This is my very first blogpost of 2018 and this year has walked all over me already (mostly to do with the end of my masters!) But last night’s dinner meant it is already looking up.
So, to mark the end of my masters my friends and I went for a celebratory dinner at The Frog E1 as soon as I handed in my dissertation. (YAY!) I have been so so excited to try out Masterchef winners Adam Wareing and Jamie Park’s new love child, The Frog E1, which is located near Spitafields Market. They pride themselves on their British tapas-style menu and I was more than excited about checking out what they were gonna bring to the table (quite literally)
We opted for the 5-course taster menu which was amazing value for money. With each dish being about £10-15, we would be paying almost £60 per head. The tasting menu was £39 each.
Round 1 – we were welcomed with a basket of bread with chicken butter. The butter was beautiful, so strong in taste and so creamy. So the greedy little squirrels that we are, we assumed there was a basket each.. turned out it was a sharing basket and each person only got 2 slices of bread which I felt a little cheated by to be honest! Moral of the story – never assume!
Round 2 – Celeriac with yolk, dates and apple. Not usually a huge fan of celeriac but the combination of this starter was beautiful – the crunchiness of the celeriac, the softness of the yolk, the tanginess of the dates and the sweetness of the apples were perfect. I could have had a bigger portion of this though.
Round 3 – Pollack, limestone potato, crab and radish. I don’t think I’ve ever had pollack before, it tastes pretty much the same as cod and was beautifully cooked to perfection. The limestone potato felt like the perfect combination together.
Round 4 – beef rump, sour cream, artichokes and black garlic. Oh this dish though!! If you looked up perfection you’d find this picture next to it. The beef rump was cooked beautifully, but the other elements were the real showstoppers and really made the dish pop. Who would think to put sour cream together with beef?! These guys aren’t Masterchef finalists for nothing!
Round 5 – Cheese Doughnuts – optional and had an additional charge of £3 per doughnut. i was expecting a lot of cheese and that’s exactly what I got! Cheese sprinkles on top, melted cheese inside a subtly sweet doughnut. Loved the combination of sweet and cheese.https://thelondonhaloodie.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/img_6104.mov
Round 5 – was a choice of 2 desserts we opted for dark chocolate tofu with blood orange. This dessert was a mind blowing experience for my tastebuds – the dark chocolate tofu was nothing I expected. The tofu was more of a mousse, the dark chocolate not bitter at all. Best of all, you would have never known it was VEGAN!
(The other dessert on the menu – Pears with pistachio contained alcohol).
We also went for another dessert that wasn’t on the set menu that was actually created on Masterchef – Yuzu, raspberry, white chocolate with peanuts. I’m not actually a huge fan of white chocolate but oh my gosh!! This dessert was something else – the creaminess of the white chocolate mixed with the softness of creme fraiche, and the yuzu just hit you, every small detail thought out down to the tee.
I have to say, the staff and service was unbelievably difficult. First of all, you can only order the set menu if everyone in your party orders the same thing. So, that means that if in a party of 4, all 4 have to order the set menu otherwise you can’t get the set menu?!
The courses started coming out and the service got progressively more frustrating. They brought each course out and put it down without explaining what it was, we had to keep referring back to the menu to remind ourselves of what we were eating.
Then, the lady that was serving us insisted on charging us for our non alcoholic cocktail (basically just a lot of ice with some fruit syrup that they call a mojito!) even though the £39 5-course included a glass of wine. So just because we didn’t want the wine we were expected to pay for a soft drink?! How does that make sense! We actually had to speak to the manager to sort that out and they made it out like they were doing us a favour by taking the drinks off the menu.
I don’t think I’ve ever been so frustrated with the service at any restaurant yet still so satisfied with the food. I’m confused at how I should be feeling. The service didn’t take away from the fact that it was one of the best meals I have had for a while and I would fully recommend it to anyone who wants to experience a Michelin star quality meal at an affordable price. The service is definitely off-putting and I probably wouldn’t go back there for that reason but I’d say you guys need to experience this, if only just once.
Food – 9 out of 10
Service – 2 out of 10
Atmosphere – 8 out of 10
Experience – 8 out of 10
Overall, giving The Frog E1 a total TLH score of 7 out of 10.
Address: 2 Ely’s Yard, Old Truman Brewery, Hanbury Street, London E1 6QR
Halal Status: Everything is halal, but they do serve alcohol
Closest Station: Liverpool Street (Metropolitan, Central, Hammersmith and City line) or Aldgate East (District or Hammersmith and City line)