Test Driving Adam Handling's Hame - chicken butter, cheese doughnuts and a whole lot more

Main courseThe main course - beef wellington, greens in wild garlic butter, carrots cooked in beef fat, clotted cream mash. All this just needs reheating in saucepans (the mash is particularly excellent) apart from the wellington which needs a little more attention - more on that below (All this £80, feeds two).

What can you tell us about Hame?

This is the "at home" delivery service from Adam Handling. During lockdown, the chef's Covent Garden restaurant is sending our finish-at-home meals that include brand new dishes, feasts and some of his greatest hits. And yes, his chicken butter is included.

How involved is the "finish at home" process?

We'd say that it's a little more involved than some of the deliveries we've had, but that is no bad thing. Every dish comes with multiple parts, all provided in compostable bags, and with pretty much everything you will need to complete the dish. Even single eggs (in a little nest) are provided to complete the egg wash on any pastry orders so you won't start cooking and realise you're missing a vital ingredient.

The recipes range from "put it all together" like the tartare below to "set aside some time and make sure you've read the instructions" like the cheese doughnuts. Each dish comes with a very detailed recipe card as well as a QR code link to a video of Adam finishing up the dish. For the more complex items, we'd recommend watching those videos first.

So it helps to have some kitchen know-how?

We'd say it's not for someone who's hoping for a simple heat-up-in-the-bag/bung-in-the-oven affair. Generally, it definitely helps to have a little bit of know-how in the kitchen, but the benefit of this is that the end product turns out to be something quite special. 

Here's what we had - and we'll give a rough idea of the complexity (or not) of each as we go along: 

Main courseThe simplest course and the must-have. This is the jar of chicken butter and sourdough (£12). The sourdough goes in the oven for about five minutes - then slather with the chicken butter and top that with the crispy chicken skins. Still one of our very favourite things to eat in London. Never disappoints. Always leaves us wanting more. 

Main courseTuna and kimchi tartare with sourdough crisps (£29) - on the very simple end of the scale. Just an assembly job really, but all the elements are so thoughtful from the crispy garnish pot to the edible flours. 

Main courseThe wellington (as part of the main course above). This comes wrapped in cling film (to preserve its shape) and uncooked. Once unwrapped, there's an extra layer of pastry that you can use for a final decorative effect. We went with lattice (by hand as we didn't have a cutter - so it's uneven but we're quite pleased with ourselves). Including resting, this takes about 45 mins.

In a slightly genius touch, the dish actually comes with an electric meat thermometer so you can get it to that perfectly cooked temperature. Very handy if you don't already have one (but we'd also maybe suggest adding an option to leave this out if you don't need it). 

Main courseThe Tarte Tatin (£30). As with the wellington, this is uncooked. Delivered in its pan (upside-down). After the egg wash you'll melt the caramel on the hob first, put it in the oven for 45 mins and then flip it onto the plate. And if that wasn't enough, you then flood it with salted caramel sauce. 

Main courseAnd it's time for the cheese course (£20). Another favourite from the restaurant, these are cheese doughnuts, filled with cream cheese and then topped with Parmesan. Roll out the dough provided, then segment into 14-15 balls. Wait roughly an hour, then deep fry in batches (the veg oil is provided), then pump in the cheese sauce (it's helpfully already in the piping bag). 

Main courseThis is the one dish where we were missing a kitchen tool. A microplane would really have helped with the Parmesan. That aside, these were excellent and we'd definitely do these again. Even though most of the prep work was done for you, there's a real sense of accomplishment with this. 

Anything else?

There's a lot more to the menu other than we've covered above. There are meals for special occasions (a steak and chips 3-courser for Father' Day at the time of writing), a whole lamb shoulder if you want to order Sunday lunch and a cod and brown shrimp dish that looks very tempting. New dishes are being added all the time. 

What about drinks?

Adam Handling's restaurant bars are famed for excellent - and quite unique cocktails. Most of the favourites are here, supplied in bags that just need pouring into a glass. The measures are smaller than we've seen elsewhere, but are quite potent. You should also keep an eye out for his own-label sparkling wine, made in East Sussex. 

CocktailCarrying on the doughnut theme, this is The Weirdough (£7.50) - doughnut distillate, Bacardi Cuatro, discarded vermouth, Mayu Cchinotto Nero, bitters.

Overall thoughts

Handling has clearly put a lot of thought into Hame. The dishes and meals are all quite unique, and his own signature dishes have translated perfectly to an at-home setting. 

There's a delicate balance needed to translate popular restaurant dishes to something that suits home delivery. Some of the dishes - like the doughnuts here - require a little more effort, but those efforts pay off hugely. This balance between things that need simple re-heating and others that require that extra effort is a great template for providing something much closer to the restaurant experience. Creating this in the short few months we've had under lockdown really is an impressive feat.


More about Adam Handling's Hame

Where is it?  34-35 Southampton Street, London WC2E 7HG

When does it run? Thursdays to Sundays, orders in 48 hours before delivery/collection.

How to orderVia the website

Delivery range: 10 miles radius from the restaurant

Find out more: Follow him on Instagram @adamhandling.

Hot Dinners received the Hame delivery as a gift. Prices are correct at the time of writing. 


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