Restaurant Story – Bermondsey

Have you ever been so captivated by a book that you both dread it ending but need to read on to find out more? This is how i’ve felt during some of my life’s greatest meals. Normally I find tasting menu style meals to be a real bore but my experience at Restaurant Story in Bermondsey couldn’t share these usual sentiments less. The man behind said story is 26 year old Tom Sellers who’s CV includes Trinity, Noma and Per Se after initially being trained by Tom Aitken. The concept may seem gimmicky at first with a menu featuring items like ‘three little bears’ style porridge and a beef dripping amuse bouche fashioned into a table candle but it becomes immediately apparent that this isn’t the case. At the heart of Seller’s cooking is a desire to incorporate the surreal and fantastical into the best of Britain’s seasonal ingredients and to evoke a sense of wonder in his customers. Here’s the blow by blow.

Our meal was a thrill-a-minute extravaganza that began with a pear and thyme juice followed by succession of ‘snacks’ to kick things off. The menu is set and you choose between either six (£45 pp) or ten courses (£65 pp).

Crispy cod skin dotted with whipped cod roe and gin botanicals

Nasturtium flowers filled with oyster sabayon.

Story style Oreos with eel mousse and vinegar dusting.

Rabbit sandwich – Like a chicken nugget except classier and topped with different varieties of carrot and tarragon. This was probably the best part of my entire day and I wish there had been more.

 Beef dripping with rotten apple and treacle bread – I wish I hadn’t been told about this beforehand because it’s the sort of thing i’d pretend to hate but secretly be totally stoked on. Edible, Wee Willy Winkle type objects are not for everyone but how often do you expect your table candle to be edible?

 Burnt onion, apple, gin and thyme

Beetroot, raspberry and horseradish – This was the only course I didn’t like. I found the textures of the frozen horseradish ‘snow’ with the viscous beetroot sauce almost anxiety-provoking and I really don’t care for fruit in savoury dishes.

Pigeon, summer truffle and pine

The elusively titled ‘Lemon’ – So trendy.

Three bears porridge – We all know the story: Goldilocks is repelled by Mummy and Daddy Bears breakfast instead opting for Baby Bears meal who apparently had got it ‘just right’. At Story, you are the judge and have to figure out which one is which for yourself. The best one was ‘too sweet’ with crunchy honeycomb pieces and condensed milk the other was salted caramel and the last, a sort of lemony concoction, decorated with flowers.

 Rosewater tea cake – very 1996 prep school lunch break of them.

Whilst the food at Story is both ambitious and delicious, I couldn’t help but feel the childhood magic was somewhat diminished by the minimal Swedish style surroundings and super quick service. The vibe there isn’t exactly what you’d call relaxed and although I really enjoyed my lunch here, I probably wouldn’t recommend it for dates or family meals. Book a table well in advance and bring a foodie friend or perhaps a relative or boss who’s into a more formal dining experience. I suppose the unavoidable question is the following: does this story have a happy ending? Indeed, it does and I urge you to find out for yourselves.


Restaurant Story, 201 Tooley Street London SE1 (020-7183 2117). Six courses £45, 12 courses £65, before wine and service

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