Mayfair isn’t exactly synonymous with modesty, so it should be no surprise that one of its centrepiece restaurants ties its napkins with bird feathers and looks like an oligarch’s treehouse. If you like your handbag to have a stool and your bread basket to resemble a bouquet of flowers, then Hide is for you. But strip aways its flourishes and exemplary attention to detail and you’re left with the fact that this lavish, modern European fine dining restaurant is… just fine.
As is the case with many restaurants that cost millions of pounds, Hide has an air of obsessive perfectionism that feels both admirable and like the dawn of a cult. The top floor stares over Green Park and the space, filled with an impeccable platoon of staff, is undeniably impressive. At its heart is the spiral staircase, a carpenter’s wet dream that looks like it’s been carved from Disneyland’s Tree of Life. It goes some way to explaining the wooden atmosphere of the entire place.
Like a 7-star hotel restaurant, Hide is open from breakfast through to an à la carte or tasting menu dinner. Let a client take you in the evening, come by to get into Europe’s biggest wine list downstairs, or treat your grandparents to a West End breakfast with a view. And know you can always fall back on the artfully made viennoiserie, given a fry-up is just shy of £30.
The menu shows off slick cooking but that doesn’t make it compelling, nor value for money. The house-made bread selection is excellent but the signature ‘Nest Egg’, a technically marvellous savoury custard, contrives to be London’s most decadent serving of snot. There’s some faultless stuff on display here. Namely the banana and peanut butter paris-brest. It’s just, for the most part, there’s an unshakeable feeling that Hide is all kindling and no logs.
Freshly Baked Bread
The house-made bread changes weekly and is a cut above your usual slices of sourdough. There’s a mix of baguette, focaccia, sourdough, crackers, and a roll, baked with ingredients like parmesan and tomato.
There’s no denying that Hide’s signature dish is full of technique and flavour. It just might not be something you want to eat more than a spoonful of. The savoury custard mixes egg yolk with smoked butter and mushroom. It’s rich, decadent gloop that slides down your throat in an unpleasant way.
Soft-Shell Crab Tempura With Thai Basil And Green Peppers
The menu at Hide takes flavours and ingredients from all over the world, but this soft shell crab tastes jarring. For anyone sharing, this dish does not pair well with the rich nest egg or a crunch of parmesan cracker. Alone it flirts with the punch of peppercorns and Thai basil but doesn’t deliver any oomphs of flavour.
Roast Duck Breast With Perilla, Caramelised Cream & Plum Wine, & Steamed Bun Of The Leg
First thing’s first, this duck breast is wonderfully cooked. But the sauces beside it are tooth-achingly sweet, and not even the aromatic cut-through of perilla leaves can save it from being overpowering. The steamed bao with leg meat on the side, however, is superb.
Banana & Peanut Butter Paris-Brest With Chilled Jasmine Milk
For anyone who loves the combination of banana and peanut butter, and appreciates some Michelin-level patisserie work, this is the stuff of dreams. Each mini paris-brest has a slice of banana in it, as well as a dehydrated slice beside it. The jasmine milk is pretty good too.