It came as a big surprise to me when Dabbous, the incredibly popular restaurant by Ollie Dabbous, closed last year but I was excited to see what the Michelin-starred chef would be up to next. And the answer was Hide, a restaurant and bar in Piccadilly in partnership with Hedonist wines. It’s clear to see that no expense has been spared on the interior of this three floor restaurant, and the central oak staircase alone is magnificent.
Named ‘Above’ the first floor at Hide serves an elegant tasting menu in a light and bright room with views over Green Park. Despite the obvious money spent of the restaurant, the design is utterly subtly and organic, this isn’t a Sexy Fish or Novikov-style glitzy place.
The basement bar, ‘Below’ is a real stunner with a list of the world’s finest spirits. We didn’t try the cocktails but everything here is kept innovative with a huge focus on flavour. That flavour can be the spirit, fruit or vegetable but both modern and classic techniques are used to enhance it. The partnership with Hedonist also means a huge walk in wine cellar where guests are invited to choose their own wine.
We were also extremely impressed with the beautiful and utterly unique private dining rooms, each with a stylish theme. The Reading Room for example is adorned with books while the The Shadow Room cleverly plays with the light in the space. Mr S and I are currently planning a big birthday party for him, so it’s really interesting for us to see the kind of unique spaces available in London.
We were booked in for lunch at Ground, unsurprisingly the ground floor, the more informal restaurant option. I’d actually already visited the restaurant for breakfast and I was so impressed that I came back with Mr S. It’s open all day with an afternoon tea offering which promises to be slightly different to your average. I’ve always judged a restaurant by it’s bread and Hide ticks all the boxes. A selection of 7 Ancient grain sourdough, classic baguette, malted rye bread, fig leaf oil and green olive focaccia served with a creamy dollop of butter started us off nicely.
The wine list is biblical in proportion (choose from 6,500!!!) and there’s an additional list of wines that can be delivered in 15 minutes flat from Hedonist. With it being a sunny day in London, Provencal rosé seemed appropriate for our lunch.
We skipped starters and opted to choose some nibbles from the grazing menu. Wild salmon tartare with violet mustard and sorrel came in gorgeous little packages nipped together with a clothes peg. A home-cured charcuterie consisted of goose with sage and fenugreek, saddleback pork jowl with caraway and juniper and Cornish salt-marsh lamb with lesser calamint. Mr S went made for all three beautifully prepared meats. There’s three different flatbread options to choose from and we went for ricotta with crushed green herbs – the ricotta being make locally this morning and creamy sweetness providing an excellent balance to the herbs.
Receiving his training at Le Manoir, Ollie Dabbous opened his eponymous restaurant to critical acclaim in 2012 and maintained the Michelin star until the 2017 closing. Dabbous was hugely popular, and it took me months and months to get a booking, so I certainly wasn’t the only one keen to see what Ollie was up to next. He is a man driven by the quality of ingredients and getting the best out of them. He says himself that at Hide ‘ It is food you can’t recreate at home, but it is also food that respects the integrity of the ingredient and the toil that goes into producing them.’
My wild salmon is cooked beautifully over cedar wood and plated table side. It served with a leek vinaigrette and herb butter and beautifully garnished with edible flowers.
Mr S’s monkfish served with apricot, cous cous and cherries is less my cup of tea but he enjoyed it.
Side dishes were an utterly gorgeous green salad with spring onion, lemon and marjoram as well as charred broccoli vinaigrette.
Desserts at a place like this really is unmissable
Our soft serve Meadow hay ice cream with Tulameen raspberries arrives in a flurry of dry iced and garnished with lavender. Quite possibly one of the best ice cream desserts I’ve ever tried, Ollie Dabbous’ fascination with the science behind creating ice cream is evident.
There deconstructed Hide strawberry millefeuille was the perfect dessert for me. Strawberries, vanilla and biscuit with the added distilled strawberry juice on the side was just exquisite.
When I’d come previously for breakfast I was already impressed by how seriously they took their coffee with a list of eight different blends, including a £12 coffee which is apparently the best in the world! Just another example of how Hide takes everything to the next level.
I have no doubt that Hide Ground will be gaining a Michelin-star this year, with Hide above aiming for two… it’s a very exciting restaurant and has caused the biggest buzz of the year.
London, W1J 7NB