Hide is split into three sections: The evening restaurant (Above), the lunch restaurant (Ground) and the bar (Below). This time, we selected the lunch restaurant, but we will definitely come back for the evening experience another time.
Being placed on Piccadilly, a lot of tourists drop in. Our visit was pre-booked, and we entered into a welcoming, relaxed atmosphere of busy city-dwellers, foodies, and casual passers-by. It never became too casual, and the few children who were brought along were surprisingly well-behaved. Take note: This is not a family restaurant. Their parents just knew how to handle them.
Since it was lunch, we only had three courses with complimentary wine, which we let the Italian sommelier pick out for us.
Green olives and breadbasket
Bruno Paillard Champagne
We know. The breadbasket and olives are not part of ordinary reviews, but it was just delicious. Salted butter and five different kinds of bread from huge crisps to sour dough and brioche – everything baked with delicate flavours. The olives were some of the bests which we have tasted. They were flavourful and crunchy – Italy just entered our mouths.
The mild champagne was excellent for a soft start on a three-course lunch.
Escabeche of Cornish mackerel with carrot, saffron and tarragon
Marjan Simčič, Jordano Cru 2016, Sauvignon Blanc, Italy
This is the best mackerel I have ever had; my husband is not that fond of fish but was persuaded to try it. This was a cold dish with a perfectly fried mackerel. The carrot jus was fresh and functioned as a cold gazpacho – add eatable flowers, rucola, capers, baby carrots, onion, and chives – and you have a delicate starter with much flavour.
The wine brought memories of summer at sea. This wine house lies near the Croatian border, and they had produced a salty mineral wine without particular sweetness but perfect for the fat mackerel. It was a great contrasting wine.
Barbecued fillet of Herdwick lamb, escalivada and toasted pine nuts
Pian delle Vigne, Antinori, Brunello di Montalcino 2015, Italy
A wonderful main course – again, perfectly executed with lamb, citrus, and a remote hint of tarragon. One of the most beautiful and well-cooked lambs for a long time. The aubergine was a huge hit – and it was brilliant to serve red pepper on a base of yoghurt. The aubergine did everything, and you did not miss the traditional potatoes. The additional pine nuts in the sauce were a brilliant idea.
For each dish, the sommelier arrived with two wines to choose from. It was an excellent service, since not everyone has the same preferences. The alternative wine for this course was from Cahors; a region we know well, but we let the sommelier pick; told him that we were up for surprises, and he certainly fulfilled his job.
The chosen wine had deep, round flavours of earth grown blackberries and forest berries. The tannins were rich without being overpowering, and the wine complemented the lamb beautifully.
Hazelnut ice cream with Tahitian vanilla Chantilly and chocolate cremeux
Ben Ryé, Passito di Pantelleria, Donnafugata 2020, Sicily, Italy
For this, we were given a wooden spoon – not just as a gimmick, but the wood truly added something to the hazelnut ice cream, which was placed on Chantilly crème with hazelnut oil on top of a biscuit with dark chocolate. The hazelnut shone through, and it corresponded beautifully with the wine.
The dessert wine smelled of apricots, it had hints of perfume, was very aromatic and reminded of Eiswein. The colour was deep amber, and the taste was round and pleasant. One of the best dessert wines, we have had.
It is always a pleasure when you glance at other tables and revel in their choices, while you wish that you had ordered their dish, too. The plate of various cold cuts and the cheese table looked delicious, and we could conclude that all the courses were plated and served with care.
Even though this was simply a lunch, we felt well provided for, and the waiters were smiling and engaging. We got more than expected, and that is truly all you need.
We sat near the huge, Tolkien-inspired Elven-staircase leading up to the dinner restaurant “Above”. In “Ground” we got the Modern British cuisine with trips to Italy for the wine, and we will definitely be back for more.