Eater understands that the pop-up restaurant Hide chef Ollie Dabbous will launch in Chelsea next month could become a permanent venture later this year. “Chelsea Barracks Kitchen by Ollie Dabbous,” in Belgravia, will run for the duration of Chelsea Flower Show between Tuesday 21 and Saturday 25 May. It is thought the pop-up will act as a pilot for a permanent takeover later this year, with Dabbous in pole position.
The pop-up restaurant will comprise bookable “fine dining experience” (midday to 9:30p.m.), a walk-in brasserie (breakfast from 9a.m. to 11:30a.m.), a deli (from midday to 7p.m.), and a bar with snacks (midday to 9:30p.m). It marks the first time the public has been granted access to the barracks in over 150 years; Dabbous’ pop-up is the first activation in the new restaurant space.
Dabbous, a one-time protege of Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire, rose to fame in London following the opening of his eponymous restaurant in Fitzrovia in 2011. He was anointed with a rare five star review by Evening Standard critic Fay Maschler, who called the chef a game-changer. It soon won a Michelin star, which it held until its closure in 2017. Dabbous returned to the kitchen last year, when he opened the vast three-floor Hide on Piccadilly with Hedonism Wine’s Evgeny Chichvarkin and Tatiana Fokina. It too won a Michelin star at the first time of asking last autumn; the upstairs tasting menu dining room has stated its ambition to win a second.
Dabbous is no stranger to botanicals, foraged ingredients, edible flowers, and a light-touch application to spring vegetables. The chef will be given access to a kitchen garden and diners are told to “expect dishes that respect the integrity of the ingredients and showcase them in an organic yet refined manner.” The menu will include candy-striped beetroot with marigold, toasted pistachio, and Sussex Slipcote; papillote of Gigha halibut, Cornish mussels, and yellow courgette in a nasturtium broth; and for dessert, an orange blossom custard doughnut.
The brasserie will be an informal all-day offering, which will offer the baked goods prepared at Hide’s ground floor bakery alongside savoury dishes such as courgette, mint, and Graceburn fritters; wild fennel labneh; or a croque monsieur.
Earlier this month, Dabbous said: “Hosting a pop-up at Chelsea Barracks during Chelsea Flower Show will be a fun project for myself and some of the HIDE team. As a chef, passionate about food and seasonality, spring brings with it wonderful fresh botanical produce, making it my favourite time of the year. I’m looking forward to cooking in an amazing venue, producing outstanding dishes with a botanical touch that is both charming and delicious.”
Dabbous did not comment on whether he was in line to take over the space permanently when the pop-up concludes. But a spokesperson for Chelsea Barracks Kitchen told Eater that it would remain as a restaurant following Dabbous’ set departure date and did not deny that the chef and his team were in the running for its permanent takeover.