Sherman's Food Adventures: Sing Sing Beer Bar

Sing Sing Beer Bar

So the late night food scene in Vancouver is not as dynamic as it should be given its population, but there are some decent choices out there.  Among them are the usual Chinese spots serving up wonton noodles, congee and da lang as well as the various Vietnamese Pho joints.  Let's not forget the many bar/pubs that serve up brews with the accompanying North American eats.  Some more unique choices are Seigel's Bagels and Lucy's Eastside Diner.  Joining the fray is something a bit different in Sing Sing Beer Bar that offers up a wide range of brews pairing with Vietnamese fare AND pizza.  Interesting combination in a place that is also very un-Vietnamese.

We ended up visiting the place after late night Friday hockey one night.  To say the place was bumping is a huge understatement.  After a short wait, we got a table and proceeded to get bevvies and eats.  In terms of the small plates, they were pretty solid including the Calamari with salsa verde, roasted garlic and sambal.  These were fried up light and crispy where the grease factor was low.  The squid itself was tender with an appealing bite where the inherent seasoning was enough for impact with a garlicky, salty spiciness.  Equally good were the Chicken Wings with garlic, sambal, lime and cilantro.  Sure, these weren't Phnom Penh quality, but appetizing in their own way.  They were crispy with fairly rendered skin while the meat was tender and juicy.  Again, there was enough seasoning to go with the spice, garlickiness and acidity.

The best appie of all was the BBQ Chicken Skewers with lemongrass, fish sauce and toasted sesame.  Perfectly charred with a smoky and caramelized exterior, the skewers were a full-flavoured with briny saltiness from the fish sauce and aromatics from the lemongrass.  Beyond that, the meat itself was super tender and juicy.  Now the small plates were pretty well-executed and went with our bevvies fine, but when we got to the Phở Gà and Phở Bò, they were truly disappointing.  When the menu states that, "Traditional family recipes passed down to proprietor Regan Truong", one would expect something amazing.  However, we found both to taste nothing like any other Pho we've had.  It looked and tasted like they put soy sauce into the broth.  Rather than aromatic meat flavours, what we got was something far too salty and muddled.  We really didn't enjoy these.

Onto the other dominant menu item, we tried the Pizza Margherita as well as the Carne Piccante.  These featured thin crusts that were more akin to a large cracker rather than the usual Neapolitan-style type.  I would say it is most like a thicker version of Me-n-Ed's.  So it crunchy, yet a bit dense.  We were rather indifferent with these as we didn't dislike them, but didn't love them either.  The toppings were fine though with enough tangy tomato sauce and cheese for impact.  Personally, I thought the carne pizza was better due to the meat.  However, other than the appies, we thought the food at Sing Sing missed the mark.  At the same time, many of the patrons were seemingly happy with the beer selection and the lively atmosphere.  If that is their calling card, then Sing Sing fits a late night niche.

The Good:
- Lively atmopshere
- Good appies
- Nice beers on tap

The Bad:
- Pho is lacking

1 comments:

LotusRapper said...

Been wanting to go there for awhile. Looks pretty good.

I avoid being in a Vietnamese pho joint after 9pm ..... for personal safety reasons :-D