First Look: Adam Handling’s The Frog

By Hannah Thompson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Food

Adam Handling, the 27-year-old chef previously at his eponymous restaurant at Caxton at London’s St Ermin’s Hotel, has launched his first genuinely solo venture, The Frog, in London’s Shoreditch.

Having made his name in competitions such as winning BCF Chef of the Year 2014 and a repeat contestant at prestigious shows such as The Craft Guild of Chef’s National Chef of the Year, he was also a finalist on BBC MasterChef: The Professionals 2013 before opening at Caxton in September 2014.

Now, having opened in June this year, Handling’s new 60-cover restaurant allows him to focus on his own style of food – using down-to-earth ingredients such as mackerel, beetroot, and a wide range of herbs, putting emphasis on freshness, texture, and accessibility of price and flavour. (The five-course tasting menu costs just £40 per head; good value for London.)

The team – whose head chef is Steven Kerr ‒ also grows its own herbs on-site, and the vibrant cocktail list is made using The Frog’s own gin, specially-made by local brewery Portobello Brewery.  There are also 22 craft beers available, offering a mixture of home-grown and overseas varieties. 

Creative cool

Collaboration and positioning within the local community is also important to Handling, who used UK design team Fat Punk Studios to create the restaurant’s unusual aesthetic – from the greenery-draped beams inside, to the expansive front opening to a cosy terrace, to the graffiti-inspired logo of the place itself.

The restaurant also showcases pieces from local artists, who will receive all the profit should they sell any work to customers, alongside a programme of local DJs who will spin decks outside in the evenings.

With a view to opening many more Frogs in future – the current plan is for two more at least ‒ Handling is a man on a mission to create good food, good drinks, and a relaxed atmosphere, beginning in cool and creative Shoreditch.

We went to take a look.

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