Great news for meat and sweet lovers
The Hide: this 'meatery' with a twist has a new menu you can't help but love
Are you the type of person that becomes feverishly excited when reading a menu that particularly appeals to your culinary compulsions? Do you find yourself reading it out loud with great gusto, as if you were auditioning for a Shakespearian play? I do… whilst trying my best to control the salivating. Nothing makes me happier than seeing plenty of exciting meat options on a menu, so I knew I’d come to the right place as I dribbled my way through the newly pimped up menu put in front of me.
The “right place” is American meatery “The Hide” at Al Qasr Hotel, part of the sprawling and wonderful Madinat complex in Jumeirah. It’s always a pleasure to walk around the grounds here, and if you haven’t been into Al Qasr Hotel this is a great opportunity to have a sneaky look around.
Forging its concept based on America’s coolest meaty hot spots in LA and New York, The Hide opened its doors in September 2015 and has been popular with those in the know ever since - but I have a feeling they’re about to get even busier. There have been 15 new additions to their already impressive menu, built to coincide with the Dubai Food Festival, but thankfully they are less predictable choices. Yes, you can still find your mainstay classic slabs of rib eye and tenderloin, but if you fancy trying something a little more unique, here’s your chance. Head Chef Brian Voelzing has conjured up some inspiring dishes and also resurrected some long forgotten Cuts, giving them a modern twist in the process. Flat Iron Steak, Hanger Steak and Flank appear in their “Forgotten Cuts” section, cuts that can provide some of the best flavour when prepared and cooked expertly.
So what’s the food like? The starters gave us an idea of the delights that lay ahead: we ordered the DIY Steak Tartare, which came with a Bloody Mary Tonic and a spice grinder to mix to your taste, and the Rabbit and Parmesan Fritters with spiced Harissa aioli - both had us wanting to lick the plate clean. Alright, we did.
My idea of heaven for a main is beautifully juicy, well-seasoned meat, pink on the inside and charred on the outside, which The Hide didn’t fail to deliver. Upon recommendation from our expert waiter Jonathan, I went for the Flat Iron Steak. Being a slightly tougher cut than something like a tenderloin, it might not be your thing, but a little extra chewing was far from an issue due to the beautifully intense flavour acquired from the Korean marinade. Accompanied with a Kimchi Salad - a traditional Korean side dish - the whole plate was incredibly tasty, salty and sweet and brought a huge smile to my face. My date ordered the Irish Salt Moss Cave Aged Beef from the “Meat Locker” menu. All of the handpicked meat, proudly on display in their locker, is aged for 28 days and has buckets of flavour. This 300g lump of melt-in-your-mouth goodness was no exception, and coupled with our choice of a creamy Béarnaise sauce, was what dreams are made of.
Impressively, our side dishes refused to let the meat entirely steal the show. The ‘OMG Onion Rings’, deep fried, golden and crunchy onion rings smothered with Confit Duck and Mozzarella curd, left me with a problem: how can I possibly slum it with a standard onion ring from now on? Our other side selection, the creamed Heritage Kale with Gruyere Cheese reconfirmed to me my belief that cheese improves everything – it was truly delicious. There are plenty of other tantalising menu options to leave you coming back for more: confit chicken legs, braised beef cheeks, salt bush lamb shoulder, pimped up potatoes with pulled beef short rib and Montgomery cheddar, a selection of sea food and fantastic looking salads for the less carnivorous. I have many more visits planned as I work my way through these!
Last but by no means least, the desserts. And contender for pudding of the year goes to: their Campfire Smores! Pause for applause. Here, burnt, gooey marshmallow oozed over the sides of the bowl – like the remains of a certain Stay Puft marshmallow man after a toasting from the Ghostbusters team – finished off with crumbled peanut butter biscuits, dulce du leche and chocolate sauce. Served with a skewer-long spoon, it transported me back to childhood camping trips, toasting marshmallows around the campfire. I absolutely loved it. We also tried the chocolate and hazelnut soufflé, served with tres leche ice cream – a delight and a pleasantly lighter option after such a feast.
Go to this restaurant if you want to try something a little different, be impressed, salivate and be well and truly fed (and watered – they have an excellent selection of grape too, I counted around 28 varieties of red alone). Is there a meaty price tag? Not really. Be expecting to pay a little more for the aged beef from the meat locker, otherwise we thought it was fairly priced for the quality. Starters are from around AED 45 and mains from around AED 95. Or just pop along purely for the Campfire Smores! Enjoy.