Dinner at The Frog in Shoreditch

In the last few years, Instagram has become my favourite place to find inspiration. I love browsing the social media to find new ideas of dishes to cook and new restaurant recommendations. A few months ago, I discovered Adam Handling‘s dishes. I kept being drawn to the aesthetics of his creations and found myself longing to actually try his food (I do not like meat but this is the first dish that caught my attention). After a few clicks on Google, I discovered he owned a restaurant really close to where I lived. I instantly added it to our list of restaurant and was hoping to drag the boyfriend there very soon. A few weeks ago, we finally decided to check out The Frog.

After so much anticipation, I was afraid of disappointment. Would I like the taste of the food as much as I loved the look of it? The answer was a loud, Yes!

The view on the terrace from our table

We were sitting inside where the atmosphere was a bit impersonal compared to the cute terrace but I enjoyed being able to see the chefs working in kitchen from our table.

We went for the tasting menu (£50) and just because we’re french, we added the cheese doughnut (+3£). I also decided not to go for the vegan menu but stayed with the traditional tasting menu.

The dinner started off with 2 snacks. A smoke cod, crème fraiche and caviar roll and an asian crisp with BBQ beef, chilli and lovage. It was really tasty and a great way to start this dinner. I loved the texture of the crisp that sticks to your tongue.

Right: Smoked cod, crème fraiche and caviar, left: BBQ beef, chilli and lovage

You can give me a good bread and butter at any time and I am happy for a while. I won’t even notice there’s a delay with food. But when they announced a chicken butter, I was skeptical but ready to try.

Chicken butter

I wouldn’t swap my traditional salted butter for chicken butter at every meal but it was an interesting mix. You actually had that after taste of roasted chicken skin that was quite enjoyable and unexpected at the same time, when having bread and butter. It still required a lot of effort to stop myself from eating all the bread and butter I had in front of me, which  is always a good thing.

The first course was a mackerel with BBQ potatoes and yoghurt. It sounds very simple on paper but it was a perfect dish. It looked stunning and was perfectly balanced. Starting off with that dish, set the bar really high for the rest of the dinner.

Mackerel, BBQ potatoes and yoghurt

We then moved on to a celeriac, yolk, apple and dates course. I didn’t like it as much as the first one mainly because I’m not such a big fan of celeriac in general.  I also thought the yoghurt like texture was a bit redundant with the previous dish but when you got all ingredients in a mouthful, the sweet and savoury combination worked quite well.

Side note, I absolutely loved all the plates!

Celeriac, yolk, apple and dates

When we got to the plaice, crab and tomato, we got a little surprise. Unfortunately, my boyfriend, found fish bones in his fish (and it’s true that he has high expectations, working in a 2 Michelin star restaurant). The team offered to replace his course and I got an dish while I was waiting for him to finish. Despite this little hiccup, the fish was perfectly cooked with a special note for the delicious crust.

Plaice, crab and tomato

The fish bones ended up being a blessing in disguise because I got to eat an extra course that I adored. I love courgette flowers, and since we got back from Milan I had a craving for stuffed courgette flowers. Imagine my delight when I saw courgettes with their stuffed flowers arrive in front of me! Yet again it was perfectly executed and that even inspired me to cook goat cheese and mint stuffed courgettes flowers the next day.

Stuffed courgettes flowers with goat cheese and mint

We then moved on to the piggy, cauliflower and kimchi. Meat is definitely not my thing and I did not enjoy this dish as much as my boyfriend did but I can say that the roasted cauliflower was delicious and the meat perfectly cooked and melting the mouth. I, yet again, loved the plates.

Piggy, cauliflower, kimchi

I think I love cheese (and these little balls) so much that I just didn’t even think of taking a picture when it arrived on the table. I just ate it all as soon as it arrived. I guess that’s what you want when you think about creating delicious food, right? If you want to picture what it looked like, imagine an amazing ball of doughnut covered in parmesan. Very satisfying, even though we were already quite full.

The pre-dessert was named Beetroot, beetroot and more beetroot and it’s basically a beetroot roll with a beetroot filling and a beetroot dust on top. The taste was interesting and quite hard to capture on camera.

Beetroot, beetroot and more beetroot – I need to invest in a new camera

When the dessert finally arrived we were yet again full but excited to try them. This was the only dish we were allowed to choose. I went for the soya chocolate and raspberry and Louis went for the Passionfruit, rum, coconut. Both desserts were good and light but his dessert got a smashing entrance with smoke. We loved it!

Soya chocolate and raspberry
The impressive passionfruit, rum, coconut dessert

It was an amazing dinner and I think the Mackerel stayed throughout the dinner my favourite dish , even though the courgette flower almost stole the spotlight. I’ll definitely go back when the menu changes and why not try the new covent garden venue?

Have you ever been to The Frog? I’m curious to know if you liked it as much as I did!

Adam Hadling’s The Frog  – Tasting menu

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