Wishing for a wonderful way to wet the whistle this week? Wagyu & Wine Wednesdays at Restaurant Adam Handling is without a doubt the most delightful slice of alliterative luxury you are ever likely to find. Handling’s eponymous eatery, a Chelsea treasure of Lampardian proportions, is now offering The Best Steak You’ve Ever Had (trust us) paired with gloriously extravagant wines to help you get over the mid-week hump in style.
You will have heard the stories about how Wagyu beef comes to be so delicious. It is said that specially trained farmers massage the cows to tenderise the meat, or that they are fed cool beer in the summer to increase their appetite and fatten them up. Well it turns out that none of them are true; they are just urban legends born out of misunderstanding or mischief.
That’s disappointing, yes, but is it all that surprising when you think about it? Would a cow that had spent half its life pissed up really taste any better than your everyday Angus? That guy with three teeth who’s always outside your local Wetherspoons with a pint of Tetley’s certainly doesn’t look like he’d make a great sirloin. Nope, no relaxing music or special treatment is needed for a piece of beef to qualify as wagyu. The term just refers to a high-quality Japanese breed of cattle.
When you arrive at Adam Handling Chelsea, however, and you take your first bite of that thick-cut, fat-marbled, almost-impossibly-succulent steak, you could be forgiven for believing any number of fanciful stories about how these cows are raised. Never mind Japanese farmhands, they taste like they’ve been massaged by the angels.
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Considering the quality of the steak (have we mentioned it was good?) the price tag of £55 is pretty reasonable, and will also get you a portion of the chef’s signature Millionaire chips, made from layers of mashed potato compressed together, chilled overnight and then double-fried (or you can opt for a side salad, but let’s not kid ourselves).
You’ll absolutely want to stay for dessert too. The apple tarte Tatin comes with fennel sorbet served in a hollow peach on a bed of smoking pine needles (no idea why, but it works). The caramel custard with parsnip, banana and passion fruit is quite incredible, hitting you with four huge flavours one after the other. The chocolate, bourbon and rye is perhaps the best of the lot.
If you want to push the boat out a little further, the sommeliers have selected three wines to accompany your meal, though these range from £27-£95 per glass. Probably not one to do every week then, unless you happen to own the mineral rights to a small country, or the football club at the other end of the King’s Road.
If you do feel like treating yourself though, this is the perfect weekday indulgence, whether you are serious about steak, serious about wine, or just serious about food so good that one bite will make you want to bellow your favourite swear word at the top of your voice.
75 Sloane St, SW1X 9SG; Adam Handling