Monday, 29 February 2016

Adam Handling at Caxton

Work in progress

Nitro salmon snow peas, wasabi, blossom

If you are a regular watcher of the BBC cooking show: "The Master Chef professional", Adam Handling shouldn't be strange name. He was a finalist at the 2013 show, he was also awarded British Culinary Federation’s Chef of the Year in 2014. In the Master Chef show, Adam really showcased his flair and supreme technical skill, so I always wanted to try out his cooking as what he produced in the show was seriously exciting. These days, Adam is heading up the kitchen in the luxury hotel St. Ermin's called Adam Handling at Caxton, the cooking is mostly modern European with a touch of Japanese essence.

bread with chicken butter
Smoked pork pineapple, lovage, Parmesan

My starter of smoked pork was an interesting dish, the pork was well seasoned with the Parmesan and the smoky aroma worked well together, what I really enjoyed was the dry pineapple element which offered a sour tone to balance off the rich flavours from other ingredients. My main of lamb dish contained artichoke, sour cream and onion. All classic ingredients that work well with lamb. And taste wise it was indeed wonderful, but some cut of the lamb was rather tough. Also, I found Adam is playing too safe on this particular dish, the dish lacked any real excitement and immigration, which I was expecting, based on what I had witness from the starters. My dessert of Apple tonka with elderflower was a lovely way to finish off the meal, fresh and clean on the palate with just a mild note of sweetness to it.

Lamb, artichoke, sour cream, onion
Mandarin, yuzu, lime, choux
Apple tonka, elderflower, coriander

The cooking was overall very capable, very contemporary in style and tidy presentation. While is not quite Michelin standard, I believe Adam as a chef has what it takes to progress, judging from some of the moments of brilliant of my meal. Price wise (Fine dining) it is actually pretty reasonable, you are looking at £40 for a three course a la carte and £50 for the tasting menu. I took advantage of the "Bookatable" offer and got a discount from a shorten a la carte menu. Personally, I think the biggest challenge for this restaurant is the location. St James Park lacked any entertainment or shops, just a piles of 5 stars hotel which unless you are a hotel visitor, you will need to travel specially to dine at Adam Handling at Caxton.

Food 3/5

What I paid: 

£36 per head with wine

Average cost without drinks and services:


2 Caxton St, London SW1H 0QW

Adam Handling at Caxton - St Ermin's Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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