Restaurant Story London is found at Tooley Street. We booked months ahead for my hubby’s birthday. Pun intended, get in! We had been anticipating Tom Sellers’ ‘Full Story’, a whopping 8 courses, since that moment. Actually you get 20 or so! You are invited to bring a book to leave at The Library, i.e the dining space. This Michelin restaurant is cool and quirky.
During the course of the 3.5 hours sitting at the table The Story unfolds. Tom Sellers wants to teach you about food. And he does, brilliantly. But, you also learn something about the man himself.
The restaurant is near Tower Bridge and The Tower of London, with an impressive view of The Shard.
Somehow avoiding the masses it exists by a tranquil looking little park.
It all feels so brilliantly Londony.
Stepping in to smiling and relaxed faces. There’s a young vibe. But one that respects tradition and wants to have fun with it. I love that. This was a ‘Happy Birthday’ letter signed by Tom himself. Love the wax stamp, nice touch.
Our menu is to be matched with an exciting mix of beverages from exclusive, small producers.
But we started off with some bubbly.
Before the set menu began lots of beautiful amuse-bouches, or ‘snacks’ as they called them, arrived one after the other.
More stunning little mouthfuls arrived much to our delight. Going to the Restaurant Story feels like you have a Michelin best mate who wants to spoil you.
So, now the story begins and with the edge taken off our hunger we are ready to savor. First there are ‘Gifts from the sea’.
Another surprise, and this is the moment I think I understand the story. This one mouthful gave me that moment the food critic in the cartoon film ‘Ratatouille’ got transported by one bite. Well, this tomato sent me to the Mediterranean. Truly.
Old meets new as this quaint candle turns out to be the dripping to spread onto our bread. It was matched with a beer called Smoked Porter by Anspach and Hobday. Who knew I loved beer?!
Onion. Amazing. It had me thinking of the onion, it’s story. What is happening to me? Could it be the cider and gin blend it is matched with? Possibly, but the pairings are so perfect if you miss them you are only getting half of the story.
Scallops, cucumber and dill ash. Yes, ash (didn’t ask). Those scallops were perfection.
They were matched with a rum, cucumber and dill blend that were so part of the dish, as my son said, you kinda wanna pour it on and slurp it up. That’s my boy.
Another exciting surprise in the form of a warm crispy brioche with a layered butter.
Doing a selfie in the ladies for fun. Oh no, honey that’s terrible lighting…
I really should steer clear of selfies. I just haven’t got the hang of them.
Finding the wine downstairs.
Now, here’s another moment for me. I love a potato, that’s no secret in my house. But, here I am thinking about this potato. I mean imagining the field it was in. Considering how much poorer my life would be without potatoes in it.
Heritage potato, asparagus and coal. I’m guessing it’s the coal that you see as you cut into it. Don’t be put off, this was magnificent.
Another exciting bottle.
A treat from the kitchen. A sweetmeat. I mentioned it was a gland just as my daughter popped it into her mouth. Sorry about that baby.
It was about now that Tom Sellers popped in to check on his kitchen and met up with his mum and dad. We got to say ‘hi’ and thank him briefly. We found him to be very sweet and humble. The kitchen staff are young and obviously enjoy being there. They get quite musical with shouting ‘away’.
Hubby’s favourite dish was this Herdwick lamb, sheep’s yogurt and ramson.
It came with this little pie.
You would have thought that by now we were getting uncomfortably full. It’s rather bizarre but we were doing good. This lemon surprise was ‘wow’ and refreshed us anyway.
Tirin 2014, a Japanese liquor. Again, another ‘I didn’t know I liked…’ moment.
Incredible chocolate, lovage and oyster dessert. My hubby mentioned oyster, no-one believed him. It worked like a seasoning, it was very clever. By the way, don’t you just love these plates? They make the food look beautiful but are mismatched and add to the comfortable feel of the restaurant. You can imagine a small producer making these with clay from the river Thames…
Bodegas Bentomiz, Airyanas 2008. As my daughter says, this is dangerous, I could drink this too easily. Absolutely delicious. We tried to sup slow.
Almond and dill. I know I keep throwing words like amazing and fantastic around. But, well this was the best darn almond and dill dessert I’ve ever eaten in my life.
Oh go on then. It’s marshmallow, and it’s rude to say no.
Coffee felt Hobbity. Not a criticism, we loved it!
The Restaurant Story has been compared to The Fat Duck, but I don’t understand that. The Fat Duck is all mystery and performance, whereas this is honest and welcoming. I think the story Tom Sellers gives is of the produce itself and of shared memories that good food produces.
Off home now feeling great.
I really recommend you try the Restaurant Story London if you can. It’s fun, generous and the dishes are exquisite. Go for the drinks pairing, you won’t be disappointed!
The Restaurant Story
199 Tooley Street
0207 183 2117
If you like this review you may also enjoy The Typing Room London.