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Hide Bar and Restaurant

Louise Elgin set off to find fun in Fulham

In honour of my outing to Hide in Fulham, I dug out my 14 year old leather trousers and just about managed to shoehorn myself into them for the occasion. Hide is just what Fulham needs. Hidden away in deepest Dawes Road, it is a funky bar and diner which is the antithesis of all things Sloaney. Set in a spacious L-shaped room, there is a large, open, eclectic feel to the place with minimalist styling, rare groove music, squashy mock-croc banquettes and exotic fish tanks.

When we arrived at about 8pm, things were just beginning to come to life and I got the impression on our departure that its clientele (who by now were getting well and truly stuck into the cocktail list,) were intending on partying hard. The large bar is a feature of the room and is where all sorts of cocktails were being concocted with panache and expertise; in fact Hide is getting quite a reputation for its cocktails alone! All are priced at £5.50, (except champagne based ones, at £6.00). Their signature cocktail, Winter Daiquiri, is a blend of aged rum, caramelised liqueur, angostura, and flamed orange zest. Hide is the latest edition to the chain that began with the highly successful, Exhibit in Balham. Now its owners have decided to try their recipe for success in Fulham.

Dining at Hide is based around a sort of tapas style experience, with dishes reasonably priced, most around the £5.00-6.00 mark. The idea is that one can go there and have a good bottle of wine or a couple of cocktails, whilst sharing a few interesting snacks in convivial surroundings without breaking the bank.

We began our food whilst still sitting comfortably at the bar, with a plate of deep fried whitebait & lemon mayonnaise, £4.30, and king scallops wrapped in pancetta, £10.00. The whitebait were crisp light and tasty with a good lemon mayo, whilst the scallops were exquisite, melted in the mouth and were totally tender and moist, the pancetta giving an added bite to the whole experience.

To drink, we choose a bottle of Rioja Monte Real Bodegas 1997,  priced at £20.00. After allowing it to breathe for a while a smoky, spicy flavour came through whilst the subtle tannins complemented our food nicely. Nothing on the list is over £25.00 a bottle with the house wines starting at a very reasonable £12.50.

We moved to a table opposite in a cosy enclave complete with fish tank, thinking it would be the perfect place to commandeer for a small party. For our main courses we began with some spare ribs in honey and ginger sauce, £5.30, which were a little too sweet for my palate, but my guest certainly liked their oriental flavour. This was followed by some very good chorizo sausage served with a red wine sauce at £4.80, superb roasted baby potatoes with garlic and rosemary, £2.80, and a very fresh and crunchy French bean salad and feta cheese salad with balsamic dressing, (£4.30/£6.50).

There were plenty of other tempting things on offer, including charcuterie and pickles, £5.30, king prawn tempura with sweet chilli dip, £5.80, and crispy duck salad, £4.90/£7.50 and butternut squash and spinach risotto, £3.80.

Puddings were very limited, consisting only of two, both priced at £4.50, crème brulée, and chocolate fudge brownie with vanilla ice cream. Although both sounded rather heavy, my guest, being a huge crème brulée fan just had to try one! He gave it 5/10, commenting it was a little too sweet and a bit stodgy. His double espresso got about the same marks but then he likes them very strong and dark! Our bill came in at £70.00 for the two of us and included four highly refreshing gin and tonics.

Brunch is served from noon till 4pm on Saturday and Sunday and again is fairly priced. Comfort food is on offer: roast beef with all the trimmings for £10.50, or a stew of beef, lamb or game. Various ways with eggs included Benedict, Florentine, and scrambled with smoked salmon, all at around £5.50 a plate.

In conclusion, Hide is a bit like a bottle of quality red wine, which gradually comes to life, showing its full personality. The choice of dishes is good and the reasonably priced wine and cocktails makes it an affordable night out. One can arrive casually dressed or in a city suit and feel equally at home. The staff are very friendly and efficient and we left saying we must return soon. You can't say fairer than that!

Louise Elgin March 2004

Hide Bar & Restaurant 
125 Dawes Road London SW6 Tel 020 7385-8936

UK Restaurant Reviews – The Best Of The Dine Online Restaurant Reviews 2001 - 2010

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