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.