The latest venture of wunderkind chef Ollie Dabbous certainly lives up to its name. Despite its vast dimensions, occupying three storeys, Hide is easy to miss thanks to a discreet exterior featuring barely visible signage and a door that blends into the wall. Plenty of folk have already discovered it, mind: just look through the large windows and you’ll see a full complement of foodies, influencers and Mayfair suits tucking in to platefuls of visually arresting dishes – helping to confirm that this is one of 2018’s most talked-about openings.
With its three separate spaces, Hide aims to cater for all – or at least all who can afford it. Below is a cocktail bar overseen by long-time Dabbous collaborator, Oskar Kinberg; Above is the most formal room, where all diners must order the tasting menu. Between them is Ground: a more accessible, slightly more affordable all-day British restaurant. Taking centre stage here is the swirling oak staircase that connects all three floors, with the dining room’s brown colour scheme and oak furnishings providing neutral back-up.
Switched on, friendly staff suggest starting the meal with grazing dishes such as fried quisquilla prawns – so soft and delicate you don’t even have to remove their shells (though we opted to). To follow, both our starters impressed: a zesty, super-sweet crab tartlet given extra freshness by kaffir lime and smooth chunks of avocado; and a creamy burrata successfully paired with ripe apricot. Equally diverting was a main course of barbecued ibérico pork, elevated by slices of peach to produce a challenging yet effective contrast of textures.
After dipping into the colossal wine list (a truly exhaustive selection), move on to desserts: a treat for the eyes as much as the taste buds. Thrill to the likes of raspberry-flecked ice cream served on a bed of hay clouded by dry ice; or deconstructed strawberry millefeuille with pastry shaped like maple leaves.
There’s a palpable sense of occasion that goes along with dining here, and the accompanying feeling of exclusivity might lead some to limit this to a ‘one and done’ experience. That would be a pity, though: Hide needs to be seen to be believed.