London restaurants (2): Hide


London restaurants (2): Hide

Hide is the hot new London opening of 2018. I’m not so good at catching new openings – I’m hardly in the country – but the Monday before last I ate there for the first time, curious to see what all the fuss is about. Here’s my brief review.

It’s owned by Yevgeny Chichvarkin, who is also owner of the fabulous Hedonism Wines, just round the corner from the restaurant. So one of the big appeals of Hide is that you can order wine from the extensive (and not just expensive) Hedonism list with a modest £30 cash mark-up, which seems extraordinarily generous once you are talking even modestly serious wine.

There are three elements to Hide: Above (swanky, tasting menu), Ground (a la Carte on the ground floor) and Below (cocktail bar). We dined at Above on the 10 course tasting menu (£95).

To get to Above you need to ascend the most elaborate staircase you can imagine. In swirling natural wood, it apparently cost £3 million alone. Money isn’t an object here: lots of staff have been recruited at higher-than-average salaries. And there are lots of staff: the staff to guest ratio is pretty insane, which means service is prompt and attentive.

The decor is nice in a modern Scandi sort of way, and much less fancy (in the show-off sense) than I was expecting. It’s a bright, airy space.

The food? As you can see from this picture of the first course, it’s clever and intricate, and slightly over the top. The pheasant quill as a serving implement; the simple but delicious vegetables; and a lovely broth. All together. There’s variety and surprise here. The only disappointing dish was the lamb, which was perfectly correct in its sous vide paleness, but seemed a very cautious and predictable way of preparing it.

Overall impressions? Very positive. It’s high end, and it delivers. It’s a beautiful space, and while I won’t be rushing back for the ever so slightly cautious yet visually arresting and technically astute cooking, the thought of raiding Hedonism’s list with good food is an appealing one. There are wines on that list that you just can’t find anywhere else, aside from the seriously expensive glitz.

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