Hailing from Byron Bay, Ben Devlin’s lauded career has seen him cultivate his craft at the likes of Esquire in Brisbane and Noma in Copenhagen, before he returned to the Northern Rivers in 2015 as the executive chef at Paper Daisy. Given Ben’s strong personal connection to the region and innate knowledge of Northern Rivers produce, the coastal pocket of Pottsville was a no-brainer for the location of the duo’s first restaurant. Though, despite his fine-dining credentials, Ben has stepped away from formality with Pipit, adopting a more casual, community-focused approach – no white tablecloths, a welcoming fit-out full of sea breeze and natural night, and relaxed bar seating surrounding an open-plan kitchen that attracts the gaze of diners. As you’d expect, the menu at Pipit celebrates the best seasonal produce from the immediate area, with local native ingredients brought to life through wood-fired cooking. Heading the venue is Emily Smith (ex Paper Daisy), while sommelier Matthew Love (ex Tonka and Cutler & Co) oversees Pipit’s wine offering, which focuses on Australian and international wineries that are located within 150 km of a coastline – this selection process is driven by the fact that mineral content and saline soils help these coastal wine varieties pair well with Pipit’s style of food.
The menu will change with the seasons and will feature around 12 dishes, while diners that want to go on a more in-depth culinary journey can opt for a four- or seven-course tasting menu. On Pipit’s current autumn menu, you’ll find smaller plates like cobia marinated in riberry vinegar and kelp oil, and glazed pumpkin with persimmon and basil, before moving on to larger shareables like local pipis steamed with kelp, served with macadamia and wing beans. Experience the best of the Northern Rivers (as well as Ben’s pride and joy – the open wood-fired oven) with dishes like fig-leaf-baked celeriac with grain porridge, almond and chrysanthemum, grilled sugarloaf cabbage stuffed with mud crab and macadamia, and the hot smoked mackerel with grilled bamboo, beach mustard and brown butter. To finish, think sweet eats like fresh citrus and honey frangipane with ricotta and hibiscus leaf, jackfruit sorbet with caramelised coconut milk and passionfruit, and spent-beer-grain parfait with a custard apple and wattleseed ganache.
Keen to check out Pipit? Head to our Stumble Guide for its opening hours, location and contact details.
Image credit: Sabine Bannard