You all know my opinion of stupidly themed restaurants aimed at the hipster market. I thought things had reached the nadir with the opening of ‘Cereal Killer’ a while back. Six quid for a bowl of cornflakes and the Hoxton hipsters lapped it up in both a literal and a metaphorical sense.
I was wrong. Things have got a lot worse with the arrival in Soho (the London one, not the SoHo in Lower Manhattan) of a restaurant that sells only potato crisps. I did not make that up. Potato crisps. I had a real WTF moment when I read about this.
I’m a bit of a purist when it comes to crisps. I was brought up in the pre-ready-salted era, when the salt came in a little screw of waxed paper. To this very day I reflexively shake a bag of crisps before I open them. Flavoured crisps? I was suspicious of the first ones I recall (tomato sauce). Even now I like to keep it simple. Prawn cocktail, cheese and onion, salt and vinegar.
By ‘cheese and onion’ I do not mean Camembert and Shallot. By ‘salt and vinegar’ I do not mean Balsamic Vinegar and Sea Salt. By the way, all flavoured crisps apart from salt and vinegar taste the same anyway. Apart from badger flavour. They were just plain weird in their brief lifetime.
Hence I do not want crisps made with obscure varieties. I’m pretty certain the use of Shetland Black or Scottish Burgundy spuds will make crisps that taste any different from those made with normal murphies.
Also, I do not want a range of dips that includes Peruvian ceviche or smoky cheese fondue.
I especially do not want a cheesecake dip, or a salted caramel dip, or a Nutella praline dip. Those sound like the work of the devil hisself.
Not according to one Scott Davies. ‘I’ve taken my inspiration for the sweet crisps from doughnuts by sprinkling them with cinnamon sugar as soon as they come out of the fryer. These with the dips will form a really classic pairing.’ I think he may be getting ahead of himself, which can’t be easy when his head is jammed so far up his own arse.
Something else I do not want is the need to shell out eleven and a half notes for a large box of crisps delivered by conveyor belt. I want to be waited on for that sort of money.
‘I don’t think there is anyone doing something like this in this country, or even the world.’ There may be a reason for that, Mr Davies, don’t you think?
Now the very worst bit. Mr Davies and his business partner David Morris have chosen a truly ghastly name for this ripoff outlet. Hipchips. The use of the Hip prefix tells you all you need to know about the beardy clientele they’re aiming to attract.
And they’re not CHIPS! They’re CRISPS you pretentious idiots! CRISPS!
Here endeth the lesson.