Dewy-skinned hostesses greeted us at Hide, a three-storey restaurant and bar on the edge of Green Park. Maybe the hype about this new joint has given them that glow: it’s a restaurant from superstar chef Ollie Dabbous. But we were here for drinks in a bar managed by Oskar Kinberg, his long-time collaborator.
We were led down a Gaudí-esque spiral staircase to a basement with the feel of a modern, minimal Nordic cabin, with barely-there lighting and dense wooden surfaces. It would have made me consider the life of a woodchuck if it weren’t for the dad rock filling the air. Chipper staff served drinks in dainty glassware – including a welcome drink on the house. They cut through the intensity of it all, even letting us sample homemade ingredients (including a green juice made from sorrel) and talking us through an impressive cocktail list.
Hide is a partnership with Hedonism Wines, who’ve stocked the bar with rare spirits – from Italy’s aperitivo del professore to Danish gammel dansk – to help power cocktails (starting at £12.50). The Adam & Eve was a deceptively light liquid over a giant ice cube, a mix of Venezuelan rum, Somerset cider brandy and fino sherry, with clarified milk adding more body. Next of Kin was a sweet blossom and berry twist on a negroni, while the Blunderbuss wasn’t dissimilar to a manhattan, using scotch instead of bourbon, plus brown butter and Pedro Ximénez for a syrupy finish.
All drinks were heavenly from sip to sip, a cheeseboard held as many rarities as the spirit shelves and cured meats fitted the Scandi vibe. In this Mayfair location, an older clientele oohed and ahhed over the flavours. I reckon Kinberg deserves just as much attention as his cheffing co-star.