Sometimes, just sometimes, London can make you feel like a small fish in a very big and pricey pond. You’ve printed your Groupon Vouchers and you’re venturing out into the big bad world in search of that Friday feeling. But now, thanks to the opening of brand new super-bar and dining Eden, Hyde, you’ll no longer have to sneakily side eye the price-list in order to feel like a VIP. Opening at the beginning of 2016, Hyde is still a pretty well-kept secret, especially with its uber discreet entrance just across from Kensington Palace. With regency in the air, Hyde Kensington is the full first class experience, serving up impeccable Pan-Asian cuisine and arguably the Capital’s most creative cocktails. Evening dining and late night drinking? Lining your stomach before a session has never been so easy. Mum’s around the world breathe a sigh of relief.
Hyde is delightfully minimalist. With a sleek mahogany finish, it feels serene and almost sort of pacifying: perfect for the post work wind-down. With all the beauty and finesse of the East, Hyde Kensington’s low-lit, tranquil ambience offers a welcome break from London’s manic club scene. Hyde Kensington has also quickly made itself known for its faultless food. With a small but expertly refined menu consisting of sushi plates, seafood platters and other Eastern delicacies, Hyde not only delivers nosh that’s good on the taste-buds, but also on the purse-strings. Sides go for anywhere between £3-£6, small plates for £6-£8 and large mains sit around the £15 mark - which for London is practically a steal. You can even ask to be sat at the ‘Chef’s table’ to watch the culinary magic for yourself.
Music: Hip Hop, RnB, House
Dress Code: Smart/Casual
Train Station: High Street Kensington
Address: Hyde Kensington, 1A Kensington High Street, London, W8 5NP
The showmanship here is next level. We mean, picturesque micro-detail as if each and every drink is concocted by Heston Blumenthal himself. One particularly imaginative cocktail known as the ‘Sonic Groom’ is a beautiful blend of vodka, lychee and peach, fascinatingly served in a bloomin’ mannequin’s hand. If it’s not flaming, smoking, sparkling or garnished within an inch of its life with dry ice and a fruit basket, Hyde Kensington isn’t interested, mate. Our personal favourite was ‘The Mad Hatter’: a cocktail presented in a dainty, transparent teapot which billows dry ice from its spout. Honestly, it’s almost worth ordering one of everything just to witness the spectacle of it all. You’d frankly be forgiven for forgetting it’s something you’re supposed to drink, rather than ‘Oooh’ and ‘Aaaah’ at like a firework display. At £9 across the board, we think that’s pretty reasonable considering the painstaking exertion of poor Mr.Barman. Whilst there are some chilled ambient tunes playing for the diners in the evenings, Friday and Saturday Nights are when Hyde really kicks up a gear. Playing the best of Golden era Hip Hop, Hyde’s early 90’s throwback night ‘Takin it Back’ will get you reminiscing with Wu Tang, Public Enemy, Run DMC, De La Soul and all your East/West coast favourites. And when the time comes for a midnight snack, Hyde’s late night kitchen has got your back. Mo’ money mo’ spring rolls.
As this little gem is still somewhat under wraps, Hyde seems to attract the socialites that keep their ear firmly to the ground on what’s ‘up-and-coming’. This is also pretty perfect Tinder date territory, and here’s why: A) You’ll look super smooth for even knowing it’s there and B) Due to the very reasonable pricing, you can also drop the ‘order anything you want’ line and actually mean it. The sheer wow-factor of Hyde’s signature cocktails make any night/evening out feel like a special one, so it’s also great if you’re trying to impress an out-of-towner or perhaps seal an important business deal. Be warned though: trying to resist the millennial pitfall of photographing everything you order is very difficult at Hyde, because it all looks so spectacular. Don’t be that person. Okay fine, a few shots for the Snapchat story but do it quickly.
Hyde Kensington is impressive with a capital ‘I’. If you want to make your money stretch then this is the ideal place to get more bang for your buck. You could literally order all of the sides on the menu at it’d still come to less than a Dominoes. It’s not just that we love, though. It’s the meticulous detail and care put into everything Hyde sets in front of you. Every drink, every dish: a masterpiece. We’ve never felt more chuffed to pay a bill- they bloomin’ earned it.