Hide was one of the most hotly anticipated openings of 2018. Dabbous threw everything into it, closing his first restaurant (named Dabbous, after himself) in 2017 to focus on the 180-cover, all-day dining restaurant in Mayfair. It suits its glossy surroundings, too: an elegant, sculptural oak staircase forms the centrepiece, taking guests from ‘Above’ (a light-filled dining room with views over Green Park), to ‘Ground’ (the ‘hearth’ of the restaurant), to ‘Below’ (a basement bar where diners can enjoy classic cocktails or chance it on a contemporary creation).
The Mezi-style sharing plates preceding the starters
Brunch is served on ‘Ground’. On our visit, it began with a ‘ripe peach and lime leaf mimosa’ – a fruity, pale pink and refreshing concoction designed by bar manager Oskar Kinberg – and was swiftly followed by a show-off selection of sharing plates that together formed a plated-up mind dump of Dabbous’s culinary genius. Each bite made us ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’, but the charcoal flatbread with beetroot hummus and crumbly Graceburn cheese, and the chunky Porthilly oysters served simply with a wedge of lemon, were the highlights.
These trumpet-blowing appetizers are followed by the starters (yes, we haven't even got there yet). The cured salmon came in thick, simple slices – undressed and paired with a chervil mayonnaise mild enough to boost the flavour of the fish without stealing the spotlight. However the star turn of this course came in the form of the foie gras parfait, which was served with a sweet apricot and moscatel chutney, and a warm buckwheat waffle simple enough to carry the rich flavours. The dish wins full marks for presentation, too; it came served in an assortment of stoneware crockery, like something out of a Scandi kitchen showroom.
Fresh linguine with Cornish crab, garlic & parsley
Of the mains, the fresh linguine with Cornish crab came soaked in a garlic and parsley sauce, and proved far more exciting than the somewhat disappointing cedar wood-baked chicken, which was a tad dry and accompanied by Jersey royals which could have used a bit of pimping up. But this blip is little bother really, with so much going on elsewhere.
If you visit in the summer months, do round of your ‘brunch’ with the ‘summer fruit clafoutis with lavender and crème fraiche’, a sharing pudding for two with a moist, custard-like sponge dotted with berries and spiked with the unusual addition of lavender. It’s moreish and you may well find your spoon drifting across to your companion’s half of the pan.
Summer fruit clafoutis with lavender & crème fraiche (for two)
Hide’s brunch is available between 12pm and 3pm, which might come as a relief now you’re familiar with some of the dishes involved. This later-than-usual timing also means it’s perfectly acceptable to accompany the meal with wine – which is in no short supply here. Dabbous has partnered with Hedonism Wines to provide the vinos, of which there are 4,000 (no we haven’t added one too many zeros) to choose from. Our advice? Rather than being daunted by this list, or arguing with your partner over which bottle to have when you’re trying different plates, let the sommelier pair each dish with an appropriate glass.
As a final note, the service at Hide is impeccably slick. Granted, the restaurant wasn’t busy on our visit (we caught the end of the brunch service), but we really did feel well looked after and guided through our feast. So, if you’re bored of brunch as you know it or hoping to roll the inbetweeny, over-egged weekend meal into an extravagant lunch, here’s a menu sure to impress your taste buds and your guests.
|What||Brunch at Hide restaurant, Mayfair review|
|Where||Hide restaurant , 85 Piccadilly, Mayfair, , London , W1J 7NB | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Green Park (underground)|