It’s not every day that I dine in a restaurant that holds multiple awards and a Michelin Bib Gourmand, so when I do, you'd better know I’m coming hungry. As a fan of sultry cocktail den Eve, I’d been wanting to visit Adam Handling’s latest outpost for some time and took fellow DMNer Olivia along for the ride. With a refined tasting menu (£60 per person) on the cards, The Frog was a far cry from the weekend brunches that we’re used to.
Recently relocated from Shoreditch to Hoxton, The Frog is housed in a multifaceted building, boasting two postcodes and separate entrances. An intriguing maze with graffiti-covered walls and quirky artwork, the restaurant connects with basement bar, Iron Stag, and coffee shop-come-beer store, Bean & Wheat, all under one roof. We cleansed our palates with a tangy Bloody Mary (£9.50) and the whiskey, gin and red pepper-infused 6th Sencha (£10), before a leading onto a wine pairing (£50 per person). If it’s beer you’re after, then a special pairing can be selected from Bean & Wheat next door.
With an open-plan kitchen, every seat in the restaurant gives a great view of chefs working their magic. Bread and butter is not as you know it; butter is filled with a saucy stock and loaded with crispy chicken skin, creating a wondrous umami taste. Celeriac came topped with apple, dates and summer truffle, all resting on an oozy, squidgy yolk. Paired with a glass of rosé, it was inhaled in no time. We couldn’t resist the signature cheese doughnuts (£3); they didn’t stand a chance either.
From BBQ heritage carrot to Creedy Carver duck and smoked cod roe, each dish manages to impress and dessert is no exception. A trio of impressive puddings arrived, each paired with a matching wine (think Chenin Blanc, Riesling and Frizzante). Served with the added pizzazz of dry ice, the white chocolate with dill and cucumber was a refreshing departure from the sweet stuff I usually go for.
The DesignMyNight Digest
With bold interiors, loud music and an ambitious menu, you might think that The Frog is style over substance, but there’s a reason Handling’s Hoxton site has retained the coveted Michelin award that it snagged before the big move. The creative menu showcases unique flavours; from cocktails through to desserts and you’re going to want a taste.