Taking home in a bar called Kosmonaut in October last year, The Hip Hop Chip Shop is the latest addition to Manchester’s Northern Quarter that has got me excited (that I’ve heard of at least). It’s been run as a pop-up for some time now, roaming around in a pimped up truck, and I’d seen it at Trinity Kitchen in the past but didn’t have the chance to go. But some spare time in Manchester gave us an excuse to see what the fuss was about in their new(wish) permanent spot.
As you can probably guess, The Hip Hop Chip Shop has remixed an English classic, turning traditional fish and chips into a street food that’s worth posting on your Instagram. Jerk battered fish, chilli battered sausage and spiced crabcake are a few options available. It’s greasy, salty and bad for you but its fantastic.
I went for a pretty safe option, the Ms. Fat Butty (battered fish, chips and mushy peas in a brioche bun), but it was cracking. Plenty of fish. The chips were spot on as well. Not your standard fish and chip style chips but chunky, skin on fried smackers. The halloumi fingers were melt in your mouth unreal, which you don’t normally get from halloumi, and amazing when wrapped in some crunchy, greasy batter. lison went for the Meat Junkie Butty, chilli battered sausage wrapped in bacon with curry sauce in a brioche bun which also looked amazing.
The DJ Kool Jerk Wrap sounds fantastic and one to try next time – jerk battered fish, lime mayo and scotch bonnet pickle. I bet the pies are good as well. It’s a bit of a carb overkill but everyone deserves a treat once in a while. The Kosmonaut bar is well stocked with craft beers and spirits. We discovered a Danish brewer that we hadn’t heard of before called To Øl, mainly because of the artwork on the can, but the sour IPA inside was a winner as well.
I’ll be honest, I was expecting a bit more of a buzzing atmosphere. There was a whole room and a basement of empty tables that looked ideal for serving food but we sat in the bar so we weren’t the only ones in there. But to be fair, we went on a hot, sunny Saturday afternoon when most people were choosing an Aperol on a roof terrace over a greasy battered sausage inside. I do hope the place gets busier though, because all-in-all, it’s decent food and a great twist on a British classic.