Fine dining by Adam Handling
Category : Restaurant
| Cuisine : Modern European
Address : 34-35 Southampton St, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 7HF , UNITED KINGDOM - Directions
Web : www.frogbyadamhandling.com
Opening Times : Mon - Sat: 12 - 2.30pm, 5.30 - 10.30pm; Sun: 11am - 4pm
Closest Tube : Leicester Square
Private Dining Room : Details
Adam Handling is one of Britain's most promising young chefs, as evidenced in his sterling career which has seen him hop, jump and skip across Britain's best kitchens, not to mention the trophy-shelf of plaudits he won along the way - including in MasterChef: The Professionals. However, it wasn't until we visited The Frog E1 that experienced his culinary pyrotechnics first hand. When visiting his second and flagship restaurant in Theatreland - The Frog by Adam Handling - we started to get a feel of what the future holds for the talented young Scot.
Like its predecessor, the room aims to strip away the stuffiness that attends fine dining. Dark wood floors play host to simple charcoal-coloured tables and comfortable minimalist seating. The room is primarily illuminated by funky pendant lighting - glass orbs that descend from the sealing with a live wire running through their belly. There's also a very charming private dining room with buttonback chesterfields that can accommodate up to twenty guests.
But where we were really smitten was the superlative quality of the kitchen work. We were lucky enough to have experienced the eight-course tasting menu, and enamoured with Handling's bold martialling of flavour and creative wine pairings. Mackerel with radish and dill took the Nordic combinations of ingredients to new heights, but a dish of celeriac, truffle, apple and dates won the evening and put Modern British cuisine ahead ten points. We've never experienced the root vegetable in such a rich and unctuous incarnation.
However, we were similarly overcome by a secreto cut of Iberico pork offset with creamy cauliflower and spiked with a potent stab of kimchi. And then came the coup de gras. Innocuous enough, TFbAH's pastries eschew sugar in favour of fat, ensconcing a molten pocket of cheese in buttery pastry, then entombing the two puffballs under a garden of parmesan and truffle shavings. They are an optional add-on on the menu. However, for you they are non-optional (unless you are lactose intolerant or vegan of course). We rounded off the meal with two desserts: one of Mandarine, madeleine and clove and the other of chocolate raspberry and vanilla. The progression of flavours was masterful.
The Frog by Adam Handling offers Covent Garden a symphony of flavours without the starchiness that often attends haute cuisine. For anyone looking for a fun night and fine dining, you've hit your mark.