HipChips, Soho, London
An admirable concept, but it just doesn’t do anything for me. The mission objective of HipChips is fancy chips, or as you say here in the UK, crisps. But all the indulgence and fun in a packet of chips gets sucked away and replaced by unnecessary fussiness. Things start off being asked if you want salty or… sweet. This left me with trepidation within the first minute of entry.
A play on the chip
HipChips‘ got some social cred, as it was one of the spots my brother wanted to checked out when he would be in town. Famous for being famous? I hadn’t heard of the place previously, but it is a feature on the bustling Old Comption Street part of Soho. We probably wouldn’t have made it in but samples on offer lured us in for a taste.
Do I need to start by saying I have an obsession with potato chips? Ready salted mostly. And it comes from having grown up in a potato town – Pukekohe-! We grew a lot of the starchy tuber for the country in our area and safe to say, it was a staple of our family’s diet in it’s many forms. Perhaps it’s this appreciation for the simplicity of potato that makes me turn my nose here.
It’s a colourful bowl. HipChips uses a variety of in-season potatoes and the balance of red, black, orange, yellow make it a very impressive colour array of goodness. Pantone watch out. The chips aren’t fried to order, they’re prepared in advance so end up being more akin to bagged crisps. So… back to the decision. Salt, or cinnamon sugar. Or both. Really?
Old chip, new chip
It’s so expensive. A small serving is £4.50, medium is £6.75 and a large is £11.50. You do get dips, but as I mentioned I do like my chips reasonably plain. The packaging is super nice. The dip is the secondary feature of HipChips. I will now list what these include and you can get an idea. Sweet potato, hummous, katsu curry, pomegranate, custard, creme brulee, cranberry and pear crumble DIPS. These sound like things pulled out of Wholefoods rather than things I want to have anything to do with my chips. No.
It’s a good chip. They are a mark better than what you get in a bag of Kettle Copper. But I’m comparing something £1 versus something £4.50 (at best). It does not need the weird ass dips, or the puffery. I get the bizarre and the quirky sell, but it ends up being something I’m not really keen to return to.