When I go on a trip, especially to a place I have never been, I trawl through the Internet searching on websites, blogs and even on Twitter for travel tips and suggestions for places to go and restaurants to try. I wouldn’t have found Hyde & Seek
if it wasn’t for @DeeSeeBeaucoup
– a friend of a friend who always tweets me his favorites.
Hyde & Seek
is dubbed as a gastro-bar
and it is exactly that – a combination of bistro/bar that has an extensive cocktail list and a limited yet varied menu of what they call comfort food. We went on a Thursday evening for dinner at 8:00 p.m. and were surprised with how full the place was – the bar stools were all taken, indoor tables were reserved and most of the tables on the outdoor deck were starting to fill up as well.
The concept is well-thought of and details are noticed from their logo with the ampersand made into a profile of a seated person to the menus which are covered in line drawings (e.g. Dinner has cooking utensils on it’s cover). The menu is more modern bistro than comfort food for me. Bar snacks are simple yet creative like peanuts fried in duck fat and flavored with rosemary and coriander, and starters and main courses are twisted versions of the original like salmon carpaccio with Konbu (kelp) and sherry vinegar jelly or a Macaroni and cheese made with truffled bacon and Gruyere. Cocktails though are classics like Negroni and Manhatttan done the old-fashioned way in large glasses and with lots of alcohol and they also have a pretty good wine list.
After a week of Thai food at almost every meal, we were ready for some bistro fare. For appetizers, I had the Fines de Claire sampler (ordered either in threes or sixes) from the bar snacks and A had the salmon carpaccio from the starters. The oysters came on a bed of ice with three different preparations – one lukewarm with some herb-flavored green foam, another topped with crispy leeks and a third that had something cold and jelly-like on top. They were good but I wouldn’t have minded them just cold with some mignonette. A’s salmon carpaccio was surprisingly thick slices (not really carpaccio-thin) of salmon topped with the vinegar jelly and something else that we couldn’t figure out. Needless to say, this twist on the original salmon carpaccio didn’t really work on the plate.
For our mains, we both ordered Steak frites described on the menu as Wagyu rump steak, maître d’hôtel butter, and shoestring fries and a side dish of paper-thin fried onion rings with Cajun spices to share. The rump steak arrived perfectly-cooked and melt-in-the-mouth tender but disappointingly glazed and smothered in a greenish sauce with some powdered substance on the side which tasted like cheese (could that have been powdered aioli?). On the other hand, the fries and onion rings were crisp, hot and exactly what they were supposed to be. For dessert, we shared a NY cheesecake which came with a bit of red-fruit coulis and was fine, and finished off our dinner with some Thai brand Boncafe espressos.
Hyde & Seek is a gastro-bar that’s fun and different. They’ve got the sexy atmosphere down, the right mix of locals and farangs (foreigners), and a comprehensive and creative cocktail list. The only thing they need to work on is their menu of supposedly comfort food which has somehow gotten lost in the mix. If they get back to basics and serve proper bistro fare with maybe just a slight cheeky twist, then it’ll be just right.
65/1 Athenee Residence, Soi Ruamrudee
Wireless Road, Lumpini, Pathumwan
Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Telephone: +66 2168 5152
*Open daily for lunch and dinner from 11:00 a.m. till late. Kitchen closes at midnight and brunch is