Hide Above
Hide Above
Hide Above
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SquareMeal Review of Hide Above

Gold Award

Hiding in plain sight on Piccadilly, Hide is the hugely ambitious project that chef Ollie Dabbous has seemed destined to open since his self-titled debut picked up every award going in 2012. The venue is actually three different spaces on different levels: Hide Below (a bar), Hide Ground (an all-day restaurant) and Hide Above (Dabbous’ domain), reached via a swirling oak staircase.

Tables up here are spaced so you never need make eye-contact with your neighbour, while “tech savvy” design touches include not only the expected handbag stools, but mobile phone chargers hidden in every table and a leather-bound iPad that can access 6,000 wines direct from Dabbous’ backers, Hedonism Wines (Hide has no cellar).

To eat, there’s a ten-course tasting menu for £115 (plus a four-course lunch for £48), both bursting with inventive visuals such as charcuterie speared on the end of a feather, caviar-beaded tuna tartare prettily heaped at the centre of an ornamental, inedible leaf, and Dabbous’ signature ‘nest egg’ of coddled egg and smoked butter, a sort of savoury Creme Egg served in the shell on a bed of hay. One reader called this “food of the gods”, which might be stretching the point.  

Things got more exciting for us with the arrival of a breathtakingly subtle dish of red mullet in a bread and saffron sauce, and a gamey, dry-aged Goosnargh duck breast. Puddings were also best-in-class, from the ‘garden ripple ice cream’ that looked like a slice of Twister to a swirl of coconut cream fashioned into a white rose petal.

Criticisms? Even allowing for ten courses, we found the pace of the meal dragged, and while staff can’t be faulted for their enthusiasm and expertise, the constant interruptions and explanations don’t make for the most relaxing experience. For make no mistake, this very much is an experience – albeit one that might remain in the once-in-a-lifetime bracket.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - Over £80
Cuisines
British
Ambience
Fine dining, Glamorous, Quiet conversation, Unique, Widely spaced tables
Alfresco And Views
Great views
People
Romantic, Special occasions
Meet the team
Hide Above

Ollie Dabbous

Chef-patron, Hide

Ollie Dabbous shook the top end of London’s restaurant scene to its core with his debut eponymous restaurant. Opened in 2012, Dabbous was a masterclass in stripped-back fine dining before the idea was fashionable. The food was so good – he cut his teeth under Raymond Blanc, Claude Bosi and at influential Copenhagen restaurant Noma – that it was nearly impossible to bag a table.

Dabbous closed the restaurant in 2016 to concentrate on a new and at the time mysterious opening. That project turned out to be Mayfair’s Hide, a glamorous restaurant backed by rich Russians with two different food offerings; a high-end but flexible all day restaurant on the ground floor and a tasting menu-focused space upstairs with views over Green Park.



Location for Hide Above

85 Piccadilly, London, W1J 7NB

020 3146 8666

Website

Opening Times

All day
Mon 07:30-23:00
Tue 07:30-23:00
Wed 07:30-23:00
Thu 07:30-23:00
Fri 07:30-23:00
Sat 09:00-23:00
Sun 09:00-22:30

Reviews of Hide Above

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2 Reviews 
Food/Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Paul A

Poor deal
19 February 2019  

I admit that I must be the only husband around who books a meal out on 14 February and doesn’t realise it is Valentine’s Day. We had been hoping to have one or two of the supplements on the advertised tasting menus, there was only the one tasting menu available because of the date, something we had not been informed about in advance. Nonetheless, the menu looked promising, and, having negotiated the dangerously scalloped staircase after finally locating the very unobtrusive, almost hidden, front door to the restaurant, we thought all would be fine. However, as we found during the meal, our table proved to be only just out of collision range of the staff at the drinks and glasses station and it had a drawer with a phone charger built in which was proudly shown to us by the waiter (do people really go to fine-dining restaurants just to be online the whole time?), then we were presented with the wine list in the form of a rather clunky tablet which, for me at least, did not provide the ease necessary to select suitable bottles. Happily there was a printed version, but why these gimmicks? The ambience upstairs seemed largely governed by the noise from “Below” since “Above” is basically in the form of a gallery, although we had a view of the kitchen and we were able to see some of the action. The meal began with three snacks, mushroom broth, meat on skewers and some vegetables for dipping in a seeded mayo, an interesting idea but rather messy in practice and not exactly memorable. The next plate was some decent avocado with a fig leaf infusion made almost attractive by the addition of persimmon and the contrast of pistachios. We then had a halfway decent dish of egg noodles with crab and some brown shrimps which did not really contribute much and this reasonably filling course seemed designed to make up for the gap left by the previous ones. The lack of classy presentation was emphasised by what was supposed to be a steamed dumpling of foie gras and black truffle. However, it simply was not a dumpling but a cabbage leaf wrap round some virtually tasteless purée which could possibly have been the foie gras. We were unable to detect any truffle. This would not have got past John Torode and Greg Wallace let alone a Michelin inspector. The glazed guinea fowl which followed was okay but the portion was painfully ungenerous and the bird matched the celeriac remoulade for temperature. Were we eating too slowly for the kitchen when the web site claims that there is no rush and true “Hedonists” linger Above? The two desserts were “roses”, presumably a nod to the 14th of February, the first red, pistachio biscuit with rhubarb sorbet sitting on top, rose meringue bits and rhubarb chunks, the second white, jasmine cream and white chocolate ganache placed inside a white rose which proved impossible to take out in less than one piece, which made the eating less than elegant. And there we were, finished in record time for us when taking a tasting menu of that number of courses. The service was far from what is expected in a one star venue, for example some mushroom sauce that I managed to splash on the table did not get wiped up until I asked for it to be, and the staff were generally poorly coordinated. At least the wines we ordered were very good, but if you are paying £150 a head for a tasting menu and you consider that the best thing you have had is the bread then it is fair to say you have been disappointed.

Food & Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

M Stead

A staircase to remember
26 October 2018  
The staircase is the first thing you notice when you walk into Hide, it's vast, and the definite centrepiece of this restaurant. It's also the most tech savvy restaurant I've ever been to! There's phone chargers in the table hidden away in a drawer, the wine list is on an iPad and you can filter your wines, and when you request one a wine is then with you within 10 minutes! Which sounds obvious, because surely they have the wine in the cellar, WRONG! Hide have partnered with Hedonism wine and you order it from them, and then I assume a guy on a motorbike races through the streets of London with a bottle of wine strapped to his back...? Who knows, we went with the classic wine pairing. I have to say, this wasn't my favourite experience... There's a few things that bugged us here, about 500 waiters came over and asked us how our day was, for example. I know it's polite to ask, and it's that next level of service you expect in a Michelin star restaurant, but after the first 499 times you get bored of answering. I'm also not sure why we needed so many waiters? What's wrong with one or two? I digress. Of course we went with tasting menu, I'm a tasting menu guy, but I also opted for the option foire gras course because I'm also a foire gras guy. This is where my second bug bear rears its head, there wasn't a course I truly remember, no course that I will look back on fondly and say to my friend "Oh remember *that* course...?". If I go to a restaurant where I pay nearly £300 a head I expect a standout course, and while the lamb was very good, I won't look back on it with awe. Final bug bear for me, I promise, the foire gras was served with a brown rice broth which made the foire gras soggy... And no one wants soggy foire gras. Would I come back here? Probably not, unless someone I know really wanted to come, I just expect more. I went to Core by Clare Smyth in the same week, and I know three courses already that I'll look back on and reminisce on, but I won't do that here. Maybe the staircase, and I think that says it all. When you look back at a restaurant and remember the staircase more than the food something is amiss.
Food & Drink
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