June 14, 2016

Restaurant Story | An Incredible British Food Experience

The last time I ate and moaned my way through literally every course was at Sushi Tetsu, a tiny but phenomenal sushi bar in Clerkenwell. This time, Tom Seller's Restaurant Story did it, and moan away I did.

Every element of the dishes were so well thought out. They were full of finesse, flavours paired well with each other and encouraged each other to shine without being over-powering. The harmony of each dish was exceptional. 

Usually at fine dining places, I've always found that only about half of the food is great and the other half is pretty rubbish. Either because there's too much conflict with different flavours and texture or it's just plain underwhelming. I have to admit that at Restaurant Story, 2 of the dishes didn't excite me much but out of 20 served, that's a pretty high score and no way were they near terrible.

As I'm pregnant, I knew there would be some dishes I couldn't eat and I was worried that my substitute dishes were going to be an after thought since it has happened before. Luckily for me, not only were they not, they were just as delicious as the standard menu and it also meant G got to try even more dishes.  

Our 3 hour lunch was simply a wonderful way to celebrate my last birthday before I become a mummy. As our baby's due date is very close to my own birthday, we made it an early celebration and baby got to enjoy all the delicious food too. He was kicking and moving non stop as I ate!

Snacks
Crispy cod skin, smoked cod roe, gin botanical and carrot tops. The skin was seriously crunchy and combined with the beautifully intense fishy emulsion, it was delicious. 
 
Storeos; squid ink biscuit, smoked eel mousse and vinegar powder. Restaurant Story's take on Oreo! It's lightly sweet and salty with a hint of vinegar, both of us loved this one.
 
Nasturium flowers with oyster emulsion and burnt crumbs. I had the substitute with almonds instead. A little underwhelming, G's oyster was probably far tastier than the almond.

New seasons pea with black truffle puree. A mild black truffle taste that didn't overwhelm the sweet peas.

Rabbit sandwich cooked in polenta with tarragon emulsion and pickled carrots. I can't say rabbit or polenta is a favourite of mine, but this was pretty darn tasty. 

Black pudding with fresh pineapple and pineapple puree. This was a surprise favourite. The intensely sweet pineapple did so well to cut through the heaviness of the black pudding. 
 
Razor clams with champagne snow and puffed barley. Such a beautifully presented dish and G confirmed it was scrumptious.

My razor clam substitute of savoury pea puree, crunchy fried shallots and a baby radish. Who knew a tiny plant pot like this could pack so much flavour. It was so so tasty that I didn't mourn a lost opportunity with the razor clam.

Chapter 1
Tomato. In a clear consomme, and looked like water but tasted full of umami. It was savoury, light, and had a sweet tomato fragrance.

Chapter 2
Bread and dripping. This has to be the stand out dish at Restaurant Story. The candle is edible as it's made from beef dripping. 

We were asked to spoon a teaspoon of beef extract from the tiny glass jar and mix with the candle dripped to bring the beefiness out. Served with a roasted wheat bread and beef tongue cubes, it was such a fun way to eat and definitely more fragrant than your usual butter.  

Onion and gin. This was my least favourite dish since it was underwhelming in taste. The crispy bits were great but that was about it.

Heritage potato. Such delight! Creamy, smooth, savoury mashed potato served with charcoal oil and asparagus.
 
Chapter 3
Crab. This was one of my favourites of the evening. Sweet succulent crab paired with creamy avocado, and delicately savoury seaweeds. So clean in taste yet each of the elements amplified all the flavours, just sensational.  

Scallop. Another raw dish for G but I couldn't resist a slither. The scallop was super sweet and fresh, complimented by elderflower and cucumber. 

Turbot. My scallop substitute of cooked turbot in cabbage was delicious. Meaty fish with a savoury cream sauce and baby capers. G got a bite and he loved it too.

Chapter 4
Herdwick lamb. Lamb 4 ways drove me insane as I chomped through. Different cuts, different cooking methods, all so beautifully executed.

The lamb confit with crispy mint at bottom and the lamb chop was incredible, the best lamb I've ever eaten in my life! The lamb samosa and lamb neck at the top was also very delicious and added much to the texture variation. So many flavours and different textures, all brought together by the lamb jus and sauces. Wow. 

The lamb hotpot was a part of the lamb course, and whilst it was good, it did feel like a bit of an outcast when the main lamb dish shone so brightly.

Even this freshly squeezed orange juice tasted sensational. Super sweet and fragrant oranges used. 

 Chapter 5
Picnic. How very British and easy way to inject some fun into table dining.

Cheese, crackers and tomato chutney washed down with honey mead.

Lemon. Delightful pre-dessert of lemon parfait, lemon snow, lemon curd and other lemon bits! So much zingy and lemony goodness in this. G is not a fan of desserts and he polished this one clean.

Almond and dill. Dill in dessert? Sounds eww, but it was absolutely sensational. Dill snow with almond parfait and salted almond cream just worked. G has now polished off 2 desserts!

Rose and raspberry teacake. These were quite sweet and rose-perfumed, so I ended up leaving most of it.
 
The End

Not only was the food spectacular, but the service was first class too in a friendly, non overwhelming way. The ambiance was just right with beautifully thought out interiors and serveware.

Lunch for 2 at the weekend was £80 each and after service and drinks (non alcoholic), the final bill came to around £200. The finesse showcased in the food was worth every single penny, but for those looking for a more wallet friendly option, Restaurant Story offers a lunch booking on Tue-Thur for only £39. The menu is slightly stripped back but still excellent value for money.

Address: 
199 Tooley Street
London
SE1 2JX


2 comments

  1. Oh Lucy, it really does look incredible! Definitely time for me to revisit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes yes Angie, def time for a revisit :) x

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