Monday, 24 February 2014

Restaurant Story

Guest Post from Jane - Friday 17th January



This week I cashed in one of my most long-awaited Christmas presents - a ten course dinner at Tom Sellers' Restaurant Story which opened in April 2013. It received good reviews en masse during last year and featured on many of the 'best new restaurants of 2013' lists released over the new year period. Restaurant Story recently gained its first Michelin star.

Tom Sellers - Photo Credit : Ed Tyler
The restaurant has a clean, natural feel; lots of wood and stoneware. As many have said before, there are clear Scandinavian influences (Sellers used to work at Noma). There is also a literary theme - our menu arrived in the leaves of a grand old copy of Dickens' 'Our Mutual Friend' and Sellers seems to have replaced décor and ornaments for books even down to the toilets; I was unenthused by the large tome of tax codes in my cubicle.

Almost immediately upon sitting down we were bombarded with an assault of 'snacks' (or amuses-bouches). Plate after plate of small tasty bites were placed in front of us, I got so carried away with the array of flavours in front of us I began to wonder whether I'd be able to remember all we ate. Thanks to Food Over London for jogging the memory and providing the photos below.  The most interesting of the lot included a 'storeo' - an oreo like biscuit filled with a cream of smoked eel and vinegar powder, as well as a delicious slice of 'rabbit sandwich' with tarragon and carrot.

Amuses-bouches - photos from Food Over London
Following the initial 'snacks' the menu kicked off with the renowned bread and candle dripping with a chicken consommé, veal tongue and celery relish. The dripping was fun and captured the setting but actually didn't make much of an impression on the tastebuds. However, I did particularly enjoy the relish.

Bread & Dripping - photo from Food Over London
Dish number two of the ten was apparently inspired by fairgrounds and hotdogs, I was asked to think of those late nights on the way home from Brick Lane when you get drawn to the hot-dog sellers on street corners. I've always sought out the bagels in that area but went with the line anyway. The onions were sweet and caramelised and I was glad to hear that the gin and beer featured in the dish were local ingredients favoured by The List - Jensen's and Kernel.

Onion, apple & old tom - photo from Food Over London
Highlights from the remaining courses for me were the heritage potato, turnip and coal, one of the more boring sounding dishes from the menu turned out to be incredible as hoped. Seemingly taking hints from 69 Colebrooke Row's terroir cocktail, this dish was smooth, creamy and had the best tasting potato (with hints of coal) flavour I've experienced yet. The beef with grains, watercress and sloes stood out although the cherry in this dish was a little too sour (really, really sour) for my liking. For desserts, what I assume served as a palate cleanser, the almond and dill was both unusual and delightful. Strong creamed dill snow was incredibly refreshing and not as overpowering as expected. It also took me back to a sunny Bulgarian holiday when I couldn't get away from the stuff.

In all I spent nearly four hours savouring the multitude of dishes that Sellers lovingly presented and served. Sellers himself waited on us throughout the night, explaining the 'story' behind each dish, which was an appreciated and personal touch. Considering the cost (£80 for ten courses), I've had better tasting meals elsewhere in London, but for the experience and the fun I'd recommend it for anyone who wants to splurge.


Square Meal

Restaurant Story on Urbanspoon


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