Hip Chips, 4th September
I have to say, I certainly liked Hip Chips. The chips were tasty, the dips good (even if I did it wrong - more on that later) and the choice almost paralysing.
But why would anyone ever go?
This is another of your one-item restaurants, this time crisps (though for poetic license they're calling them chips here). You order a size of in-house cooked crisps and choose from a huge variety of dips - in either savoury or sweet.
Then you tuck in. The crisps were pretty good - lightly salted, mainly crunchy and not particularly greasy.
Obviously you have some responsibility for whether or not you like the dips depending on your tastes and choices. We had a katsu curry, a moroccan yoghurt, baba ganoush and cheese fondue for the savoury, then I got creme brulee and chocolate for our sweets.
I liked the cheese fondue (with pickled onions thrown in) in flavour but it needed to be eaten piping hot otherwise the texture was a bit weird - I had a few dunks of that and then left it alone.
Baba ghanoush was a little bland for me, though we still managed to finish it - I like the chunkier texture. But both the katsu and the Moroccan were really, really good.
I started to work in a few dunks of the sweet ones in between my savoury ones, thinking I could fool my appetite into eating more if I did. The creme brulee was lovely although I'm not sure if it actually tasted of brulee or just sweetness and vanilla. It worked well with the salty crisps but I wasn't that surprised. Salt and sweet is a fairly well established combo now I think.
Except that's not how it's supposed to work. They actually give you crisps that are dusted with sugar to dip in your sweet ones and I didn't realise until I'd worked my way through most of the salty ones next to me and ventured to the othre side of the tray for more. Whoops! I was pretty much full by then so no time to rectify my mistake.
I had modified my chocolate dip to have cinnamon crunchy stuff on the bottom and salted caramel on the top and my advice is: Do this. Get a spoon. Eat it. Don't bother with the crisps for this one.
I had suggested to my date that we might need a snack after - I couldn't imagine a dinner of crisps and dips would be filling but I was wrong. We didn't even manage to finish the large bag (although we made a pretty good go of it).
If you're a crisp obsessive then you might make this a regular place but it's hard to see anyone wanting to make return trips. Perhaps popping in for a small bag and a dip or two to take away is the main purpose.
But I would heartily recommend anyone to go and try it out. It's a novel experience done really well.