Is that all for me?
I have been starved of a bread basket for a while given that most restaurants have taken the Covid excuse to stop serving bread en masse. Some cite the health hazards of having the bread hanging around. Others don’t bother to cite anything at all. The worst make no attempt to disguise their cost cutting.
For those that use the first excuse, they clearly haven’t experienced the health hazards of eating with some of my dining companions when they get hangry. So it is especially refreshing to see that this is not always the case.
As I was here on a Wed lunchtime whilst I was on holiday, the place was fairly empty. More attention (and bread) for me then.
The entire gambit of amuse bouches.
Bone broth. The clear liquid disguises heavy umami taste.
Nuts, seeds, flowers in a creamy dipping sauce for the lettuce.
Gem. Chilled gem with the dipping sauce was refreshing, succulent and crunchy.
Flesh. Imaginatively presented on a bone and a feather, the small size of the ham belied its heavy taste.
Bread. This was what made the meal stand out. Over the last few months I now have greater appreciation for bread having tried making several dozen with entirely predictable results and questions. Why won’t the bread rise? Why is it so heavy? Why does it deflate? Why does it look so lacklustre? Why does it taste so bad?
This Hyde basket shows what bread it meant to be.
Pumpkin bread? Delightedly bouncy inside, crunchy crust outside. Great.
Olive focaccia. Crunchier and bouncier, with just the right amount of saltiness from the olives.
A wafer crisp. Apologies, I didn’t catch the name of this as the waiter rattled through the long list. It was thin. And crunchy. And I’m sure that other people would have liked it but not me unfortunately.
I also did not catch the name of this bread. It looked like a wheat sheaf. It had a pleasantly earthy yet nutty flavour.
Brioche. Delectable. Soft. Buttery. Addictive.
Butter. In a carefully moulded butter dollop.
Beef tartare with alliums & tarragon. Very prettily presented. Delicate meaty flavour of the tartare off set with a hint of spice. The quality of the meat was apparent here.
Roast Limousin veal with summer vegetables & basil in a light Spenwood broth. A very colourful dish. The veal was delicate, tender and fulsome. The broth on the other hand was something else. It looking surprisingly light yet upon slurping some in, it almost overpowered my senses with its fulsome nature. It was as if the best parts of the cow had been distilled into liquid form.
Zerbinati melon with granita and lemon verbena. Succulent and excellent contrasted with the lemon verbena. Some say that a melon, is like a melon, is like a melon but if you have been to Japan, you can see the full gamut of options with melons ranging from 1 to 1000 times the cost of one in your local supermarket. If this was in Japan, this would sit on the higher end. A nice treat.
Creme brulee made from the seeds. This was if anything the reason to come here as something finding itself in the space between being too sweet and somewhat savoury. This small little dish was probably the best element of the meal as distinguished inside this little cup was something toeing the delicate line between salty and sweet and finding that delicate balance aptly.
Latte. The coffee was sadly rather ordinary. Could have given that a miss.
Basque burnt cheese cake. Small but heavy taste on buttery burnt cheese, a pleasant little bite.
Garden cupcake. Tasted like how I would guess taking a bite off the freshly mowed grass would be. Perhaps a fitting goodbye sat as I was opposite Green Park.
While I enjoyed myself immensely at this lunch, if you had asked me to pinpoint why, I might hesitate. It could have been the bright, tasteful ambience. The bread basket. The veal broth. Or perhaps that creme brulee. Yet what ever the reason, I’m glad I found this hidden gem. So opposite Green Park, there is something hiding in plain sight. Above Hide.
A quiet eating 8.5/10.
Lunch (all of the above excluding the coffee) was GBP48 excluding drinks and service.
London W1J 7NB