HIPCHIPS has turned the most basic of snacks into something of an art form.
If you thought MaccyD’s was food at its fastest, you haven’t reckoned with this Soho joint. HIPCHIPS specialises solely in the Student’s Treat: crisps and dip. Raising the game beyond Walkers, McCoys, Sensations – and yes, even Kettle Chips! – this all fried-potato caff aims to do one (slightly absurd) thing very, very well.
The ‘crisps’ portion of the menu features a selection of spuds that are ‘tastier, knobblier and more colourful’ than those in your average corner-shop share bag. That means vividly violet slices from the Highland Burgundy or Red Emmalie with a Salad Blue or Shetland Black. It’s a root-veg rainbow!
Dips – you’ll get 2, 4 or 6 depending on the size of your order – are the customer’s choice. Options include the smoky aubergine of the baba ghanoush, a creamy katsu curry source, or smoky cheese fondue, among others.
Courting controversy, HIPCHIPS dessert options are also chip-n-dip based. Get some of your chips seasoned with cinnamon sugar, and then get dipping in pots of salted caramel chocolate, gooey marshmallows or passionfruit mousse.
All this salty goodness is thirst-inducing stuff, but the cans of craft beer, bottles of prosecco and organic soft drinks behind the bar should help slake your thirst.
Gimmicky? Yes. And yet, this casually-derided addition to London’s food scene has managed to thrive for over a year, so they must be doing something right. It’s probably the crisps.
Location: 49 Old Compton Street, Soho, W1D 6HL. Nearest station: Leicester Square. Find it on Google Maps.
Opening hours: seven days a week, from 11am. Mon-Sat, until 9pm; Sun, until 6pm.
Price: a medium tray of crisps with 3 dips is £6.75.