Hot Chip was founded by Hugh Crossley (Lord Somerleyton) and Toby Marchant. Their combined business acumen and restaurant expertise led to the creation Hot Chip, purveyors of gourmet chips matched with intriguing sauces and toppings. Some of their combinations with the humble chip taking centre stage don’t readily spring to mind, but they work!
Hot Chip had a presence in Norwich for two years and built quite a following at their shop. In order to bring their delicious chips to a greater number of customers, they decided to embrace street food and go mobile… and so the eye-catching Hot Chip Land Rover was born.
They have already started taking East Anglia and London by storm but held their official launch in Cambridgeshire on 16 October at Burwash Manor. The fabulous launch was organised by Vhari Russell and Emma Bearpark of The Food Marketing Expert.
I was delighted to be invited to Hot Chip’s launch to sample some of their original menu items. Firstly, I was impressed by the chips themselves. Hot Chip definitely have the foundation right. It’s not a matter of heaping sauces and toppings to disguise an inferior chip. In fact, the chip is the focus and the other ingredients serve to enhance the dish.
I first visited Ondine shortly after chef-patron Roy Brett launched it six years ago. The food and service were so memorable that I vowed to return. I recently had the opportunity to have my birthday meal at this luxurious seafood restaurant in Edinburgh and it was as wonderful as I remembered… even better, if that’s at all possible.
Ondine isn’t easy to spot from the street. From the George IV Bridge entrance of an unassuming building, it’s a flight of stairs (lift available) to the first floor so it very much feels like a hidden gem. The restaurant is beautifully decorated with its high ceilings, large windows, mosaic columns, quirky artwork and stunning circular oyster bar.
The origin of the word “ondine” comes from the name of a water nymph, so it was only fitting to have a painting titled “Mermaids of Iona” in the lobby. Paulo was particularly delighted with the image… because the colours matched his suit and shirt. No other reason, of course!
We were given a table by the window with a lovely view over Victoria street. We chose an early time for our dinner reservations so it was quiet when we arrived but by the time we left, the place was full, including the oyster bar. Nevertheless, the atmosphere was relaxed and pleasant.