Starting life as a pop-up restaurant in Islington in 2011, PipsDish now has two sites, one in Hoxton and the second, and most recent, in Covent Garden.
PipsDish Covent Garden opened its doors in October 2013, has 28 covers and serves good old fashioned home cooking.
Maintaining a no-menu, you-eat-what-you’re-given approach, PipsDish serves up different dishes every day, meaning you never quite know what you’re going to get. However the restaurant buys its rare breed pork, mutton and poultry direct from a farm in Sussex, whilst fish is sourced from a co-operative in Cornwall, so whatever dish is on offer, it is sure to be as delicious as the next.
Speaking to Premier Hospitality about the concept behind PipsDish, writer, cook, ex-BBC producer, oh and restaurant founder, Philip Dundas, said:
“With PipsDish we want to create an experience which is very different to what other restaurants are doing. There are no menus; so from the moment guests walk through the door they don’t have to think about anything, they can just concentrate on conversation with their friends and having a good time.
“The concept is very much about home-from-home cooking. The idea that diners can go out, yet at the same time feel as if they are very much at home.
“Although PipsDish Covent Garden is a relatively small restaurant, part of what we do is about shared tables and high turnovers. We do not expect diners to spend all night at PipsDish, we instead expect guests to come in, enjoy their time here and then go.”
Before being transformed into PipsDish, the site previously housed a take-away cookie shop, which was given a complete makeover. Design elements from the original pop-up restaurant in Islington have been taken across to the new site, whilst a cosy mountain hut was installed within the yard. Dorset Shepherd Huts were behind the mountain hut, which can be booked for meetings during the day or as a private space for up to eight people.
Philip has a long standing history of working within the restaurant industry, so certainly knows a thing or two about what does and doesn’t work when it comes to establishing a concept. Phillip commented:
“We have kept PipsDish very simple, so what most restaurants would spend on lighting we have spent on the refurbishment work. I personally believe that what people remember about a restaurant is the experience, so that is what we have worked hard on establishing.
“The feedback for PipsDish Covent Garden has been great! We were very lucky really as we used our pop-up experience to launch the concept. We knew that the blueprint worked: we knew that people liked what we had to offer; and so far the feedback has really been amazing.
“My test of whether or not a site is going to work, is whether or not the restaurant is busy on a Monday night. Our first Monday night was wet and cold, yet we were busy and we have maintained this interest since.
“We are taking sites that most people would consider to be too small, but are actually ideal for us and making them work!”
For more information on PipsDish, please visit: www.philipdundas.com.