Hide Ground

Silver Award
1 Review
££££
Afternoon tea, British

Hide Ground
Hide Ground
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SquareMeal Review of Hide Ground

Silver Award

With its three separate spaces, the latest venture from wunderkind chef Ollie Dabbous aims to cater for all – or at least all who can afford it. Hide Below is a cocktail bar overseen by long-time Dabbous collaborator, Oskar Kinberg; Hide Above is the most formal room, where all diners must order the tasting menu. Between them is Hide 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. To follow, both our starters impressed: a zesty, super-sweet crab tartlet was given extra freshness by kaffir lime and smooth chunks of avocado, while creamy burrata was 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 (6,000 wines accessed via an iPad) 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 a deconstructed strawberry mille-feuille with pastry shaped like maple leaves.

Eating here summons up a palpable sense of occasion, and the accompanying feeling of exclusivity might lead some to limit this to a ‘one and done’ experience. That would be a pity, because there is a great deal to take in at Hide.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Cuisines
Afternoon tea, British
Ambience
Fine dining, Glamorous, Quiet conversation, Unique, Widely spaced tables
Food Occasions
All day dining, Breakfast

Location for Hide Ground

85 Piccadilly, London, W1J 7NB

020 3146 8666

Website

Opening Times

Mon-Sun 7.30am-11.30pm

Reviews of Hide Ground

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1 Review 
Food/Drink
Service
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Value

Mr. Alex G

Overrated
18 December 2018  
Reputation and hype combined often breed excess expectation. At Hide, take a highly talented chef, an alleged £20m investment, a wine joint venture with nearby Hedonism and anticipation levels can quickly become stratospheric. Gain a Michelin star within a year of opening and you’re in a whole different galaxy. Reviewers need to be sceptical by nature, but not since Sexy Fish have I been so underwhelmed by a London venue. There is no doubting Hide’s ambition: three floors, from fine dining at the top to a cocktail bar at the bottom separated by a beautifully carved wooden staircase (which apparently cost a mere £1m) and more staff than covers (200 versus 180) on hand to take care of your every need. This, however, is where the problems begin. Clearly wine is part of the angle here, so no surprise to have a server offer us an iPad with the 4,000-bin list. Yet, does this device offer details on wines by the glass? No; you need a separate list for that. And, what about a beer (as requested by one of my comrades)? No; yet another list. So, before even getting onto the food, our table was covered in different menus and we had had to interact with around half a dozen different staff members just to get a pre-dinner drink. Having staff on hand is better than not having them at all, but when you get asked every three minutes by a different person whether you’ve decided on your food choices, this is not relaxing; it’s not even good service, it’s intrusive and over-bearing. Even if Hide does have to turn tables every two hours, no diner ever wants to feel under pressure. Onto the food, and the story here is style over substance. No doubt, Ollie Dabbous has deserved pedigree, but the menu conception struck us as more about delivering easily Instagram-able dishes at prices pitched for wealthy Mayfair hedge funders and visiting out of towners whose currencies are markedly stronger than the British Pound – the sort of people who don’t mind paying over £40 for, say, a pigeon. Portion sizes also border on the stingy – again perhaps a deliberate nod to many of the actively Instagramming waif-like diners we witnessed. It’s hard to get a starter and a main in the ground floor restaurant for less than £60, so the least you should expect is to be properly fed at this price point. The food we did eat was by no means flawless either, a sentiment shared by all three in our group. While a wonderfully creamy chicken liver parfait paired with an out-of-this-world fig and hibiscus chutney stood out as a marked highlight from our shared starters, my much-discussed pigeon main underwhelmed. It certainly looked beautiful, presented on a bed of festive pine and already sliced, but the whole experience was over in little more than a half-a-dozen mouthfuls – so the equivalent of a mere £7 a bite. Value for money? No. An experience? Yes, and especially the people-watching. Worth repeating? Only if someone else were paying.
Food & Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

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