If Hide was a person they’d be a nightmare to live with. They’d probably have a coronary every time you left the toilet seat up. They’d clean the remote control with cotton buds every evening. They’d use their calendar for other things than remembering your pet dog’s half-birthday. And they’d definitely be one of those freaks that actually makes their bed everyday before they leave the house. Yes, living with a detail-obsessed, glorious control freak like Hide would be a lot to handle, but it’s these very traits that make it one of the best London restaurants for a seriously impressive, blow-out meal.
You’ll find this raging perfectionist on Piccadilly casually overlooking Green Park. Open from 7.30am until late, it’s a three-storey, multi-million pound restaurant that has an army of staff, thousands of wines to choose from, a private lift from the car park, and an insane, sweeping oak staircase that we can only presume is Grandmother Willow’s mad, billionaire great-grandchild who has stocks in cryptocurrencies and hemp milk. It’s split into three defined spaces with their basement bar, mildly casual ground floor situation, and the part you really need to know about, Hide Above - their high-flying formal upstairs dining room that serves the £140 eight-course tasting menu.
If you really want people to know that you’re not messing around at Hide, you get the tasting menu. If you want to eat some hand-picked crab in a lime leaf broth that is the equivalent of someone screaming “YOU’RE LIVING YOUR BEST LIFE BABE” through a megaphone, you get the tasting menu. And if you want to feel like the baller oligarch you are deep, deep down, you get the tasting menu combined with one of the wine pairing options. This place is serious about wine in a way that means you’ll undoubtedly leave with a camera roll full of wine labels and re-hashing every sip of that assyrtiko from Santorini that you never would have thought to order but are now determined to serve at your next fictional dinner party. When the sommelier rocks up with a rare sake alongside your avocado and white miso starter, you’ll realise that this tasting menu isn’t just dinner. It’s an event.
Of course, to say that Hide serves the kind of dishes you dream of would be a lie. Because last time we checked, few people are dreaming of some white beetroot with a perfect little dollop of caviar bathing in a fluorescent green, albeit truly fantastic, light lovage broth. But you should be. Their headliners are pricey, excellent slabs of meat and fish, but married up with something that sounds like it’ll be a Waitrose Essential come the year 3000. Will you have any idea what’s actually on your duck confit? Not really, no. But that’s what keeps things interesting. There’s always a fig and hibiscus chutney, saffron labneh, or fermented cherry springing up off your plate, taking a roast suckling pig from tasty to memorable.
That’s the beauty of Hide, their obsessive attention to detail begins with the bergamot on top of your scallops, but continues on to everything else. The fold out stool to put your handbag on. The champagne trolley that rolls up to your table at the beginning of your business lunch. And yes, the entirely sexy walk-in wine cellar at their slick basement bar, Hide Below. Some of it is entirely ridiculous - see, a slither of pheasant served on a feather - but somehow, this place manages to pull it all off despite the fact the prices are this high. Like, Mount Kilimanjaro, 40-quid-for-a-stuffed-chicken high. But you’re paying for a restaurant that’s thought of everything and serves the rarest of fine dining creations - the kind you actually want to eat. So as long as this place continues to make the best French toast in the West End, has slick service, and serves excellent food, then we’ll continue to recommend this as somewhere for a money-to-the-wind meal. Just as long as we never have to live with them.
The food at Hide changes regularly, but whether you go à la carte or opt for the tasting menu, these are the kind of dishes you can expect.
Right, well, thanks for ruining all other french toasts for us Hide. You heavenly bastard.
Thanks to the added egg on top this is technically a croque madame, but hey, who cares about technicalities when you’re eating this beast for breakfast.
This is Hide, so if you’re expecting some bog standard sourdough, think again. In your bread basket you’ll find things like roast lentil and buttermilk baguette, cranberry and pickled walnut crackers, and our personal favourite, the rye and coffee bean bun.
This is the egg equivalent of walking into a club to find that Hey Ya! is playing, or going to watch the footie and your team scoring in the first five minutes. It’s the first proper dish they give you as part of the tasting menu and it’s your nod that says, “okay, this is going to be excellent”, even if you have absolutely no idea what they’ve put in it to make it quite so rich.
Now we know what you’re thinking. Wow, that’s some sexy looking crab. No? Okay, well it is. A starter you definitely want to get involved in.
Two bites into this starter, we thought, “alright show off”. It’s a party of textures where everything is so carefully balanced that the chestnut is never sickening and the broth never overwhelming. We would quite happily eat a portion double this size as a main.
The Scallop Sceptics sounds like a truly terrible daytime TV show involving Susanna Reid forcing Southwark residents to rate mollusks for cash. But it’s exactly what we were when we got into yet another fine dining scallop situation. We had no need to worry though, this was very tasty, even without the truffle and toppings.
This suckling pig is as soft and tender as we are after our third glass of malbec. And the jus is much more than just a theatrical pour.
Honestly this is like being winked at by David Attenborough. You wouldn’t necessarily expect something so playful and fun from a restaurant that seems so serious, but Hide isn’t afraid to play around. Fucking genius.