Adam’s is moving! Having had a stonking first two years on Bennett’s Hill (a Michelin Star and three AA rosettes), the gourmet British venue is taking up new premises just around the corner on Waterloo Street, upping their seating from 26 to 36, adding a private dining room and – luxury of luxuries! – going from one toilet to five.
“The intention was always to move,” says the chef Adam Stokes, who jointly owns the restaurant with his wife, Natasha, “but we wanted to build an established clientele before taking a permanent place.”
Alongside increased seating capacity, the new Adam’s will have a bar area for enjoying an aperitif before dinner, or a digestif afterwards, and there are plans to add a chef’s table where guests can look into the kitchen and watch the food being prepared. The wine list, too, is set to increase in size dramatically.
Adam’s culinary journey began at Hambleton Hall in Rutland in 2001. Starting as a Commis Chef – “where I learnt how to cook” – by 2008 he’d made his way up to Sous Chef. Then he got the Head Chef gig Glenapp Castle near Ballantrae in Scotland and stayed for 5 years, gaining a Michelin star and 4 AA rosettes. It was at that point that he decided to go it alone.
So, do all these stars and awards matter? “Yes, because the star tells people what to expect when they come a restaurant.” Does that mean food needs to be expensive to be good? “Not at all. I just had Sunday Lunch at Pure Bar & Kitchen – overlooking Victoria Square – and paid £14 for a main course. It was superb.”
We wondered what a Michelin Star chef looks for when he goes out to dinner. “I really enjoy a relaxed environment. There’s nothing wrong with going to Alan Ducasse’s restaurant in Monte Carlo or beautiful restaurants in the centre of Paris with that sort of overly formal, overly attentive service, but people are not really looking for that any more.”
Adam’s inspiration was, he thinks, his father. “We never had ready meals because we couldn’t afford them. When Dad would finish work on a Friday, he’d pop down the allotment, pick some veg and then cook all the meals for the following week. He’d put on loud music, have some beers, and really enjoy himself. I wasn’t allowed in.”
Given that kind of history, what made you want to go into high-end dining? “It’s a part of the market where you can really deliver some fantastic food. We serve tasting menus where you get little tastes of lots of bits and pieces. The food comes out in stages at a steady pace – not slow, not quick.”
“Adam’s is the evening’s entertainment – it’s not just fuel to go onto something else. If someone books a table, they’re here for the night.”
0121 643 3745