Chris, I think, had an epiphany. He made the sort of faces that, frankly, only a wife should see and I had to tell him to stop after a while. It was not that I did not wholly agree with him on every aspect of this stunning meal, but his raptures were putting me off somewhat.
Adam Handling’s lauded Frog, E1 (or Froggie 1 as we rechristened it, thinking ourselves great wits) has hopped over to Covent Garden and about time too. The five course tasting menu is a showcase of technical brilliance and daring flavours pulled off with the insouciance of the talented. With our potent cocktails came snacks; not sad old twiglets but the umami smack of oysters and raw beef. Of heavenly smoked cods with caviar, and razor clams with apples. Then there came the bread with chicken skin butter and that’s when Chris’s facial contortions really began. I smacked him with my napkin but my God he had a point; this is the gastronomic equivalent of crack and just as likely to induce euphoria.
We barely saved room for the rest of the food but here was mackerel with apple and radish; fresh, crisp and sharp against pink flesh. There was a triumphant celeriac dish with truffle and dates that was like Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights. The halibut with yuzu and a buttery bisque was so gorgeous and so rich I wanted to suggest we have an affair. We didn’t really need the cheese and truffle donuts before pudding (a sultry mango and coconut cheesecake) but then when does one ever? Greed, not need, won over.
I have kissed enough frogs, let me tell you, but none of them have ever turned out to be quite as wonderful as this restaurant. Go, and hop to it.
Special Offer: A complimentary drink with pre and post theatre menu from 1 January – 28 February, just mention In and Around Covent Garden when you arrive.
Frog by Adam Handling,
34-35 Southampton Street