Hide; plus the best places for a business breakfast
Hide is already London’s most important restaurant opening of 2018. It could hardly fail to be with a reputed £20 million spent and one of the country’s most talented chefs, Ollie Dabbous, leading the kitchen. Award-winning sommeliers were headhunted to showcase the UK’s most impressive wine list. There are 450 bottles listed in a leather-bound tome, plus the option of delving, by Ipad, into the 6,500 options from the cellars of the Russian owners’ other enterprise, Hedonism Wines (Mayfair’s premiere wine shop). All this opulence impresses, but not in a vulgar way. The clue is in the name – Hide is about stealth wealth, and the discreet appreciation of luxury.
The venue occupies three floors of a corner site in Mayfair, three years in the making. The basement is a cosy bar, with a few private dining rooms hidden in alcoves around it. “Ground” brasserie – on the ground floor – is the main dining area, open from breakfast until late. “Above” is the top-flight private dining rooms, serving multi-course tasting menus. Above is also serviced by a private (car) lift, just in case the beautiful spiral staircase linking the floors isn’t discreet enough for you.
Ollie Dabbous held a Michelin star at his first restaurant, and is certain to attain at least one at Hide. Highlights of our meal included a plump tentacle of barbecued octopus that was pleasingly charred and served with the sour-sweet flavours of lovage and raw grapes; a dessert of warm acorn cake drenched in rum and served with clotted cream; and, on an early morning breakfast revisit, what might be the best porridge in London.
VERDICT A chef at the height of his powers has teamed up with wine connoisseurs who have very deep pockets and impeccable taste. The result is brilliant food, a fantastic wine list curated by expert staff, and a low-key and relaxing ambience. Hide is excellent, and that rare thing: a destination for breakfast, lunch or dinner.