The team at Pottsville’s Pipit Restaurant are known for the creative food and drinks offered in their award-winning fine-dining set menus, but COVID has stretched their creativity to think beyond the plate. They have pivoted into takeaway, pop-ups, fish art prints, closed-loop ceramics, crowdfunded books, staycation giveaways for business owners and now – even classes!
These creative pivots reflect the entrepreneurial and resilient spirit within small hospitality businesses, as well as reflecting owner/chef, Ben Devlin’s own upbringing in Byron Bay. His parents were also self-employed and this gave him a feel for do-it-yourself (DIY) problem solving and resourcefulness. At Pipit, this hands-on approach ranges from doing the tiling on walls, to making art prints, to the kitchen, where he makes almost everything from scratch: bread, ice creams, cheeses, ham, miso – you name it!
Pipit was voted Australia’s best Regional Restaurant for 2020 (Good Food Guide) and offers seasonal set menus that showcase the best of local produce, sustainable seafood, and wood-fired cooking. It is set around an open-plan kitchen design, where diners can interact with chefs and see all the action from selected counter seats. Outside of the current lockdowns, they offer a seven course menu for dinners and Sunday lunch ($125pp) and six course menu for Friday & Saturday lunch ($100pp).
Pipit remains committed to fine dining, but in this challenging time, they also recognise some locals are seeking different, smaller food options too.
During the March 2020 lockdowns, Pipit pivoted to become a Vietnamese takeaway, and for the past six months they have also been doing monthly pop-ups, encouraging a different staff member to lead an idea each month. This has ranged from duck burgers, to pastry boxes and bao buns. This week in lockdown, they are offering Grilled Fish Dinner Packs, Shawarma Kebab Wraps and Fried Chicken Meals (to the Tweed LGA only).
Their creative pop-ups that were planned before lockdowns will still go ahead (even if some convert to takeaway-mode). Save the dates for upcoming:
• DADS DAY – Southern American barbecue for Fathers Day. 5 September.
• SWORDFISH STEAK NIGHT – French Bistro(ish). 16 September.
• YOUNG CHEFS COLLAB – fine dining prepared by apprentice chefs. 20 September.
• SALAMI CLASS & LUNCH – 4 October.
• BREAKFAST-IN-BED BOXES – (delivery) 29 and 30 October.
Pipit co-owner Yen Trinh said ‘COVID has been really hard for us, but the opportunities to be creative and be brave in testing new ideas has been a silver lining in these strange times’.
Info, menus and bookings on their website