MasterChef alumnus Adam Handling has moved his debut The Frog E1 restaurant from the Old Truman Brewery to a large, multi-purpose site on Hoxton Square.
His biggest operation yet, this Frog comprises a dining room, a buzzy basement bar called The Iron Stag and an adjoining coffee/beer shop called Bean & Wheat. As before, it’s kitted out with contemporary artwork and graffiti, while you’ll even find Handling’s blown-up face looming over you in the loos.
The food offering, too, remains reassuringly similar to the old address, including two multi-course tasting menus. Butter whipped with chicken fat, topped with crispy chicken skin and served with sourdough, was a particular highlight and typical of the high-octane combinations; we also loved the signature warm savoury doughnuts, oozing cheese and topped with a heavy dusting of earthy truffle. New additions include a crisp, lightly-spiced brown shrimp tartlet.
Desserts are intriguing and effective; we loved our white chocolate paired with refreshing cucumber and dill, a triumphant marriage of sweet and savoury. Cheeky cocktails such as the Scottish Porn Star (made with Irn Bru, no less) are impressive, but there are non-alcoholic sips available too, as well as vegetarian and vegan versions of the tasting menu. Our only complaint overall was the slightly disorganised (though very friendly) service.
If you enjoy your fine dining without white tablecloths and waistcoat-wearing waiters (the chefs serve up each course), we’d recommend leapfrogging your way to Hoxton.