Above at Hide, London, Piccadilly: Instagrammable but…

As restaurants reopened in London, we decided to visit one of the restaurants that social networks had been making us want to visit for a long time, Hide Above.

We had originally booked this restaurant in August 2020 as we were due to visit London, but travel restrictions decided otherwise… Fortunately, I’ve since moved to London with my wife, but confinement meant we had to wait until the beginning of June 2021 to book into this place that looks so pretty on Instagram.

The concept

The restaurant is located on Piccadilly, one of London’s most famous thoroughfares, and has 3 atmospheres: Hide Above, Hide Ground and Hide Below. Please note that only Hide Above is Michelin-starred.

The concept is rather pompous, and I quote: “Above at Hide offers guests a relaxing view of Green Park and a bright room. The food is light, elegant and pure. Enjoy a carefully prepared à la carte or tasting menu with a wine pairing. It’s a constant attention to detail, craftsmanship and care that allows the good to reach the best, and the best to reach the sublime. There’s no compromise, no press. True hedonists are above that”..

Very humble… Come on!

The reality is much simpler: a restaurant based on plant products, and simple but original cooking of animal products.

The setting

As I said earlier, the restaurant is located on Piccadilly. The street is very busy, but the proximity of Green Park makes the room very bright.

The spaces are made of wood, reinforcing the natural feel that the restaurateurs are aiming for.

The iconic staircase is truly impressive.

Particularly noteworthy is the very successful olfactory ambience, with the use of the Le Labo brand and its Santal 26 candles (I’ll be buying several of these later).

The menu

The restaurant’s menu is quite complex. There are actually two menus: one for so-called traditional diets, and the other for vegetarians.

A lighter lunch menu is also available.

Current menus are available on their website.

The meal and the dishes

Let’s face it, we go to a Michelin-starred restaurant for the culinary experience. Here are my notes on the dishes served.

  • Aperitif, bread and hors d’oeuvres: Excellent Bruno Paillard champagne, very well-balanced and very dry. I’ll have two glasses – Excellent presentation, superb quality breads
  • Pre-starter – Candied tamarind: A surprisingly sweet and savory starter, but the almond milk soothes the very strong taste of candied tamarind.
  • Crab tart: excellent and fresh, but we’re still looking for the caviar.
  • Signature starter – Eggs in a nest: a sublimated version of scrambled eggs
  • Hot starter – Cornish fish in two courses: Excellent with the American sauce to add to the soup – And the very fresh sashimi to finish this dish.
  • Scallops – cooked to perfection, very aromatic broth, if a little salty. But super tender peas
  • Lobster – Excellent, spicy sauce
  • Main course – Lamb: Very good but slightly undercooked. Few accompaniments
  • Main Course – Pork: Superbly cooked and perfect black pudding, the onions are too much.
  • Cheese (with surcharge): Perfect selection, but the onion chutney wasn’t to my taste, and it’s clearly missing some walnuts or grapes
  • Pre-dessert – Coupette – Mini scoop of asparagus ice cream – A little weird but it’s okay
  • Dessert – Coconut – A perfect dessert, very balanced and not too sweet.
  • Mignardises – Burnt Basque cake: difficult to unmold, good but no more so for a mignardise.

The service

Service isn’t quite up to the standard you’d expect from a Michelin-starred restaurant.

I know that gourmet cooking is an art, but a 4-hour (yes FOUR-hour) service even for an 8-course tasting menu is absolutely unacceptable, as nice as the room service is.

I had to ask for the bill twice, we were really fed up! By way of comparison, for such a long menu, we spent a maximum of 2 hours at Petrus, Gordon Ramsay’s 1-star restaurant in London.

The atmosphere

Don’t expect a hushed atmosphere here… The approach is rather Scandinavian: no tablecloths, no suits for the waiters. I like it.

Bottom line

A mixed experience to be honest. Yes, it was good, thank God. But the marketing promise has not been fully fulfilled… And the price is staggering for a restaurant with just one Michelin star. We won’t be coming back because, as my wife says, “It was nauseating”.

Olivier Delestre-Levai
Olivier Delestre-Levai
Olivier has been into airline blogging since 2010. First a major contributor to the FlyerTalk forum, he created the FlyerPlan website in July 2012, and writes articles with a major echo among airline specialists. He now co-runs the TravelGuys blog with Bertrand, focusing on travel experience and loyalty programs.
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