THURSDAY FISH SUPPERS 7.30pm from £15
FRIDAY & SATURDAY DINNER 7.45pm £30 3-courses & canapés
SUNDAY LUNCH 1245 pm from £15
(kids under 8 free, under 12 1/2 price) LIVE MUSIC
BOOKING MON-THURS CHRISTMAS PARTIES
Hidden away just off Islington’s buzzing Upper St sits The Garage, a wonderful space situated in a ‘retired’ Citroen Garage that is now being used by Philip Dundas and his culinary partner-in-crime Mary Doherty for their Pipsdish popup.
The interior has been styled with a great deal of charm with items from the Old Albion
furniture warehouse and this adds to the pleasure of the experience which is informal and laidback. Philip has written a cookbook, Without Recipes,
and it is the philosophy that underpins the restaurant.
There is no fixed menu. They serve whatever is seasonal and in stock from their suppliers (their UK produce comes from Farm-Direct.com) so choice is very limited but the upside is that this policy keeps prices down and you know that what you are eating is absolutely fresh. The restaurant is unlicensed and you are encouraged to bring your own wine and I should probably apologise at this point for breaking one of their corkscrews!
Celeriac Soup. Croutons and Sorrel
We started with a rustic looking Celeriac Soup with croutons and sorrel. The soup was rich with cream and pepper which added heft to the root’s delicate flavour for a perfect winter warmer. I’m a real fan of sorrel but in this context its lemony sweetness was maybe a garnish too far!
We were in on a Thursday evening which in the Pipsdish calendar is fish supper night. Our first main was Mackerel stuffed with lemon and rosemary served with a scintillating tomato salsa made from plum tomatoes, garlic, coriander and chillies. Mackerel is one of those fish that has to be served absolutely fresh to be at its best and the fish for tonight had been landed in Cornwall on a day boat that morning. The mackerel was meaty and full of flavour without the unpleasant tang that can mar the taste of older fish and the aforementioned salsa had a deliciously sweet heat that the fish was well able to stand up to.
Sea Bream. Oil and lemon dressing
Roasted Sea Bream was served Mediterranean style with an oil and lemon dressing-why more restaurants in the UK don’t do this I really don’t know as it is the perfect way to serve fish. The bream was firm-fleshed and perfectly cooked with a good flavour enhanced by the citric sensuality of the sauce.
Bream, spuds and salad
The bream was accompanied by really tasty boiled spuds and a well-dressed mixed salad.
Meringue, Poached pears, Chocolate sauce and Hazelnuts
I shared a plate of Meringue, Poached pears, Chocolate sauce and Hazelnuts with my dining partner, a fellow blogger, the fragrant Fiona from London Unattached
,which sated our need for sweetness. Maybe the meringue could have been a bit more gooey but this was a robust desert that matched the earlier courses in quality.
We finished the meal with a cheese plate-a good selection of British cheeses.
Pipsdish is a terrific venture that deserves your support. The cooking is honest and generous and really delivers on freshness and seasonality. The night we went was marred from the restaurant’s point of view by multiple last minute cancellations which for an operation like this is really problematic economically. So take your friends with a few bottles of wine for a great supper in an unusual space and remember. Don’t cancel!
Disclosure: The Hedonist ate as a guest of Pipsdish