If I start by saying I’ve already booked in for a return visit then what’s to follow will not surprise you. This was an excellent lunch from start to finish combining stunning food & drink with fabulous service. We arrived at Liverpool Street station and decided to take the fifteen-minute stroll along Curtain Road then as you cross Old Street this will lead you straight to the restaurant.
The restaurant itself is set on a corner of Hoxton Square which is another area in Shoreditch that has been developed into a hip & trendy location. When we arrived at the restaurant we were greeted by restaurant manager/sommelier George who really looked after us throughout our visit. After a brief chat, he showed us to our table which was along by the window overlooking the square. Once seated we had a look around the restaurant which was actually very spacious. On the left as you enter is the long open kitchen then in front there are three rows of seats with an additional seating area at the opposite end where on the wall is some amazing artwork.
There is also the addition of a bar area downstairs. We started with a drink from there extensive wine & beer list where they in fact have over two hundred beers so unless you have a favourite it’s best to ask George for some advice. It was then time to look at the menus which there was a choice of A La Carte or our choice the Tasting Menu which you can have matched wines or beers.
First up from the menu was some amazing snacks that were so delicious and just a fantastic way to start. One was a Heritage Carrot, Roasted Hazelnuts & Mint and the other was Trout, Buckwheat & Passion Fruit. Next to come was the Bread with the simply amazing Chicken Butter that was so good we were given some to bring home. This was accompanied by the Beef, Chilli & Lovage on a cracker with delightful Indian flavours.
While enjoying your food you get to listen to some great tunes which I have heard people say can be quite loud but I can assure you that is not the case. What’s also good is that the chefs bring out each course themselves which is a really nice touch especially with it being an open kitchen giving you the opportunity to interact if you so wish. So on to our next dish and which in fact is Adam’s signature dish the Celeriac, Yolk, Apple, Dates & Truffle was an absolute delight.
This was followed by a fabulous Mussel & Pumpkin Curry with Wild Rice very light and delicate but giving a nice warm feeling in the throat. Now it was time for our main course and there was no disappointment here either as we enjoyed a fabulous Duck, Rhubarb & Pistachio dish which was brought to us by head chef Jamie who it was great to meet and have a chat with.
Before desserts, we were then treated to a heavenly Cheese Doughnut which George matched with a fabulous glass of Banyuls Dessert Wine. It was to die for as our waitress Tamsin who also a pleasure to meet and looked after us very well verified.
Now it was time for desserts to which there were three to choose from. My wife chose the Blood Orange, Lemon Balm & Oats so it was only right that I chose the other two. One is the Chocolate Tofu, Coconut & Lime and the other a Caramelised White Chocolate, Buckwheat & Apple.
All desserts were pure heaven and delightfully matched with fabulous sweet wines a Mount Horrocks Gordon Cut and a light Rude Mechanicals Frizzante To finish we enjoyed a coffee and a delightful Petit Four which brought to an end an outstanding lunch.
I’m already looking forward to our return in April and I would highly recommend booking a table here. I’d like to say a Thank You to Jamie and his chefs for the amazing food and also to George, Tamsin and the team for taking care of us which really added to our lunch experience[shareaholic app="share_buttons" id="7569756"]
Chef Stuart Muir is the executive head chef at DINE in Edinburgh. He was born in Stranraer in 1969 and education at Stranraer Academy. His ambition at school: “I always wanted to be a chef. There was nothing else I ever really wanted to do”.
Growing up in is very remote part of Dumfries and Galloway and it’s untouched wilderness, he learned many skills that still serve him well today including how to tie his own Flies for fishing the local rivers for wild trout. His father would also take Stuart shooting for pheasant, duck, geese and pigeon on the nearby moors bring the birds home and hang them up in the families garage. He understood from an early age how to pluck and gut the catch and then alongside his mother in the kitchen the skills of cooking fresh game and fish. This upbringing forged his passion for local, seasonal produce that has been present throughout his career to the opening of his own restaurant, Dine in Edinburgh.
To this day he still holds the accolade of being the youngest Scottish chef to be awarded a coveted Michelin Star.
Chef’s Table wanted to find out a little more about what other influences help space his menus today of classic brasserie style dishes with an emphasis on Scottish seasonality and locally sourced ingredients.
CT: Which Chef/s influenced you in the past? Who continuous to influence you now?
SM: For me, it’s always been Rick Stein for his love of seafood and travelling. His innovative dishes never fail to impress.
CT: Which restaurant would you like to go to? (that you haven’t had the opportunity to visit yet)
SM: Eleven Madison Park in New York. Owned by esteemed chef Daniel Humm, its evolution in food and culinary experience has put it top of my wish list. I’m desperate to try the famed ten-course tasting menu.
Website – https://www.elevenmadisonpark.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ElevenMadisonPark/
CT: If you could change any misconceptions about restaurants/restaurant food, what would they be?
SM: Dining out and experiencing great food made with locally sourced ingredients doesn’t have to be expensive. When we launched Dine back in 2015 we saw this gap in the Edinburgh market so this has become what the restaurant is all about – affordable yet innovative seasonal fayre in relaxed luxury surroundings.
CT: What would be your last dish (to eat) “the death row question”
SM: Grilled langoustines with garlic butter and some crusty bread washed down with Charles Heidsieck’s Blanc des Millénaires
CT: What is the one piece of kitchen equipment you could not do without and which would you never use or want to see in your kitchen?
SM: I couldn’t be without my specialist set of knives and there are other’s in the kitchen I wouldn’t use or try.
CT: What is your favourite dish on the current menu that you have created in the past 6 months and why.
SM: I am loving our hand-dived scallop starter dishes which comes in various incarnations. It’s also a customer winner too.
CT: If for one night you could be invited to cook alongside any Chef past or present who would that be and why?
SM: It would have to be legendary French chef and restaurateur Georges Auguste Escoffier. He popularised and updated French cooking and his disciplined methods and techniques made him a modern cooking visionary.
My Favourite Tables– Two restaurants I have visited and why?
- Paul Tamburrini’s eponymous restaurant in Edinburgh is a blend of French cuisine and Scottish ingredients – it’s an exceptional experience for the diner and I love his passion for locally sourced produce, especially game.
Website – www.paultamburrini.co.uk
2) Frog by Scottish chef Adam Handling in Convent Garden is another favourite. His technical skills coupled with inimitable cooking style makes for an outstanding experience.
Website – www.frogbyadamhandling.com
Michelin starred Stuart Muir is executive chef and co-owner of the multi-award winning brasserie, Dine. www.dineedinburgh.co.uk 0131 218 1818[shareaholic app="share_buttons" id="7569756"]
Adam Handling, owner of The Frog E1 has traveled a short distance to Liverpool Street and today (26th of June) opens Bean & Wheat, a coffee shop and deli.
Bean & Wheat will be focusing on using only locally-sourced artisan ingredients and supplies from London-based coffee roasters and bakeries. It will be open for breakfast and lunch to eat in or takeaway. Adam and the team at The Frog E1 have developed the menu to reflect the innovative, flavoursome combinations that regular customers at The Frog E1 have been delighting in for just over a year now, but in a more relaxed non formal setting, where Adam will be looking to again champion a ‘no waste’ philosophy.
There will be a wide range of breads, baked by local bakeries such as the E5 Bakehouse, including a Hackney Wild loaf and Walnut Rugbrød (a Danish dark rye sourdough). E5 Bakehouse have been making bread in the local area for many years and have a “mother dough” starter for the sourdough breads that is older than chef himself. To go with the amazing bread selections customers will be able to choose from an array of daily changing savoury and sweet toppings presented in small glass jars that the kitchen at The Frog E1 will prepare and supply each morning, depending on what the chefs have been cooking. An example of what is planned is a delicious duck liver parfait utilising the duck livers from the 200 ducks which the restaurant uses every month that would otherwise potentially be wasted. The chefs will also be creating rich chunky pork terrine, and an earthy bean hummus which is drizzled with a herb oil made using the tops of the herbs which are usually thrown away by chefs.
Bean and Wheat will also serve salads as part of their offering, using seasonal vegetable off-cuts, such as cauliflower stalks, grains and beans. For those with a sweet tooth, you will be able to choose from a selection of retro-inspired cakes, freshly baked by the chefs.
Alongside a range of blended and single origin coffees from independent London roasters, teas from luxury tea company Newby Teas will be Adam’s very own Black & White cold-pressed juice range. Adam created the Black & White presses as part of the company’s effort to reduce food waste. The presses are made using only handpicked and delicious fruit and vegetables that are slightly misshapen and so rejected by restaurants and retailers. The juices will be cold-pressed locally each day and delivered to The FrogE1and Bean & Wheat. who also offer an extensive range of juice combinations to encourage a healthy lifestyle.
Adam Handling says “I’m hugely excited about the opening of Bean & Wheat, I think there’s a real demand for innovative food to grab and go. On the other hand, food wastage is an issue that’s increasingly important in our industry, and one that’s particularly close to my heart. Restaurants tend to waste so much food on a day-to-day basis, and we are trying to tackle this – in the next few years we hope to reach zero-waste status.”
The company hopes to eventually eliminate food wastage in all The Frog restaurants and Bean & Wheat, by ensuring that nothing is thrown away needlessly. Any wastage that can’t be used by the kitchen is sent off-site to be made into compost, which they utilise to grows the majority of its own fruit, vegetables and herbs. The Frog’s Flagship restaurant, opening in Covent Garden this September, will also contribute its by-products to Bean & Wheat.
Bean & Wheat is situated in East London on Artillery Passage, a narrow street just off Artillery Lane, a well used route that links Spitalfields with the City.[shareaholic app="share_buttons" id="7569756"]
The Flying Scotsman:
Chef Adam Handling could be described as the “Flying Scotsman”. His culinary career is certainly steaming ahead with cook books, artisan chocolates, olive oil and even his own branded Gin. His restaurant, Adam Handling at Caxton and Adam himself have received critical acclaim and accolades over the past months since he came to the attention of restaurant goers, foodies and the avid fans of the BBC MasterChef, the professionals in 2013, where he reached the finals.
Adam has recently parted company with the Hotel Group which housed his restaurant and Adam Handling at the Caxton is to be rebranded with a new image and a pared down menu, introducing a grill restaurant, offering steaks and burgers. So the leap forward, excuse the pun, for Adam is the opening of the first of a series of restaurant he plans to open over the next 8-10 months. Welcome The Frog (brilliant logo concept created by the inimitable @fatpunkstudio )
Plans will see another two “Frog” concept locations and an eponymous flagship restaurant in the West End. The first Frog will be found in East London in part of the Old Truman Brewery (Hanbury Street/Brick Lane area). When Favourite Tables meet with Adam and the team, Head Chef Steve Kerr, Development Chef Jamie Park and Sous Chef Connor they were all on site, shirt sleeves rolled up. Work was just starting on converting what was previously an Italian restaurant in Ely’s Yard.
When we re-visited a few days later, lots had changed in the kitchen area, the bar and cocktail area.
Equipment suppliers, installation companies, builders, electrical engineers and Adam were all onsite and working very hard to meet the opening night date of 7th June. When asked how confident Adam was to having everything ready for the 7th, his immediate reply, “oh we will be open”
The menu, still in development, will be based on a 5 course taster menu, at around £40 per head, which will be listed on a daily blackboard. As much as possible, ingredients will be sourced from the local suppliers on their doorstep. So if they only have six mackerel then the course will be replaced on the Blackboard when all have been sold. When pushed for a little more detail of the types of dishes available the detail of “Mad as a Box of Frogs’ were explained: Frogs Legs and Chicken lolly pops with a Wild Garlic emulsion served in a wooden box. An A La Carte menu is also under development, which, knowing Adam as we do, will be worth waiting for.
On the day of our revisit to Ely’s Yard, it had just been announced who this years BBC Great British Menu chefs would be and Adam Handling was confirmed as representing the Scottish Region.
Although filming had taken place several months ago, whilst he had been competing in the Chef of the Year, Adam remained tight lipped about how he got on and the outcome. Some secrets are meant to be kept!
We will be glued to the television when the programmes are aired later this month and cheering him on nonetheless.
The Frog, 2 Ely’s Yard, Old Truman Brewery Hanbury Street, London E1 6QR[shareaholic app="share_buttons" id="7569756"]
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About Favourite Tables
Our ethos is about places people love – always has been, always will be.
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The popularity of each Favourite Tables restaurant is assured on the Social Marketplace and through the restaurant reviews they receive.
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