This innovative restaurant just off Covent Garden’s main paths may be small, but it packs a big punch. With no menu, fresh ingredients are picked daily and transformed into delicious dishes to suit even the fussiest of diners. Founded by Philip Dundas, the concept of cooking without recipes is novel and definitely worth the try.
If you imagine dining in a big country house kitchen, a scene similar to PipsDish springs to mind. Rough-hewn wooden tables offer no more than 12 people the opportunity to dine, but the space feels far from cramped. Pots and pans – all used in the cooking process – can be seen on the surfaces, with books about cookery set about and eclectic vintage posters lining the walls. Through the back window, an embellished vintage bicycle can be spotted. Overall, it’s a very cutesy establishment that feels like a genuine kitchen.
It's a bit like sitting in someone’s home kitchen, with a warm atmosphere permeating the entire place. The relatively tiny space is a refreshing change from the hustle and bustle of more soulless chain restaurants. Staff are perceptive and friendly and the whole experience is rather relaxing. The proprietor himself is in residence making the final flourishes to dishes, so the venue has a definite sense of authenticity.
The attitude of ‘less is more’ works to absolute perfection here. With no fixed menu, potential diners might be worried about not liking the fare, but all fears are assuaged after the first mouthful. Presented with a joyful appearance on the plate, each dish is mouth-wateringly good and perfectly proportioned.
To begin, a tomato and beetroot bruschetta is served with a feta salsa on top (£6.50). It is nothing short of divine. Sweet, crunchy, tangy and creamy flavours all meld into one tasty mouthful after another. The colours are beautiful, and the presentation is great.
For the mains, a gorgeous Cornish mackerel is served atop shallots and cubed potatoes (£15.50). The fish practically falls off the bone, so tender is the flesh. It tastes as though it has just been caught, and the side of greens is crunchily delicious. The vegetarian option is just as well put together, proving that no matter the dining preference, each guest is treated to a fantastic dish.
The apple crumble with jersey cream (£5) is a perfect finish for the light and refreshing meal. The cream is thick but not overwhelming, and the apples are softened to an ideal level. It is hard not to beg for another bowlful.
Though PipsDish has its own house wines on offer, it also has guest wines that offer even more of a range. The red Porcupine Ridge Syrah Viognier 2012 from the Western Cape is full of plumy flavour, and the rich red tone demonstrates its strong body.
The Last Word
Even the unadventurous eater will love this concept dining experience. Unpretentiously simple but definitely sophisticated, the dishes are fantastically put together, and with the homely atmosphere, PipsDish is the perfect spot to unwind with friends over a relaxed dinner.