Adam Handling gives us a preview of his new Chelsea restaurant: “It’s luxurious and quintessentially British”
Ahead of its opening, we went for a tour of Adam Handling’s new restaurant in Chelsea at the Belmond Cadogan five-star hotel. After a walk through the bar, dining rooms and tea lounge, the Scottish chef sat with us to talk about his new operation, due to open its doors today.
“This place is going to be my most luxurious property, it’s about British foundations inspired by London,” Handling told us. “All of the restaurants are tailored for each area so here it had to be a little more luxurious, marble everywhere, very quintessentially British. The food has the same foundations: British food inspired by London, with a little more luxury – done very simply.”
The chef and his team had to adapt their way of thinking. While the dishes aren’t too distant from those of his other restaurants, the wine list had to be re-done to include more classic bottles. Despite not being a typically Chelsea person, Handling likes to be different and to be able to offer something different.
The menu – the result of working with smaller producers, using seasonal produce – offers a selection à la carte alongside a signature seven-course tasting option, both of which are available for lunch and dinner. His renowned creations Cheese Doughnuts and celeriac Mother will be mainstays, alongside dishes such as Scallops Ceviche, Butter-poached King Crab, Veal Sweetbread, Highland Wagyu Beef, John Dory with Oscietra Caviar and Truffle Custard. The courses will change seasonally, based on the availability of the produce. We had the opportunity to try the tasting menu in advance and we were quite impressed (the sweetbread rocks).
Liam Burns is the restaurant director of Adam Handling Chelsea; originally from Melbourne, he worked at Restaurant No35 with British chef Stuart McVeigh and eventually moved to London to join then two-michelin-starred L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon. Finally, he honed his front-of-house managing skills with Jason Atherton before joining Handling’s group.
Handling worked on the restaurant’s design with Russel Sage Studio, with the intent to celebrate the building’s rich heritage, offering modern, understated luxury. The artwork for the restaurant was commissioned to Yorkshire artist Katy Jade Dobson, whose work already features in Handling’s bar Iron Stag in Hoxton. Dobson is a UK-based oil painter who uses rich tones and infinite textural possibilities to create dramatic pieces.
As chef patron, Handling is not only looking after the main restaurant but the entire food and beverage offering throughout the luxury hotel: the bar, the tea lounge, the private dining room, the terrace and room service. With more details to be released on each aspect soon, for now, Handling has promised “the best afternoon tea in London”, a two-hour afternoon tea experience that he and executive pastry chef Chris Underwood have spent nine months developing.
Filippo L’Astorina, the Editor
Videos and photos: Filippo L’Astorina
To book a table at Adam Handling Chelsea, 75 Sloane St London SW1X 9SE, call 020 8089 7070 or visit their website here.