For one night only, chef Elliot Hill put on a spectacular, one-off and very delicious five course tasting menu at one of my favourite restaurants in the whole of London – The Frog E1 in Shoreditch. While its award-winning head chef Adam Handling wasn’t cooking on the night, it was great to be back in a space I love, enjoying food from another chef whose cooking I adore – Elliot Hill.
If you’ve not heard of this young chef before then there are many reasons why you should. Not to mention a visit to his culinary home at The Park Tavern in SW18 being one of them. Read all about my experience HERE. A drink in hand, Elliot and his dream team posed for a few photos and introduced this exciting menu we were all about to enjoy.
First dish out from the kitchen was a lovely introduction (if not rather small) creation which hails back to Elliot’s memories of home-cooking as a child. A slow cooked Yukon Gold potato which was cooked until fluffy and crispy. The whole thing was then smothered in Cheshire cheese and scattered with shimeji mushrooms. A great starting point for what was yet to come and a real hit of flavour to get our tastebuds suitably tantalised.
As a child my mother used to always feed me liver (gravy & onions) and I loved it back then, but as I’ve grown older I’ve for some reason gone slightly off of it. Until now. Quality pieces of chicken livers had been fried in a buttermilk batter and served with flavours of beetroot, quality bacon and a touch of horseradish. I’m now wondering when my next encounter with liver will be and if it ever as good as this example.
My favourite dish of our entire evening was this torched mackerel with grapes, hazelnut and sea herbs. The fish was so beautifully cooked, the torched flavour was subtle yet persistent and the mackerel pâté was a dream. The juicy sweet grapes and whole hazelnuts added some nice textures to what was a truly excellent plate of food.
Another absolute stunner was the Dingley Dell pork with apple, celeriac, roasted onion and chicory. Full of textures, flavours and you could see the precision of cooking on the plate. That pork was some of the finest I’ve had in a good while, cutting through like butter. There was even a crispy pork ball, which I think may have been coated in pork crackling – though don’t quote me on that. A silky jus, flavours of apple and cubes of celeriac made for many reasons why I loved this dish.
We finished up on a delicious dessert of malt honey parfait, ginger, lime curd, brown butter and honeycomb. Every element of the dish felt and tasted if it had been meticulously crafted with love and the flavours were again subtle and refined, but oh-so giving.
It was so lovely to be back to one of my favourite London restaurants, yet this time seeing it in a new light and with a new chef for one night only. I really enjoyed the cooking here from Elliot and it was great to see a slightly different style (though still very familiar) of cooking from what he usually serves at The Park Tavern – taking a few more risks here in Shoreditch. I can’t wait to see what’s next because the potential here with Elliot is massive and there is so much more still to give.
My meal was complimentary. All views are as always, my own. My views are not influenced by anyone other than my own palate and slightly poor eyesight.