Quick Review: Chez Pipo, France
Chickpea flour pancakes, or socca, is a popular traditional dish in Nice and I was interested in trying out this inexpensive flatbread in a traditionally expensive part of France.
One restaurant that kept popping up in my research was Chez Pipo near port Lympia, an easily accessible establishment which started in 1923.
So one afternoon I located the restaurant via its giant sign and vehicle and tried to pop in with my mum for a small lunch.
I say tried, because the place was packed and we had to wait in the empty bar area with a ticket.
Which was pointless because we were promptly forgotten about. I was told that I would need to wait for 15 minutes, but we actually waited over half an hour before I asked a confused staff member to notice me.
So the service could improve.
I was kind of furiously hangry by the time we perched near a small table right next to the kitchen, so when the pistou soup 4,20 EUR / 3.55 GBP arrived it was devoured immediately. A summer vegetable soup containing pasta, garlic, olive oil and basil; this dish was savoury, small and filling. I could really taste the beans and found the flavour a bit too salty for my taste.
The virgin mojito 4,90 EUR / 4.15 GBP on the other hand was very sweet with a strong mint taste, not much cucumber and I could taste the sugar grains inside the drink.
The socca 2,90 EUR / 2.45 GBP is cooked in the middle of the restaurant using large metal disks in an oven and served almost immediately in cut shards.
It was savoury and cooked just right with a salty taste and a crispy texture. It was definitely more of a very large snack than a meal though and I felt that it was missing something such as sauces. The portion was more than enough for two people although I will recommend it as a side dish rather than a main one.
I finished off with a tiramisu 4,50 EUR / 3.81 GBP which…was fine. The cream could be fluffier.
Chez Pipo is a very affordable establishment offering a taste of traditional Nice. I had a pretty mediocre time there but I think it was mainly due to avoidable factors and isn’t the typical experience.