Where do you go when you want to dine sustainably? The answer is obviously The Frog Hoxton. Having spent an evening at Adam Handling’s East London establishment in Hoxton Square, I can safely say that they’re setting the bar when it comes to exquisite food, sustainable sourcing, and serving everything in the most relaxed way.
In London, we’re a little spoiled for choice with eco-friendly restaurants – I’ve even shared with you my favourite sustainable date night spots in the city previously. Well, The Frog Hoxton now tops my list. I really enjoyed visiting with a good friend earlier this month, spending a delicious evening sampling their plant-based tasting menu, which was introduced to us by the wonderful General Manager George Hersey, and with each course, we were narrated the story of the dish by the chef who made it. It really made us appreciate each dish, and yet was balanced with the indie music, graffiti, and laidback atmosphere.
Sustainable Dining at The Frog Hoxton
When it comes to sustainability within the culinary industry, I’ve heard my fair share of horror stories. You can imagine how many areas there are to consider – food sourcing, deliveries, storage, preparation, wastage… And the sheer scale of it all too.
However, I’ve also had the pleasure of judging the Free From Food Awards for a number of years and the Sustainable Lifestyle Awards (including their Restaurant Category) this year, and though these I’ve seen some truly groundbreaking ways that restaurants are working to reduce their impact, while also providing guests with delicious menus and experiences.
(I also love my copy of Truth, Love & Clean Cutlery*, a guide to sustainable restaurants and food experiences, from which I’ve learned a lot and am slowly working my way through all their listings…!)
The Frog Hoxton does this incredibly well – I was invited to try their plant-based tasting menu, while my friend went for their more conventional one, and together we compared dishes. For starters, my sourdough came with ‘not butter’, a creamy, tart alternative to butter that I loved. For mains, I thoroughly enjoyed ‘all the pumpkin’, where all parts of a pumpkin had been used to make my dish (pictured: glazed pumpkin bread with the most scrumptious little pumpkin tartlet). And to finish, ‘parsnip’, which I had been fearing as I hate parsnips, but it came to be my favourite dish – creamy parsnip ice cream made without any dairy, topped with a crunchy, delicate parsnip skin shell.
Adam Handling’s Sustainable Restaurants
The Frog Hoxton is part of award-winning chef Adam Handling’s portfolio, and all of his establishments have a keen focus on zero waste. This guides their menus – only locally available, seasonal produce is used – and the moreish-ness of the dishes often leads to clean plates!
In all serious though, the UK restaurant industry produces 200,000 tonnes of food waste, and Adam Handling is passionate about leading the way to reduce this. Within the restaurants, they grow much of their own produce, and any surplus or food waste is reworked for Bean & Wheat deli, or later composted.
I love how Adam speaks up on the subject, and invites other chefs to join the restaurants to learn how to chef in a more sustainable way too. It was a delight to eat in such a sustainably-minded, yet chilled out place. I can’t wait to go back.
Disclaimer: I was gifted my visit to The Frog Hoxton in order to write this review. This post contains affiliate links (denoted '*')