When I think of Green Park it’s either non-Londoners desperately seeking a night out in the West End in platform heels, or the likes of The Ritz. Let’s be honest, there’s not very much in between. So what a choice of location this is for Hide, the new and much-awaited venture by Chef Ollie Dabbous, in partnership with Hedonism Wines. Ground on the first floor serves breakfast and offers casual dining but Hide Above is where you should really be and the food is not the only reason.
The two-floor sprawling space is bringing subtle coolness back to the area and is full of beautiful features like wild flower motifs and panoramic views. Most notable is the grand spiral staircase that resembles waves of melting chocolate. Staff are dressed like they’re on an Amish runway and their outfits are probably better than yours, with voluminous white sleeves and taught aprons to really bring out their silhouettes. The aesthetic exudes a lot of Northern European vibes.
It’s about time that a fine dining restaurant really understood the modern needs of their patrons. Instead of turning their noses up at requests for a phone charger or throwing side glances at people snapping photos of their menu, Hide Above provides all of these extras. The thoughtfulness extends to just about everything else, from their in-house bakery serving fresh bread, the iPad wine menu from the Hedonism store to their attentiveness. The only complaint – and then it’s not really much of a problem – is that perhaps service was a little on the hasty side, as if they really needed their table back within two hours. They didn’t.
Most important of all, the food is everything you’d hope for. The amuse bouche, flesh and bone, was a stunning introduction to the rest of the meal. It’s hard to beat supple meat that melts in your mouth but Hide Above certainly tries. From looking at past reviews and the current menu on the restaurant’s website, despite having visited only two weeks ago, it’s clear that the offering changes too often to abide by any one review.
So I’ll mainly talk about what seems to be the firm constants: the cured wild salmon is a piece of art. It lies beyond a pool of pure white, oyster-infused creme cru, topped with caviar. Not one bit of this was superfluous, everything was harmoniously matched. Then there was the multi-layered egg, creamy and decadent, which is quite a feat for the humble pantry essential. Delicate and flavourful is the description of the night. The main course options vary greatly, not in quality but size and presentation. There was definitely a favourite child that got the private school education and riding classes, and this was the duck, accompanied by a Chinese-style bao and broth. I had the small bowl of lamb, which was very well done (although, you can’t expect any less when the six course tasting menu is £95), but in comparison extremely bare. You have to laugh it off, after all everything before was just right.
Do people talk about palette cleansers? I mean, I know I have before but what does it say when it merits a few sentences? This floral sorbet, served on a hefty block of ice, could’ve been the dessert and we would’ve been 70% ok with it. I chose the Star Wars Darth Vader soundtrack on Instagram Stories to accompany its social media debut. It went down very well. The cleanser was also decidedly better than the actual sweet ending on offer, a jasmine and peaflower Religieuse. It was comparable to something you snack on from Laduree. If your powers of deduction aren’t up there, basically this wasn’t such a great course. Served with a refreshing sparkling Chinese tea, it’s lovely for a summer menu, but I’m not quite sure of its purpose. It’s inappropriate for this time of the year, what with darker evenings merging into coat and scarf weather. It also isn’t going to leave much of an impressive for any tea connoisseurs out there.
In spite of all that, I still don’t know anyone that doesn’t love Hide, whether they’ve opted for the less formal dining room downstairs or the upscale restaurant upstairs. It is definitely one for occasions, you’ll be treated very well here and if you consider yourself a foodie, you won’t be disappointed with Piccadilly’s new girl next door. She’s like the Scandi Instagram star they’re all talking about (Henrietta, who?).