Restaurant Story Review: Homeboy and I were celebrating two years since moving to London SE1. We had heard amazing reports about the food at Restaurant Story so decided that this would be the place to commend ourselves on moving to this wonderful area. We booked the nine-course tasting menu, which is expensive, but hey, we wanted to mark the occasion. It was worth every penny because we had a first-class culinary adventure which we will talk about for many years. If you are looking for the best restaurants in London for a special occasion or London Michelin Star restaurants, this is the place for you.
“The Chef and Patron, Tom Sellers, shares his fond food memories with you as he presents exquisite British cuisine over a nine-course dinner. The experience is expensive and the most I’ve ever spent on a meal but it was absolutely worth every penny.” Homegirl London
Restaurant Story London Dinner Tasting Menu
Before you arrive at the restaurant, a member of the team will contact you to discuss your food allergies and dislikes. We requested vegetarian dishes for me and pescatarian for Homeboy. The menu is planned around your preferences which will include the restaurant’s classic dishes and variations. It may seem unusual not having a menu, but this is all part of the culinary journey. All you have to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the gastronomic adventure.
As each course arrives, you receive an introduction about the ingredients and the story behind the dish. The narrative is often related to a memory from Tom’s past based on a sensory experience associated with food. It is undoubtedly a clever concept and gives you something to reflect upon while you are eating. The food is stunning, from the idea to the ingredients and right through to the presentation.
The nine-course dinner tasting menu costs £145 per person, plus drinks and service charge on top. It is expensive but worth every penny. It was an absolute treat from beginning to end. The thought that went into the entire evening is commendable. Everything is perfectly orchestrated so you will have a memorable night. It is like being in an immersive theatre of food.
Savoury Oreo Snack
Before you officially begin your nine-courses, you get a selection of delicious dainty snacks. It is a lovely introduction to what you can expect from the evening’s meal. You’ll love the mini savoury Oreos which are super cute.
My vegetarian tasting menu comprised of:
1. Fairground Onions
2. Cucumber, Ash and Dill
3. Bread and Butter
4. Aubergine Ravioli
5. Pumpkin Agnolotti and Lemon
6. Turnip and Sunflower Seed Puree
7. Pear, Artichoke and Rose
8. Rhubarb and Custard
9. Almond and Dill
Homeboy had some of the same dishes with these fishy variations:
• Oyster, Blood Orange and Platinum Caviar
• Cod, Violet Artichoke and Champagne
I enjoyed every mouthful of my vegetarian meal, so it was challenging to decide on my favourites. If pressed on the matter, I’d have to say the Cucumber, Ash and Dill dish was wonderful. It is Tom’s vegetarian take on scallops. The cucumber is burnt on one side and the grassy, anise liquorice taste of dill is delightful.
My Turnip dish was full of flavour with the turnips cooked in various ways to showcase the versatility of this often-overlooked root vegetable.
Homeboy’s favourite fish dish was the Langoustine on a base of stones. Do check which parts of your dish are edible and what isn’t because the stones were real stones!
He also enjoyed the Pumpkin Agnolotti and Lemon. Agnolotti is a small flattened pasta dough filled with meat or vegetables which in this case was the pumpkin. The sauce was lovely and buttery with a hint of lemon.
If you eat meat, you are likely to be presented with a candle made from beef dripping. You get warm bread to catch the drips. Tom remembers his father eating bread and beef dripping every Sunday, which is the story behind this gimmick. If you are a vegetarian, you get a warm mini sourdough bread with butter and a little pot of savoury spread instead.
Bread and Butter
There was a special dish of Black Truffle and Celeriac which we decided to share. Before this dish arrives, a plate of truffles to admire and smell. The chef visits your table to shave off the truffle on top of your celeriac which Tom’s take on risotto. He gives you a generous helping of black truffle which tastes earthy and a tad nutty.
Three dishes from the nine-course meal were desserts. These are small sizes so that you will devour them rather quickly. The Almond with Dill dessert was particularly impressive.
Almond and Dill
When you think the meal is complete, you will receive a pleasant surprise. Sorry that I’m spoiling it for you, but you will be thrilled when the tiny blackberry treat arrives. You also get jars of honeycomb, toffees with edible sweet wrappers, coco covered nuts, mint chocolate sticks and a couple of cute canelés. The sweet finale will give you a sugar rush, so don’t go too crazy!
Remember I told you that you don’t see a menu at the start of your meal. You do get one at the end, listing everything you ate, which is a little something to keep as a reminder.
Restaurant Story London Interiors
The building was a Victorian public toilet before it became a beautiful restaurant. It stands on a triangle-shaped patch of land where Tooley Street, Tower Bridge Road and Queen Elizabeth Street meet. When you step inside, the traffic noise disappears, and you immediately feel relaxed. Once you are seated, you can admire the stylish interiors from the bird ceiling sculptures to the luxury wallpaper and velvet upholstered seating. The kitchen is visible thanks to a glass partition so you can see Tom and his crew in action. We sat by the wall of glass doors which must have been double glazed because you didn’t hear the busy roads outside. The tables not too close to one another so you can enjoy an intimate meal with your partner. You get a little stool to put your handbag on which is thoughtful.
Restaurant Story Tooley Street London Information
Tom Sellers opened the restaurant at the age of 26 in 2013. He gained a Michelin star five months later which he has kept. To find out more, go to the Restaurant Story Website. The address is 199 Tooley Street, London SE1 2JX. It is very near London Bridge station, take the Tooley Street exit to save time. The nine-course dinner menu costs £145 per person, and the five-course lunch is £60 or £100 for seven-courses. Allow up to 3.5 hours for your meal to be on the safe side. We were there for over two hours, but we didn’t drink alcohol. It is a smart casual dress code with no flipflops or hats. We don’t have many smart clothes ourselves but still felt comfortable dining there in our not so glad rags. Although the food is high-end, the atmosphere isn’t stuffy. It is friendly, welcoming and engaging. I hope you enjoy your gastronomic adventure!
Author: Homegirl London. Photographs: Homegirl London and the interior picture from the Restaurant Story website. Thanks: Homeboy for dining with me.