If you're in the UK and you're remotely interested in food then you probably watch Masterchef and you probably know of Adam Handling - the finalist on the last Masterchef Professionals. Only 24 years old and he is the head chef at Caxton Grill. Actually, he was a head chef at Esperante at the St Andrews Fairmont Hotel in 2011 when he was only 22. That's when I first met him, hell, he could've been head chef there at age 19 for all I know. Talk about a way to make you feel inadequate, right? 24 and his food is amazing.
I'm just going to boast about him a bit more before I get onto my dining experience -- the other great thing about him is that he's humble. He's humble and down to earth and will chat to you if you're at his restaurant, if you like his food, and if you're a nobody with the dreams of becoming a chef like him. He's nice, and I like food cooked by nice people.
Now I can go onto the dining experience. The restaurant's lovely. Everything was pleasant, service was good, the atmosphere was nice, nothing extraordinary but things were lovely.
So you're first greeted with three types of breads served with two types of butters - "gingerbread" and "olive". The gingerbread is interesting, though not my favorite. The olive was amazing. Both made in the restaurant. The breads were also fantastic, there was rye, focaccia and brioche, but they were the only things not made in the restaurant.
I got the cauliflower and here it is. Just like the rest of his food, it's just so beautiful and elegant. Roasted cauliflower with pickled cauliflowers, a curry sauce, a cauliflower puree, raisins cooked in curry, coconut and almond flakes. It's absolutely amazing how he can turn a humble vegetable like the cauliflower into the star of a vegetarian dish. When people think of vegetarian dishes, they think carbs - pasta, rice, grains, or they think cheese or they think stuffed vegetables, they don't think of just a vegetable.
My friend got the salmon. First they serve it to you with smoke and any dish with smoke is just fun. It adds to the dinner. It's beautifully presented once again and the fish was incredibly soft and smoky, and the best part was the fact that it was served with goat's cheese and beetroot. Yes, I was so intrigued by this combination, and you know what, surprisingly, despite the rules written before the times of man of never ever serving fish with cheese, a touch of goat's cheese with salmon is really good. I mean beetroot and salmon go well together, beetroot and goat's cheese go well together, so you can see how all three, balanced in the right way, go well together.
His food's approved by Michel Roux Jr, Monica Galetti, Gregg Wallace and Jay Rayner. If this post hasn't convinced you, then that should.
2 Caxton Street, London, SW1H 0QW, UK
0800 652 1498
Mon-Fri 12.00pm - 2.30pm
Mon-Sun 5.30pm - 10.30pm