Go sweet, savoury or both at HIPCHIPS, Soho

13 Apr 2017

Just when you think you’ve seen it all: cereal bars, cat cafes, pubs in boats, restaurants in shipping containers and discos in warehouses, up pops a restaurant like HIPCHIPS, with an idea so simple, it will leave you wondering why the hell you didn’t think of it first.  A restaurant that serves only fresh chips and fresh dip.

I was expecting there to be a line out the door, it was a Saturday evening and the weather was warm, but we managed to walk in and were served straight away. Upon entering there’s a Five Guys kinda feel to the place with enthusiastic staff stood behind a mountain of crisps and huge bowls of dip, ready for action.

The branding is perfect, with chips piled onto a conveyor belt for all to see, it’s even visible from the street and passers by stop, stare and take pictures. It’s a good mixture of hipster and fun and they’ve created some kind of wonderland or movie set with the bright lights, fancy art work and red and white colour scheme. It’s like being in Christine’s crisp factory waiting for Winnie Wonka to arrive.

The chips are made from a mix of heritage potatoes, and the piles are a beautiful array of purples, yellows and oranges. They looked fitter than the heartthrob in a 90s teen movie.

My pal and I had the large box (£11.50) which comes with six dips. I couldn’t have been more confused when she asked if we wanted sweet or savoury, but luckily my pal had done some research and said ‘mixed’ while my brain tried to come to terms with the idea of sweet chips.

The packaging was almost as good as the crisps inside. A white branded box with six dips sat in their holders. I took about ten pictures of the thing from every angle and stared at amazement for a good moment or two.

The chips were great: the savoury dusted in sea salt and the sweet covered in a delicious cinnamon sugar that wasn’t overwhelming. The dips was where the party was at: katsu curry, beetroot and lemongrass marmalade, Moroccan yoghurt and baba ganoush. The beetroot won my heart, it was like dipping crisps in jam. I was sad when it came to the end of the tub and we still had some savoury chips left over. The sweet dips were also incredible: crème brûlée and chocolate salted caramel. We could have both bathed in the latter, it was gooey, warm and so chocolatey and we were left fighting over the dregs.

HIPCHIPS would be a great pit stop on the way home after a few drinks out, or as the accompaniment at a house party with a couple of friends and a good bottle of wine. It might seem odd to dedicate a whole business to something that your Auntie Sue does every year at the Christmas party with a variety pack and some hummus, but I for one am sold.

Lindsey

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