85 Piccadilly, W1J 7NB
WLC Rank : 3
Glass from : £ 7.50 (125 ml)
BEST FORAccess to Hedonism Wines’ catalogue
Deft plates by Ollie Dabbous
The Hidden Supper Club on the last Sunday of each month
Former Best Sommelier of Ukraine, Dmytro Goncharuk keeps track of a massive, impeccably sourced wine selection at this three-floor temple to the grape, brought to you by Hedonism Wines and chef, Ollie Dabbous.
Harking from Mykolaiv, close to the Black Sea, Dmytro Goncharuk thanks his half-Moldovan father for leading him to wine, fermented in the family garage from “intensely-coloured red hybrid grape Seibel, and aromatic Lidia”.
With fellow head sommelier Julien Sarrasin, Goncharuk “always tries to be both a friend and a boss”, to his 12-strong team at Mayfair’s Hide, working with suppliers to offer incentives, such as the saké-discovery trip to Japan.
Hide’s famous organic looking, handmade staircase winds from the excellent snug haven of spirits and in-alcove private-dining rooms, beside which the cellar is laid out as a street, complete with shop window, to the excellent of acoustics, cork- pillared, cosy Ground restaurant with bakery, then past the deliberately fogged kitchen window to the bright Above restaurant that is replete with vine-leaf plasterwork.
The ever-changing list at Hide comprises circa 1,000 wines, 170 of which are large-format, “from magnums to Methuselahs”. This is amply supplemented by 6,000 more lines approved by the buyer, Alistair Viner, and available to diners within 15 minutes or less by electric bike or BMW from Hedonism Wines. These include 1,200 large bottles. Both Hide and Hedonism are brought to you by the enigmatic Evgeny Chichvarkin and Tatiana Fokina. The pedigree of the bottles, which can be extremely fine and rare, is of prime importance.
Such a volume of wine means it is, “very easy to encourage guests to try something new at Hide,” says Goncharuk, who recently demonstrated his own vinous curiosity by visiting the volcanic soils of Lanzarote into which bush vines of Malvasia and Muscat peep from rock-enclosed dips.
The kitchen is led by a protégé of Raymond Blanc OBE, Ollie Dabbous. The eight-course tasting menu at Above is accompanied by three grades of wine pairings, costing £105 for Classic, possibly including a Riesling Spätlese from J.J. Prüm, £280 for Iconic, perhaps including Yukimuro Chozo Junmai Ginjo Genshu saké, and the breathless £545 for Hedonistic, which could include white Ornellaia and Eight Track rosé from Sine Qua Non. Meanwhile, dishes at Below may include stuffed roast chicken with crushed Jerusalem artichokes, black truffle and roasting dishes, partnered with tannic Barolo or juicy Pinot Noir.
Before Hide, Goncharuk worked in Kiev’s leading restaurants, and he is proud to see two Ukranian wines at Hide, “including one from close to my city, Shabo Saperavi”, followed by positions in Dubai and Azerbaijan. Of the future, Goncharuk, who first worked under Piotr Pietras when Hide opened, will continue to nurture the wine programme, while having a little time for other escapades, given he has, for now, finished formal study. Hence, the keen sailor hopes to “sail to France and Belgium”. He also dreams of visiting Chinese producer Ao Yun in Shangri-La.
By Douglas Blyde.