Review and photos: Paul Crofts
The We Are Chester Team are always seeking out new places to eat and drink and, with Chester enjoying something of a growing reputation for good quality independent eateries and bars, you can imagine how excited we were when we received an invite to the launch of the latest edition to the city’s culinary offer, a Dutch-style chip shop. Paul Crofts went along to find out more.
Who doesn’t love a freshly cooked portion of chips? If the packed out launch event for the appropriately named Chip’d on Northgate Street was anything to go by, they still retain a special place at the heart of the British diet, such was the struggle to get inside the shop given the amount of people all clamouring for a taste of the, as it turned out, not so humble fried potato chip.
Chip’d is the brainchild of Andrew McKechnie who was inspired by the ‘twice fried’ potato chips and sauces served in the Netherlands and saw the potential to bring the unique chippy concept to Chester’s ever-growing independent food scene.
Andrew’s passion for the concept is clear for all to see, as he explained: “On a recent visit to Netherlands, we were looking for something to eat and found a few cool shops selling amazing chips and sauces.
“The shop interiors were more like coffee shops, they didn’t sell fish or do vinegar, the ingredients were really high quality, the chips were cut by hand and cooked to order, and the sauces were gorgeous.
“There was a buzz, and everyone was smiling and having fun. I instantly fell in love with what they were doing and wanted to do the same thing back home.”
The feel of the interior is like that of a trendy coffee shop and Andrew and his team have created a bold, contemporary space, where guests can either take away their orders or relax in the seating area towards the back of the shop.
But, what about the chips themselves? I was told that using a variety of potato which is recognised as the best in the Netherlands, Chip’d follow a ‘Chip, Flip, Dip’ cooking process.
Every portion of chips is made to order using fresh potatoes that are chipped by hand. Once perfectly fried, they are flipped in sea salt. Then, they are served in a cone with a range of dips, including the Netherland’s famous Frites sauce, which is a light, tangy mayo.
Vegan-friendly dips are also part of the selection, including ketchup, curry ketchup, vegan mayo and satay. I opted for a regular portion of chip with mayo.
The chips, skin on, were piping hot and beautifully cooked, crunchy without being hard and very flavousome. the mayo was lovely and creamy and was soon devoured! My only criticism was that the further down the carton you got, the saltier the chips were, sea salt having sunk to the bottom of the cone resulting in a bit of an overdose of salt for my taste.
With the great mouthwatering variety of dips on offer, I’m sure I’ll be back to sample some of the others. Chip’d offer a range of drinks at reasonable prices to compliment their chips and dips too, what’s not to like!
Chip’d is open seven days a week, 11am till 6pm and 8pm Friday and Saturday. We are sure this latest indie eaterie will be a huge hit and a great addition to the culinary delights Chester has to offer.