Restaurant Reviews

Pipis Kiosk

An expectation-exceeding bayside spot makes Albert Park a summer bucket-list destination.
Pipis Kiosk's fresh tomato salad

Pipis Kiosk

MELBOURNE
Address
129A Beaconsfield Pde, Albert Park

There’s no shortage of charm at Pipis Kiosk, the clean-lined, boatshed-channelling seafood restaurant on Albert Park beach. But perhaps the most charming thing of all is its subtlety. First impression? Pipis is doing exactly what it says on the modern beachside kiosk box. But the longer you stay, the more you come to understand “kiosk” is an undersell. In reality, this is a restaurant that effortlessly exceeds expectations, run by people who really understand what they’re doing. The slow reveal is delightful.

There’s an actual takeaway kiosk at Pipis’ entrance where people can get coffee, bacon and egg rolls, Reuben sandwiches and fish and chips to eat on the sand or the boardwalk while staring out at the bay. Diners enter the compact, minimalist room – large windows capturing the hypnotic view, undressed tables, rattan furniture, a translucent sand-coloured curtain here, a splash of colour from a flower arrangement there – past a curved bar. It appears simple and casual, beachy; but then the seamless service kicks in and the drinks list reveals itself to be a thing of expertly collated New and Old World deliciousness (including an impeccable collection of northern Victorian fortifieds and digestifs from the likes of Pennyweight and Beechworth Bitters). Words like elegant and expert join the adjectives, even before the food arrives.

Co-owner (alongside drinks guy Tom Hunter) and chef Jordan Clay offers an ever-changing, single-page menu designed to highlight whatever’s coming through the door that day, particularly when it comes to seafood and vegetables.

The interior at Pipis Kiosk

Excellent focaccia is baked with salted grapes and served with a full-flavoured carrot hummus that works brilliantly with the grapes’ pops of sweetness. Oysters are teamed with a delightfully vegetal mignonette made with chardonnay vinegar, fermented celery juice and finely diced green apples and celery. Thrillingly tender and dramatically dark (via an ink-washed sauce) char-grilled baby octopus comes draped in grilled red capsicum, while raw Goulburn River rainbow trout is teamed with a Meyer lemon purée and a horseradish yoghurt.

There are subtle Japanese elements too – a perfectly grilled snapper fillet sits in a sublime dashi-style broth while steamed and grilled eggplant channels nasu dengaku with toasted sesame, nori and a black garlic and ketchup manis glaze. It’s excellent cooking that, like the room, slowly reveals its extra layers.

Pipis Kiosk is one of those places locals would prefer to be kept secret. Apologies to regulars, but it’s a place too good not to share.

Pipis Kiosk
129A Beaconsfield Pde, Albert Park
Chef(s)
Jordan Clay & Ben Parkinson
Price Guide
$$
Bookings
Recommended
Opening Hours
Lunch Thu-Sun; Dinner Wed-Sat
Verdict
The secret’s out.

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