Parmigiano Reggiano Celebration, The Frog Restaurant

Parmesan is an ingredient I always have in my fridge, so I was excited to celebrate this Italian cheese with a special dinner at The Frog.


After nibbling on chunks of delicious Parmigiano Reggiano and sipping Italian prosecco we were all seated to enjoy Adam Handling’s parmesan inspired dinner.

Each course featured a different aged parmesan…

Cheese and Truffle Doughnut with 24 month Parmigiano Reggiano

Mac & Cheese – The Frog Way with 30 month Parmigiano Reggiano

Burnt Honey, parmesan, malt and lemon with 18 month Parmigiano Reggiano


The doughnuts were blissful, rich mouthfuls of cheesy heaven. I’d tried the decadent macaroni cheese from The Frog before, but this version was even more brilliant. A perfectly simple bowl of macaroni pasta topped with a comforting cheese sauce and enhanced with 30 month grated Parmigiano Reggiano.


Adam’s clever dessert was a revelation. I never thought parmesan could successfully be included in a pudding, but this recipe craftily concealed the overwhelming cheese taste with contrasting citrus and sweet honey. It was a wonderful mix of textures and flavours, whilst illustrating how versatile Parmigiano Reggiano can be.

More information about Parmesan here, and read about my experience at The Frog here.

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.

Dirty Bones, Shoreditch

The new Dirty Bones in Shoreditch is a grown-up, more glamorous alternative to the other branches in Kensington and Soho, though there is still a hit of grunge in the dark decor and DJ set up. The all-American restaurant has taken over a gorgeous Grade-II listed building in central Shoreditch and has smart leather seating and a glitzy bar to lure you in. Known for their strong cocktails and indulgent menu of US classics, the offering here has all the same recipes with a few extra dishes (like Cheeseburger Dumplings) added.

Dirty Bones Shoreditch

I visited on a Monday lunchtime, bringing along my brother to help with the inevitable feasting. Totally overwhelmed by the large menu we let the waiter pick his favourites for our meal. His choices were flawless, a nice mix of meat and veggie dishes which complemented eachother well. Our favourites included the Beef Short Rib with salted caramel & burnt onion sauce, crispy shallots and spring onions. The tender meat fell easily off the bone coated in a sticky sweet-smoky sauce and topped with tangy spring onions. The blissfully simple but wonderfully tasty Crispy Lamb Fries were also a hit, flavoured with a spicy sauce and a hint of miso with a scattering of crunchy lamb bites.

Dirty Bones Shoreditch

I was beginning to tire of burgers, until I ate ‘The Mac Daddy’ an extravagant bun filled with a 6oz patty, pulled beef short rib, mac & cheese and homemade BBQ sauce. Juicy and moist with a rich cheesy sauce, it was as good as it looks.

For dessert I recommend ordering the Milk & Cookies, a simple pudding with a chewy chocolate cookie and refreshing creamy milk ice-cream. We loved all the cocktails that were put in front of us, but the winner had to be ‘Mutt’s Nuts’, a perfectly balanced short drink with Woodford Reserve bourbon, cinnamon & vanilla infused maple syrup, Angostura bitters, lemon and apple.

Visit Dirty Bones for a quiet weekday lunch to really relish the food, or head there at the weekend when the music adds a fun atmosphere to the venue.

More information and book a table here.