With lockdown essentially curbing our gastronomic experiences to the confines of our own kitchens, we have found a new-found love and respect for the flavours, service, and sheer spectacle of the restaurant experience.
It is only fitting that one of our first forays back into London’s food scene was a meal at Adam Handling Chelsea, which certainly gave us several months of culinary spectacle in three delicious courses.
Adam Handling Chelsea is located in the stunning Belmond Cadogan Hotel, and the creation of Chef Patron Adam Handling who uses sustainably-sourced seasonal product to showcase the best of contemporary British cuisine.
Our experience began at the Adam Handling Chelsea Bar, which offers an impressive collection of wines and spirits in a luxurious yet cosy atmosphere. We started with a welcome cocktail, served blithely in a makeshift book, and accompanied by a small mason jar of homemade popcorn.
After the essential clink of our cocktail glasses, we made our way through the open kitchen and into the dining room, which can only be described as understated elegance. The menu will certainly please those who are familiar with Adam Handling’s most popular signature dishes, including his famously indulgent chicken butter.
We began our meal with the tuna and beef tartare, which came with a slight kick of mustard and tabasco. We followed this with the perfectly cooked BBQ Octopus, with black garlic and smoked potatoes deep-friend in a lemon purée; and the wood pigeon with girolles mushrooms and gooseberry chutney.
We complemented the strong flavours of our main courses with the green beans with almonds and the salt-baked cauliflower, which was so delicious it almost stole the show. For dessert, we tried the chocolate, bourbon in miso and rye – a sweet final flourish to an already impeccable meal.
The sommelier recommended a sulphite-free organic Valencian red wine called Vermell which offered a beautiful array of dark-fruit flavours and herbal notes. A fittingly fantastic wine pairing to accompany a truly spectacular meal.