailand is a combination of culture and lifestyle. It is a fast-paced city, hence why there are easy and delicious options everywhere. “Whether you are wealthy or not, everyone enjoys eating street food,” comments Chef Nuch. 

All sauces at Sip Song (aside from soy sauce and fish sauce) and curry pastes are made in-house by Chef Nuch and his team. Sustainably sourced seafood and grilled skewers feature heavily on the menu, along with curries, moreish noodle dishes and desserts. A shared experience amongst family and friends, Sip Song serves up Sabai-Dee vibes and the flavours of Thailand next to sun, sand and sea. Here are some of the menu items that will transport you to the bustling night markets and the hidden streets of Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket and beyond.

Muu bing

Muu bing

Charcoal grills are one of the most popular finds on Thailand’s streets. A never-ending row of vendors line up grilling various proteins including pork, squid, tiger prawns, chicken and even chicken innards. There are many ways pork on a stick can go wrong, but muu bing hits the spot every time. Slices of marbled and fatty pork are skewered and coated in a marinade of herbs, coconut milk, fish sauce, dark soy sauce and sugar. Although every vendor will have their own specialty mixture, Chef Nuch coats his tender pork neck in dark soy and condensed milk. Cooked over a charcoal grill, giving it a sweet and smoky char, it is the perfect PIC (partner-in-crime) to an ice cold Thai beer.

Phad see ew

Phad see ew

Noodles are a food group in their own right and an Asian diet staple. Phat si-io or phad see ew is a stir-fried rice noodle dish cooked in dark, sweet soy and tossed with meat or seafood and vegetables. The aromatic fragrance and almost caramelised flavour from Sip Song’s phad see ew comes from high heat and a special cooking technique. The noodles are imported from a local business in a small city outside of Bangkok and are tossed with butcher’s cut, also known as hanger steak. Each cow only has a few kilos of this very tender and juicy cut.

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Roti kluay

Roti kluay

This treat – introduced by Indian immigrants – is best likened to a banana pancake or crepe. The dough is first stretched out and fried over a hot griddle. Bananas are placed in the centre and the dough is then folded over into a perfect package and cut up into bite-sized pieces. For an extra sweet ending, Chef Nuch finishes it off with a generous drizzle of condensed milk and Nutella.

Sip Song is true to the food of Chef Nuch’s upbringing. While the menu is full of recognisable Thai classics, at the same time, it isn’t concerned with taking itself too seriously. “I am heavily influenced by my time cooking in Australia, and at Sip Song we like to have fun!” comments Chef Nuch. 

The ‘Don’t tell mom’ roti pancake is one example of a menu item that is not a truly authentic Thai dish. “Even though we use Thai flavours – chilli jam, tamarind, fresh chilli and coriander on top of the pork – we chose this name as a tongue-in-cheek way of explaining that if you made this for your Thai mum, she wouldn’t be very pleased,” explains Chef Nuch. He adds, “But actually, I have made this version for my Mum and she thought it was pretty good!”.

Click here to learn more about Sip Song’s bold take on Thai cuisine.

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