London already boasts a café dedicated to breakfast cereals and a diner specialising in cheese toasties. Today it welcomes a new arrival — a Soho restaurant serving solely crisps and dips. Like the other venues, Hipchips takes a specialist approach, sourcing unusual potato varieties from the Highland Burgundy to the Shetland Black. For drinks, it offers craft beers and wine.
Chef Scott Davies said: “Everyone likes crisps, but what you can get in the shops is fairly average. We are using the best ingredients to make a high-end product. We wanted to give people something a bit different — I don’t think there is anyone doing something like this in the country, or even the world.”
The restaurant, the brainchild of Mr Davies and businessman David Morris, follows on from the Cereal Killer café in Shoreditch and Melt Room, also in Soho. It serves the crisps with a range of dips, including Peruvian Ceviche — a salsa made from tomato, red onion, chilli, lime and coriander — and smoky cheese fondue. Some of its snacks are sweet, with Nutella praline, salted caramel and cheesecake dips.
Mr Davies, who has previously worked at Marylebone tapas restaurant Providores, said: “I’ve taken my inspiration for the sweet crisps from doughnuts by sprinkling them with cinnamon sugar as soon as they come out of the fryer. These with the dips really form a classic pairing, which we will change weekly and seasonally.” A small box of crisps with two dips will cost £4.50, a medium box with three dips £6.75 and a large box with six dips £11.50.
The restaurant at 49 Old Compton Street, which does not take bookings, is open midday to 11pm from Monday to Thursday, to midnight on Friday and Saturday and to 10pm on Sundays. As for The Eagle, I’m off to make a traditional Irish Tayto sandwich!