Kate’s Food Finds: Thai restaurant in Cabin John provides cozy atmosphere, delicious dishes

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Photo by Kate Hawley

The front dining room of Sisters offers interesting items to look at when conversation gets boring, such as books, antiques and family photos. The multi-room structure of the restaurant creates a quaint atmosphere and a home-like feel.

When you enter a restaurant, you usually expect to see over 50 identical chairs, 15 identical tables, a large dining area, plain walls and typically, you anticipate a commercial feel. Most restaurants are loud bustling places with ordinary decor and ordinary food. Located in Cabin John, Sisters breaks all boundaries of what is considered typical for a restaurant.

Sisters serves soups, salads, noodles, stir-fries, fried rice, curry and Thai street food. The menu, which is formatted to look like a newspaper, advertises 20 different entrees, plus 11 chef-recommended dishes and 19 desserts, which are served at the adjoining Magnolia Dessert Bar. “My favorite thing on the menu is the Pad see ew,” sophomore Natalie Min said.  

The most noticeable thing about the food is the amount of flavor it has. The handmade noodles of the Pad Thai and Pad see ew have an impressive depth of flavor from the sauces they are cooked with and the spring rolls are filled with crisp, delicious veggies that taste incredibly fresh.

I’m not only doing it for living but it’s a passion.”

— Prasert Limsumang

With an average entree price of $15.50 and an average appetizer price of $9.00, Sisters is slightly more expensive than the average sit-down restaurant, but the cost of the dishes is completely worth it. The dishes are all made with premium ingredients and care from executive chef Prasert Limsumang. “I’m not only doing it for living but it’s a passion,” Limsumang is quoted as saying in the menu.

The restaurant has a bar, outdoor eating space and two small individual dining rooms, which both remain quiet, even at max capacity. Sisters can seat 60 guests indoors and 35 guests outdoors, meaning that there is little to no wait time, even on a busy night.

From the outside, Sisters looks like a big box with black wood paneling surrounding the whole building. A shaded outdoor seating area is tucked on the left side of the building and a small table containing the menu sits in front. Looking into the windows of the building, you get just a taste of what is to come.

The most unique thing about the restaurant is its home-like decor. The front dining room has a wide fireplace, unique metal chandeliers and bookshelf-lined walls that showcase family photos, vintage cameras, antiques, old books and small toys. The back dining room has checkered black and white tile floors, large bookshelves, wood tables and mismatched chairs, which add to the quaint feel. 

The Cabin John location of Sisters was opened in 2019 by Tammy Disayawathana, however, she had opened four other Sisters locations in Northern Virginia before that. Disayawathana founded Sisters because she missed the cafes from her hometown in Thailand. “I opened this place to bring my customers to home,” Disayawathana told Washington Post writer Winyan Soo Hoo.

If you do go to Sisters, I would strongly recommend the Pad see ew or one of the highly-rated curries. The restaurant is located at 7995 Tuckerman Ln and is open from 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.. Sisters is open for delivery, takeout and dine-in.