The Hill

When I read that the Hill was ‘under new management’ I was rather worried. The old Hill was a decent restaurant/not quite pub which sold the best hand-cut chips in town, all thick, golden and rosemary. The rest of the food was okay but those chips were absolutely incredible. 

Still, change isn’t necessarily bad, and I was keen to try it with the ‘new management.’ It took a couple of attempts as, in order to get to the place, you have to pass several other eateries/drinkeries, including the Union, and I was tempted away on more than one occasion, including the time I went to the Hill but ended up in the Prince of Greenwich (though that particular trip does seem to have had the side-benefit of ridding me of the one-time-only commenters who used to come onto the blog merely to rant, post ad-hominem attacks and be generally vile, never to be seen or heard of again…) but I finally made those few steps up the road at the end of last week.

And I have to say that, for the most part, it gets a huge thumbs up. If the menu reminds you of Buenos Aires (the one in Blackheath rather than its sister cafe opposite the Hill) there’s a good reason for that. BA’s manager has struck out on his own and now runs the Hill, taking, I believe, at least one of the chefs with him. And while at times he may have seemed a little harried at BA, here he is relaxed, all smiles and charm – a delight to talk with. 

The steaks are, as you might expect from the former manager of an Argentinean restaurant, exceptionally good. Done to exactly how you ask for them, the beef is excellent and the flavour very fine indeed. Many of the rest of the dishes have, like Buenos Aires, an Italian bias and, if they possibly could have done with a teeny bit more seasoning for my liking, that’s a very small grumble – adding a little S&P to taste is a small thing, and not everyone is a salt-freak like me. The pastas are particularly nice. 

We didn’t have the pizza – partially because the steaks and pastas beckoned, partially because they are – well – rather pricey. £12.50 seems quite a lot for a piece of dough with some cheese, vegetables and a slice of meat or two on it. I don’t know if the oven is wood burning, which, if it is will make me try them, just for comparison’s sake, you understand (am hugely looking forward to reviewing Bianco btw) but to be honest, I am so happy with the steak and pasta combo, it’s unlikely I’ll be trying the pizza any time soon. 

The wine list is very good indeed. As might be expected, Argentinian, Italian and the odd French label caught my eye (though not enough to actually mention any by name, of course. Darn, I’ll never make a professional reviewer like this. Note to self – pay more attention to detail…) 

The one real low was the chips. If these are hand-cut, it is by the steadiest paw in Christendom.  They were hot (not always a given) but pale and uninteresting compared with the glories the old Hill used to serve. 

But even this, though I thought it might be a deal-breaker before I went in, is actually a pretty minor thing. I think the Hill has made a step-change. The food is nudging, perhaps equalling or even more, Buenos Aires

It will take several more visits to be absolutely sure – I mean – I wouldn’t want this to be a freak experience and every other time an unmitigated disaster. But I’m prepared to make that sacrifice, for you folks. Darling, it’s hell…

11 Comments to “The Hill”

  1. Robert Number16 says:

    Went there last week. The staff were all very polite and helpful.Had rack or lamb,very good .Will be returning.

  2. Andrew says:

    I too have tried the Hill and whilst the standard of the food was very good I think the prices are far too pricey for what is essentially a back street restaurant. £20 for a steak is a lot of money. I tried the seabass and monkfish ravioli which was superb, however for the size of portion I received was small compared to the price. On the plus side, the wine was extremly good and the service was excellent. Very attentive without being too intrusive. My only negative is I think it is too expensive given it’s location.

  3. Yes, Andrew, I can’t deny it’s a pricy place. But TBH I’m okay with the occasional pricey meal if it’s good food, which, on the night I was there, it was.

  4. Andrew says:

    I agree GP it was very good food and as you say, the occasional pricey meal is ok, just that other places such as The Union or The Guildford I wouldn’t even think about price when deciding to eat there and even the old Hill price wouldn’t be a consideration when deciding to eat there. The new Hill would be more of an occassional thing rather than a regular eatery due to the price. Whilst mentioning The Guildford, I’m very keen to try out Guy’s new restaurant upstairs now. That should be your next review!

  5. tintinhaddock says:

    The Hill had been going (ahem) downhill for some time. I’ve been twice since the new management took over: first time was superb but I was slightly disappointed the second time (perhaps it was because it was a Sunday night and the regular chef was not working?)

    Still, all in all a very positive addition to the neighbourhood.

    I haven’t tried upstairs at the Guildford yet. Is it open? My worry is that with his new venture Guy has taken his eye off the ball at Inside – the last couple of times I’ve eaten there the food has been very lacklustre.

  6. Kat says:

    I dont mind paying more money if the food, atmosphere and customer service is good. In my oppinion it shouldn’t matter where the place is or how ‘central’ it is to Greenwich. Afterall I am paying for the meal, not sitting in the middle of the road with a sat-nav. Some of the eateries in central Greenwich are abysmal and still charge high prices!! So just because it is ‘off the beaten track’ doesnt mean to say it should automatically be cheap. I was put off the Hill when I last went (old management days, after a bad meal there) but will definitely give it another go. I am also keen to see what the Guildford brings. Its been under scaffold and porta-cabins for so long!

  7. Andrew says:

    tintinhaddock and Kate seems upstairs at The Guildford is already open for a ‘soft launch’

  8. Hill_Walker says:

    I must be one of the few who got on well with the “old” management and enjoyed a chat over a Leffe and Chips (such good chips!). The “new” Hill will still be an option for drinks (as it’s on the way home), but the food prices are high and the chips average. The bar area is now a Tapas section, so you don’t have to go just for steak. Will be great if they get the wish to do BBQ’s in the summer.

  9. Adrian says:

    Wil be interested to have your Bianco review. Tried it yesterday and not impressed.

  10. mel says:

    Have been there twice and like it v much. More extensive menu than Buenos Aires but just as delicious. Staff v friendly and helpful.

  11. Richard says:

    Good luck to them but I am not going back in the near future.
    The ex manager of BA in Blackheath and the chef tried too much to be like the one in Blackheath.
    Unfortunately they show luck of imagination in creating a new menu. Doing the Argentinean Italian style like the BA does not reflect good in them an people will always prefer the real one to a copy.