Category Archives: West London

Life After Masterchef – An Interview with Adam Handling of Caxton Grill

The fancy St James restaurant they call Caxton Grill has recently launched a new à la carte menu, created by their very own Masterchef Adam Handling. Since appearing on the show late last year Handling has been hard at work on the menu, which pays more than just lip service to the ‘Field to Fork’ movement.

 

caxton_adam_handling_chef

 

We caught up with the newly-minted celebrity chef to quiz him about the inspiration behind the new Caxton’s card – and life after Masterchef.

 

caxtonbar_wine_flights

 

WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN UP TO SINCE MASTERCHEF?

It’s been an absolute whirlwind since it aired late last year! There have been a number of competitions that I’ve taken part in and I’ve recently been named as British Chef of the year by the British Culinary Federation which is a huge honour. I’m currently taking part in another competition where I’ve been called through to the next round so I’m preparing for that alongside launching a new a la carte menu which equals a lot of fun but a lot of experimenting for me.

 

Venison with Cauliflower and Pear
Venison with Cauliflower and Pear

 

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR NEW-FOUND FAME? DOES A CAREER AS A TV CHEF BECKON?

Honestly I am overwhelmed by the positivity and the response that I’ve received to everything that I have done- everyone that I have spoken to and had contact with has wished me every success in everything that I do and are fully supportive of me which is fantastic. As for a TV chef- who knows? Never say never!

 

Scottish Salmon
Scottish Salmon

 

WHAT’S THE ETHOS BEHIND THE DISHES YOU CREATE AT CAXTON GRILL?

I love dishes that are big on flavour- I’m all about clever flavours working together and creating surprising combinations for my guests, my style is evolving and for my new menu I’m using more Asian flavours which are an absolute passion of mine. The style of cooking is having the “wow” factor for my dishes and using all of my toys in the kitchen to emphasise this.

 

Cauliflower
Cauliflower

 

TELL US HOW YOU WENT ABOUT CREATING CAXTON GRILL’S NEW A LA CARTE MENU

I wanted to strip back flavours and create dishes which were simple but big on flavour and visually stunning. The preparation takes a little longer but the ultimate flavour combinations are so worth it.
WHAT ARE YOUR MUST-TRIES ON THE NEW MENU?

I’m biased… but all of them! The new appetiser snacks are amazing… the perfect entrée to meal & the Chef’s G&T using dill is to die for…!

 

 

Try Adam Handling’s new menu at Caxton Grill

Caxton Grill, Bar & Terrace
2 Caxton Street
LONDON
SW1H 0QW

Tel: 0800 652 1498

caxtongrill.co.uk

Nopi, Piccadilly

Nopi is allegedly named after its location, just North of Piccadilly. It’s the latest (and maybe greatest) restaurant from the now fairly famous Israeli Chef Yotam Ottolenghi, a chap known for the vibrancy of his food, and big, bold flavours.

nopi

 

Inside it’s all glitz and glamour and polished gold accents, with blinding white tiles completing the look. Undoubtedly an absolute nightmare for their poor cleaners.

 

 

The service here is basically brilliant, and Nopi’s very allergy-friendly too. They’ve got a gluten free menu, which changes daily, with a huge range of vegetables, fish and meat dishes. Admittedly not quite as big as the main menu, but not bad at all!

 

nopi-gluten-free-menu
Gluten Free Lunch Menu

 

nopi-1

 

Before we began boy was presented with a little plate of bread and oil, which I watched him eat with a sad little gluten free face on. I must’ve looked very sad indeed, because moments afterwards I was given a plate of crudités for free. Look at them, are they not beautiful? They appeared under ‘GF treat’ on the bill, which was sweet. Water’s free too. Nopi is nice.

 

nopi
Crudites (GF Treat)

 

nopi
Gluten full bread

 

We went for the sharing plates due to an inherent inability to make any kind of decision where food’s concerned. Our chosen dishes included Pork Belly, Buttermilk Cod with Cockles, Asparagus and Jersey Royals.

 

nopi-cod
Buttermilk Cod, Samphire, Cockles

 

nopi-pork
Pork Belly, Squash, Apple

 

nopi
Asparagus

 

The food was all incredible. We couldn’t fault a thing. Even the simple crudités tasted (and looked) like the best veggies I’d ever had. It’s not cheap – sharing dishes range from £9 – £12, but it was so worth it.

 

If you are planning a visit to Nopi do not leave without visiting the bathrooms (preferably after a glass of wine or two). They’re entirely covered in mirrors, and they’re all WIGGLY. It’s the most disorientating thing I’ve ever experienced. Like being at a fun fair but more distressing. As I stood washing my hands attempting to recover from the shock of it all another woman entered. She stopped, startled. Then looked at me, confused. One woman actually entered the men’s by accident. Honestly, it’s enough to send one off to the funny farm.

 

The Verdict: Slick service, fantastic flavours, bizarre bathrooms.

 

Gluten Free Friendly: Yes!

 

9/10 

 

££££ 

NOPI on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

Breakfast at The Wolseley, Piccadilly

Breakfast at The Wolseley is just one of those things you’ve got to do. Really, it’s that good.

The Wolseley is not your ordinary restaurant, more a luxurious watering hole for London’s rich and famous. The place is renowned for its breakfasts, which range from the totally acceptable morning type stuff (granola, vienoisserie, full english etc.) to outlandish creations for the unforgivably wealthy – they serve a caviar omelette, I kid you not.

Continue reading Breakfast at The Wolseley, Piccadilly

Bonnie Gull Seafood Shack, Fitzrovia

Londoners have been stuffing themselves so full of dirty burgers and greasy American nonsense lately that they’ve almost forgotten about the Great British Seaside. Bonnie Gull are putting that right, setting up shop in a fully themed beach shack in Fitzrovia. There’s bleached wood, a map showing the catch of the day and a treasure chest full of langoustines. What more could you want?

Continue reading Bonnie Gull Seafood Shack, Fitzrovia

Churchill Arms, Kensington

The Churchill Arms looks, to any unsuspecting human being, passerby, tourist or house pet, like your average pub. Possibly above average actually, for the owners have decorated it lovingly in the flowers of a thousand gardens. Food wise, though, it is something out of the ordinary. Read on for mysteries revealed…

Continue reading Churchill Arms, Kensington

Pied a Terre, Charlotte Street

I recently ventured out for a spot of Michelin star dining, as one does. The restaurant of choice was Pied a Terre, which I think is French for “the Frenchest restaurant you will ever go to, in your life, ever”. Yes, Pied a Terre is probably Frencher than actual France is.

Continue reading Pied a Terre, Charlotte Street