“Let’s go to Double Bay and pick up some rich Jewish women in need of toyboys,” he suggested.
Since that seemed much better than editing magazines, which is what I was doing back then, I agreed – and so we ended up in a Bay Street café where Mrs Sippy is now.
From the outside Mrs Sippy looks relatively the same as the café did all those years ago, and as I approach on a Saturday night I have flashbacks to that afternoon where the dirty old man and I sat on the pavement sipping coffees and waiting to be approached. For some reason, however, we never were. I suppose it might be because the dirty old man was a 60-year-old ex-boxer with a bushy moustache and sideburns while I’m a Jewish hobbit, but we decided it was because Double Bay women have no style (incidentally, the dirty old man disappeared soon after that coffee. He had told me he was working on a top-secret project that would revolutionise energy production and that his life was in danger but I didn’t believe him at the time. Now, however, I sometimes wonder …)
But I digress.
Mrs Sippy looks like a stylish eatery when you first walk in, the type of place you’d see in The OC (I might once have had a shameful addiction to that show – but then, I am white trash). There’s an open kitchen and tables filled with couples and families, and for a moment I wonder if I’m in the right place. However, I then find the bar area down the back in what looks like it might have been a courtyard or even a garage in the past.
There’s a makeshift feel that’s refreshing for this area, right down to the garage-style door propped over the back bar, which is filled with an impressive array of liquor. If not for the number of designer cardigans the men are wearing and the highly tanned and sculpted female bodies this would almost feel like an inner city bar, thanks to the exposed brick walls and uncomfortable wooden seats that are suspended from wooden tables by rotating metal thingamebobs. Trust me, that’s the best way I can describe the stools.
Actually, I don’t mind the seats but the women I’m talking to (friends of a friend who is throwing her birthday party here) seem uncomfortable on the seats as I shamelessly chat them up. Then again, it might be me who’s making them uncomfortable. It’s hard to tell.
I can, however, certainly say I like the cocktail list here, which is original and sophisticated. For example, I order the Seven Shillings ($17), which is made with Jim Beam rye, pineapple juice, mandarin juice, apricot brandy, dry vermouth, lemon juice and is served in a martini glass. The balance in this is just right – not too sweet, sour or fruity and easy to drink. Far too easy, in fact, since I finish it in minutes. My only quibble is I’m not convinced the three finely-sliced apple pieces submerged in my drink are necessary.
The wine list here is well thought out plus they have some interesting beers, such as Vale Ale and one from the Lord Nelson. In fact, I also like the 80s music playing. Food wise they have flat pizzas – I steal some slices that someone from the party bought, and they’re good – as well as king prawns on skewers (also good, although I like my skewered prawns to have more of a smoky/charred flavour to them). As such, I only steal one prawn skewer. I may be a finger food thief, but I’d like to think I’m a discerning one.
In short, this is a fun, laid-back place with a great drinks selection and lots of pretty people. The dirty old man would have loved it.