Hello there! I’m back from a long sojourn in the UK and Poland over Christmas and the New Year. After a busy start to the year, regular programming will ensue; the next few posts over the month will be reviews of places that I have visited in London. First among them in chronological order is Hide, one of London’s latest establishments and a sister restaurant of the epic wine store Hedonism in Mayfair.
As you know Hedonism was started by Russian billionaire Yevgeny Chichvarkin when he left to London and found service of wine merchants wanting. After the success of Hedonism, he later opened a natural evolution of his own restaurant Hide that would cater to oenophiles. This also creates a wonderful cross pollination between his own restaurant and his wine shop: choose a bottle at Hedonism and trot over to Hide with your bottle, where it will arrive from the shop within 15 minutes and a £40 surcharge.
Of course should you not bother (at least when I was eating alone for lunch), there is an exceptional cellar list as well as a well curated by the glass and half bottle menu available. One of the four champagne by the glass was Agrapart Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru ‘Mineral’ 2011: a lightly toasty yet super fresh, linear and sublime way that helps you settle in and enjoy the stunning vista of Green Park before you.
I chose the set lunch menu but with an a la carte order of the Nest egg from the tasting menu that is a signature now of the restaurant. The set lunch is short but sweet, but well thought out and executed. The amuse bouche was varied and exciting to start with but I found the starter that followed with my favourite jersualem artichokes (I can never get enough of these) and custard to be too rich for my own personal tastes.
The sommelier for the lunch service is a warm and cheerful man (never learnt his name) but surprisingly unhelpful and did not offer much in terms of guidance. The wine list is huge and even relatively knowledgeable guests such as myself would benefit from any pointers. Therefore I had to fall back mostly on what I know and fill in the gaps by myself. This is a surprise considering the stature of the restaurant and the founder’s own experience of customer service. A minor point but something that holds back from a totally glowing review of the restaurant (barring of course the Mussel Incident).
This was all paired with Michelot Meursault 1er Cru Perrieres 2016, one of my favourite underrated producers and one of my lieu-dit around. Intensely mineral upon opening, I asked to air it in a decanter and chill slightly, rendering it steely, smokey but still generous and still rich on the palate. It’s criminal to drink this so young but it did pair beautifully with the food and recalls fond memories of tasting it with Nicolas Mestre last January 2018 when he was in Hong Kong.