It must be hard, trying to establish your cool, hip venue in a suburb about as interesting as the instruction manual for a 1977 Kelvinator Anything (if Sydney has about as much culture as an 85g tub of Yoplait then the eastern suburbs is the peel-away lid, sitting at the bottom of the kitchen bin, with a mere suggestion of the remnants of a dairy treat long-since enjoyed, still clinging on in vain.) I really do empathise with the venue owners of these suburbs, especially Double Bay. Well, I try to anyway.
I guess it may come as no surprise then that the whole concept of opening a cool, hip venue is just that little bit different in this corner of the world. Where other places aim for a low-key public interface (unmarked door) or a fresh, modern-Australian menu (raw fish, $34), or a fun, approachable gimmick to help set them apart from the pack (American diner), Mrs Sippy eschews all of the norms and gives a big middle finger to the notion that a venue needs to be friendly, have a simple concept and be consistent, instead offering an array of half-cooked ideas in a confusing format with little to no attention to guest experience.
The first thing I heard when joining the queue (yes, a queue) for this fortress of fuck-ups was the security guard (yes, a restaurant with a security guard) telling the gent in front of me that he couldn’t enter because he was wearing thongs, before he was promptly seated at a table outside (apparently the dress code doesn’t apply to those who dine al fresco.)
My group was seated outside also, amidst the tables of kids and constant flow of foot traffic, whist being serenaded by the sounds of club music blasting from the inside of the venue. I’m not sure who was in charge of music when the concept of Mrs Sippy was first floated, but I am certain that they took a lot of drugs. The juxtaposition of being sat at the kids table whilst scantily clad twenty-somethings lined up gripping their IDs, reeking of Axe body spray and STIs was too much to handle, even for me.
And then there’s what’s on offer, the pinnacle of what makes this place just so-fucking-Sydney. You know the menu – it’s the same menu from every other banal confused outlet of sub-par nutriment seen anywhere throughout the greater Sydney area. There’s a cheeseburger. I’m sure it’s on the menu as ‘THE cheeseburger’, but I couldn’t really care to remember. There’s a section dedicated to pizzas. There are fries. There are 14 different rosés. It’s just so. Fucking. Boring. At the end of the day, if you’re going to make me queue up, don the correct footwear to not have to sit in a sea of fucking kids and listen to So Fresh; The Hits of Ibiza 2012 then the least you could fucking do is provide a decent meal.
Mrs Sippy in Double Bay is a portrayal of everything wrong with Sydney’s dining scene of the most offensive kind. I can give you $432.5 reasons not to go, but it won’t stop you, Sydney, it’s in your DNA to frequent places like this. To order the espresso martini, to spend an extra $14 on the French rosé, to only drink Grey Goose. It’s your favourite thing, who am I to tell you not to do it?
But for the record, all rosé tastes the fucking same anyway.