Adam Handling will be well known to those who watch TV programmes like Masterchef and Best of British. He cooked a great meal for London Branch in 2015, when he was at the Caxton Grill, so when he set up his own restaurant, The Frog, near Spitalfields, we were naturally keen to try it.
He brought a lot of his key team members from The Caxton, and the food is very similar, but served in very much less formal surroundings, and at a lower price. London Branch chose an eight course tasting menu, with matching wines.
A glass of Vibracious Brut Cava was served on arrival, along with two very interesting and tasty pre-starters: a roll with smoked cod, crème fraiche and caviar, and BBQ beef with lovage crisps.
The names of Adam’s dishes tend to be somewhat cryptic: naming the principal ingredients and not much else. But they are always bursting with flavour. The first of the three starters was a salmon ceviche, served with a glass of Etra Albarino from the Rias Baixas. Then came ‘celeriac, truffle, egg yolk, apple and dates’, with ‘Paper Road’ Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. Next, ‘cod, crab and seaweed’, with Pouilly Fumé. And for the meat course, ’piggy, cauliflower, kimchi’ – pork belly beautifully cooked with a peppery sauce. This was quite strong, and some of us felt that the Fattoria di Sammontina Chianti 2015 was a bit too young, and too delicate for this dish. For the cheese course were some incredible cheese doughnuts, with Grahams LBV 2011 port: absolutely delicious. And finally, three desserts to share, washed down with Chateau La Tomaze, Coteaux du Layon, 2015.
The Branch congratulated chef Adam Handling on a great meal, and then the Chairman Jeffrey Benson had great pleasure in presenting Anita Rushton with a IWFS Long Service Medal. Anita is the wife of Ian Rushton, a former EAC Chairman, who sadly died at the end of last year, and has been a great supporter of the Society in her own right for over thirty years.