I've had the pleasure of eating here three times now and on each occasion left the restaurant with a big fat contented grin on my face. The concept is simple; carefully selected seasonal ingredients cooked to perfection with heaps of love and no little imagination. The 'no-menu' idea might not be to everyone's taste, but personally I reckon the element of surprise is half the fun. Service is friendly and attentive without being overly earnest, and given what you could pay in some of the larger eateries in this neighbourhood it's excellent value too.
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Posted: Thu Nov 7 2013
There’s no menu, the tables and benches are made from recycled planks, and a wooden shepherd’s hut is squeezed into the back yard: PipsDish sounds like the sort of restaurant you’d find in the backstreets of Hackney, not the heart of touristy Covent Garden (next door to Theatreland stalwart Joe Allen, no less).
It’s a two-year pop-up from food writer/cook Philip Dundas (after similar no-menu ventures in Islington and Hoxton) where dishes vary daily depending on what’s in season – and available – from their favoured suppliers.
On our lunchtime visit, this meant fennel soup to start, followed by venison stew with juniper, cinnamon and root veg, and an autumn fruit crumble. They cater happily for veggies too; we were served chunky wedges of roasted squash (served cold) with green salad and toasted sourdough.
The fresh ingredients, robust flavours and hearty portions are certainly appealing. Execution can be slightly rough-edged, though: the soup was too salty, as was the dressing on the salad. And the stew wasn’t quite as rich as we’d hoped.
A subsequent evening visit was even more disappointing, seeing ill-judged combinations (lemon and fennel chicken served over coleslaw, with roast potatoes, pomegranate seeds and coriander), and a simple lack of finesse (over-cooked shortbread) from the kitchen; and amateurish service out front. A pity, because it's a nice idea, but at £30 for three courses, it needs to do far better.
PipsDish 15 Exeter Street
- Venue phone:
020 7240 7232
- Venue website:
- Opening hours:
Lunch served noon-3pm Mon-Sat; 1-4pm (1 sitting) Sun. Pre-theatre menu served 6-7pm Mon, Tue, Thur, Fri; 5-7pm Wed, Sat. Dinner served 7-10pm Mon, Tue, Wed; 7-10.30pm Thur, Fri, Sat.
Tube: Covent Garden
Set lunch £12.50 2 courses. Set pre-theatre menu £16 2 courses. Set dinner £30 3 courses.
- 15 Exeter Street
- 020 7240 7232
- 15 Exeter Street
Average User Rating
4.6 / 5
- 5 star:10
- 4 star:1
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:1
Having eaten at Pipsdish several times now, I have never been dissapointed in getting what it says on their website! Respecting his idea of bringing the chef closer to his guests (the chef is constantly traveling between the kitchen and the restaurant), not having to bother choosing what to eat because that's already taken care of :) ...and best of all, flavored dishes from local grown food hand picked by the chef.
As a frequent visitor to London from the north, I have had many an overpriced and disappointing meal and so was just delighted to have been recommended Pip's Dish. Such a refreshing chance from the usual arrogant service I have come to expect in London, the welcome was warm and we knew straight away we were in a safe pair of hands. Pip's Dish does exactly what it says on the tin - (very) good home cooking and good atmos. Look forward to coming again!
The food, service and ambiance are unique, original and top class. It’s more like going to a friend's house than a West End /Covent Garden restaurant. The format is a single 3 course meal with special requests (fish, vegetarian) sympathetically accommodated and for all the dishes are explained and discussed by the chef-patron and his assistants. We've been before, never been disappointed and will go again!
Avoid. Overpriced pretentious simplicity, perfect for the critics. £32.50 for veg soup, thin rump steak which a barbecue could not have made worse, and a poached pear with lots of cream? Good wholesome food? There was no choice, except vegetarian. There was really nothing much wrong with the individual dishes, but the value for money?: the soup had shredded dry chicken and lots of spinach, perfect for a lunch. But as a starter? The steak was disappointing, tasteless, and tough where thick. With sweet potato "chips" - very good as a veg, but no proper potato. Good lettuce. Sweet potatoes from organic farms in Kent presumably. And a poached pear - very good but lashings of thick cream - fresh produce it was not. One very ordinary wine to drink. £32.50? No wonder there were only 5 people eating.
I have eaten at both Islington and Covent Garden on quite a few occasions and I have always had great food which is served fresh with fantastic combinations of flavours and ingredients. I can highly recommend ( and often do...) pips dish . Give it a try
PipsDish is a refreshing take on the London food scene. It may be different to the surrounding eateries, but that's all part of the charm. Great food, great spot, and great owner. Highly recommended.
PipsDish is a breath of fresh air in the mecca of Central London. The food is always fresh, spontaneous and excellent. I’d go back again and again.
Rather a poorly executed and ill judged review, I'd say (what is 'colelaw'?) negative and sour from the start. Bravo Pip for attempting something fresh in a sea of formulaic eateries , we hope to enjoy your inspired cooking and homely hospitality as often as we can !
Rubbish review! We've enjoyed three lovely meals and we like the relaxed homely feel. For us who have a flat near by, it is a true neighbourhood restaurant . We are hoping to eat there again tomorrow.
Whoever wrote this needs a tongue transplant stat. Don't fear PipsDish, your food speaks volumes over this hungover review. Had one of my finest feeds with you. EAT HERE LOVELY PEOPLE - YOUR TASTEBUDS WILL SWIM! x
Absolutely charming restaurant with a daily menu that cook Philip Dundas designs everyday according to the local produce he gets at the market. And he does magic with those ingredients... Highly recommendable!