We had the absolute pleasure of being at the opening day of Pipit, the newest eatery in Pottsville, on the weekend. This restaurant is the brain child of highly acclaimed chef, Ben Devlin and his partner, Yen. Ben has spent the last 4 years as the head chef at Paper Daisy, with much fan fare, and now he has a place to call his own.
There are 4 stand out themes running through Pipit:
The food and it’s flavours
Locally focused ingredients
The food. It’s no surprise that the food is the main draw card here. Ben uses unique flavour pairings you’re likely to never encounter any where else. The use of unusual foods on the menu that will have you wondering ‘what’s this’ in just about every dish, then after tasting, you become a fan. We’ve never before tried a winged bean, a pickled baby mango, or bunya nuts, but now we love them and want more! The creativity in each dish, leaves you asking, how did he think of that?
The main source of heat in the open kitchen is their charcoal pit. Using open flames and charcoal techniques enhances the flavours of the food. The combination of all this will make Pipit a destination restaurant for foodies far and wide.
I watched as a chef took burning embers and lightly placed them on the skin of the fish to give a slightly charred and crispy finish. This dish was combined with yuzu - a citrus fruit, cucumber, and banksia vinegar.
For their pumpkin dish, they first cooked it in ash water, then finished it over the open flames. Then they paired it with persimmon and basil. Both dishes were absolutely delicious! Ben is a creative; food is his art, and he plates up masterpieces.
Sustainability. Pipit has a hoof free menu, meaning no beef, lamb, or pork. Instead Bens’ focus is on what he believes to be the stand out products of the region: seafood, fruit, and vegetables. “We are ambassadors of sustainability initiatives such as Good Fish Project, because through food we can also help nudge some of these important public conversations, so people might also consider it in their own kitchens.”
Locally sourced products. Everything about the Pipit menu is meant to pay homage to the local area. “Our climate, ocean, native plants and volcanic soils shape our landscape and our menu” says Ben. They use many local small scale farms to source their food. The pipis in this dish were collected from Pottsville, just a few blocks away from the restaurant.
Seasonality. Pipit will be using the seasons as a guide to shape everything on their menu. As the months and weather change, these factors will determine the choice of produce, and they will only use the ingredients when they are at their peak. “People probably most recognise seasons in fruit and veg, but seafood/fish is also seasonal based on their migration and breeding times. Pipit's menu main changes will work to about 8 seasons including mid-seasons.”
We love the ethos behind everything they are doing at Pipit. The creativity, the mouthwatering combinations, the ever changing offerings, and the tribute to our wonderful Tweed Coast.
To make a booking, head over to their website: