Road Trip, Eleuthera: Chi-Chi Sip Sip

view from our table at Sip Sip

Tippy’s was a letdown, but Sip Sip was not.  Harbour Island is populated mostly by roosters and golf carts; to get there, you have to take a “ferry” (i.e. a small motorboat) from North Eleuthera at five bucks a head each way, about $1/minute spent on board.  Totally worth it: Harbour Island is quite chi-chi compared to Eleuthera, with “pink sand” beaches (not noticeably pink but gorgeous nonetheless) that we had nearly to ourselves, some great resorts and restaurants, and often celebrity visitors, though we recognized nobody while we were there.

Chilled beet soup at Sip Sip

Sip Sip is Bahama-speak for gossip, like gosSIP gosSIP.  Get it?  Yes.  One could gossip at Sip Sip, especially a few beverages in, but who can get a word out when one’s mouth is full of such delicious food? Total opposite experience from Tippy’s despite equally high expectations: super friendly, efficient service; seated outdoors, for lunch, with lovely view of the Atlantic beach; food excellent in presentation and taste.  Even the restrooms were quaint and cute.

I started with chilled beet soup with sour cream, a rich beet-red (surprise!) concoction that must have involved a fair amount of real cream [nope — see Julie’s comment below — how they got it to taste so rich without cream I dont know!] as opposed to with sour cream, which was dolloped in the middle and topped with bits of green onion. Great stuff, perfect starter sitting outdoors in the Bahamas.  Others had the conch chili; those who ate it, approved.

Lobster quesadilla at Sip Sip

Fodor’s says “consider yourself lucky if the lobster quesadillas are available”; they were, and we did.  No skimping on the lobster either, and the nicely grilled tortillas were packed with crustacea, gooey jack cheese, and a tangy corn-onion-pomegranate relish [fooled again, see comment below]. Another winner!  But Mrs. Me was thrilled with her caprese salad, featuring an entire enormous heirloom tomato grown on Eleuthera, the likes of which are hard to find in the States. Fresh mozzarella too, and she didn’t mind the unexpected pesto, of which she normally is not a fan.

Someone else ordered the spicy grouper stew with Johnnybread and grits, hints of the Carolinas but all Bahamas in the end.  The dish was visually unexciting but tasted good; the broth was quite spicy, and watery, and the eater was admonished (teasingly) by our server to use his spoon, not his fork.

Caprese salad at Sip Sip

Not a loser in the group.  Great array of dishes, I was in full-on plate-licking mode. Not sure I’ll be on Harbour Island again anytime soon, but if I am, I will beeline from the boat dock to the Sip Sip — I bet I could sprint it in two minutes.  Considering the view, atmosphere, location, service, company, and food all together, this is in the running for my top ten best meals ever.

Sip Sip Stew -- for spoon, not fork

Amazon Tree Frog, or Sip Sip

Pink sands of Harbour Island, largely people-free


2 responses to “Road Trip, Eleuthera: Chi-Chi Sip Sip

  1. Thank you so much for your wonderful comments about Sip Sip!
    We are all thrilled that you enjoyed it so much.
    Just so you know,
    the beet soup had nary a lick of cream, just the dollop of sour cream on the top, and the lobster quesadilla salsa has no corn. Perhaps the diced yellow peppers were mistaken for corn? As for the “boil” fish, the broth is pure fish stock seasoned with lime and what we call goat pepper (a habanero-type pepper). It’s only served on Sundays, so you were lucky to have it!

    Please keep up the good sip sip–the only way we advertise is through word-of-mouth! Come back and stay on HI next time; you can rent a house and come have lunch every day–except Tuesdays, when we’re always closed.

    Again, many thanks for your appreciative comments and lovely photos, as well as for making the foray to Sip Sip!

    Best regards,
    Julie Lightbourn, Chef/owner
    Sip Sip
    Harbour Island

  2. And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is a high-quality comment. Thanks Julie, for the comment and the ingredient info and the excellent meal. If we ever do stay on Harbour Island, we will surely visit Sip Sip every day!

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