The Frog, Shoreditch

Like many others, I first saw Adam Handling on my TV screen, as a contestant on The Great British Menu. Immediately I noticed his admirable determination and inventive cooking style. When I visited his Shoreditch restaurant, The Frog, the atmosphere was rather more relaxed, and his food truly shone.

The Frog RestaurantThe Frog Restaurant

From the exterior the restaurant feels a little makeshift, tucked away in Ely’s Yard in the Old Truman Brewery of Shoreditch. But inside the dining room is fully equipped with lovely industrial-style tables and basic but stylish chairs, eclectic artwork by young artists adorns the walls. The whole set up was perfect for my obsessive food photographing! I went along to sample the lunch menu, and even mid-week the restaurant felt full with locals who seemed very pleased to have this great new eatery in their neighbourhood.

The Frog RestaurantThe Frog Restaurant

Adam is only 28 but already is illustrating a wealth of experience and ideas through his plates of food. The lunch menu costs £35 per person for three courses with a glass of wine or beer, it is a lovely way of sampling an example of his bold and brilliant repertoire. After gorging on delicious bread and chicken skin butter we received our beautiful starters: Pork, pineapple & cheese and Celeriac with truffle, dates & lime. Pork and pineapple is not a pairing I’ve tried before… the meat was tender and salty on a bed of contrasting components and decorated with dehydrating pineapple slithers. Every mouthful was different. The Celeriac was an inspired vegetarian option, a neat nest of thinly sliced celeriac revealed an jewel-like egg yolk, chunks of tart apple and plenty of indulgent grated truffle.

The Frog RestaurantThe Frog Restaurant

Main courses were equally surprising and stunning. Lamb with crispy potatoes, sour cream and garlic was a work of art on the plate and a cacophony of flavours to eat. I loved the super crunchy potatoes with the sour cream and grilled baby onions, but I found the meat a little on the salty side. The Mac and Cheese – the frog way, was a rich and decadent dish, with layers of pasta, cheese sauce and grated truffle. Not for the faint-hearted.

The Frog RestaurantThe Frog RestaurantThe Frog RestaurantThe Frog Restaurant

Before pudding time, the kitchen kindly sent out a mysterious red dish. Beetroot, beetroot and more beetroot is a much talked about item on the menu. If you like beetroot you’ll love it, if you don’t then you probably won’t be a fan! The three desserts all sounded extraordinary: Yuzu, white chocolate, raspberry & peanut, Burnt honey, lemon, malted milk and Chocolate ‘tiramisu’. We couldn’t resist trying all of them. Burnt honey was a delicate dessert with tangy lemon and creamy subtle ice-cream, Chocolate tiramisu was dramatic and unpredictable, arriving at the table in a puff of dry ice smoke… it looked great but I found the straight black coffee sauce a little too bitter with the rest of the dish. The Yuzu dessert was a triumph, a brilliant mix of sweet and citrus flavours and textures.

I left The Frog feeling excited about Adam Handling’s cooking, I’m definitely keen to return to try more of his innovative and tasty recipes.

More information and book a table at The Frog here.

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