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Restaurant Story

199 Tooley Street, LONDON, SE1 2UE

5 rosettes

In a starkly modern structure in what is essentially a traffic island at the Tower Bridge end of Tooley Street, Restaurant Story is one of London's most personal and compelling dining experiences. Tom Sellers has a CV including stints under Tom Aikens, Thomas Keller in New York and René Redzepi in Copenhagen, so expect a dining experience that reflects the new world order, where the waiters and chefs engage with you and generally make you feel more than a mere paying customer, with the meal very much a multi-sensorial experience. The whole event takes three to four hours - lunch or dinner - and follows a prescribed route from the 'snacks' to the excellent coffee, which arrives with a fabulous chocolate-covered tea cake. The room has a slick Scandinavian charm, deliberately egalitarian and free of intimidating formality, with floor-to-ceiling windows onto Tooley Street, cool designer chairs, blond wood tables, and an open-to-view kitchen which shows the kitchen team working with precision and unimaginable calm. Books line the shelves in meticulous colour co-ordinated order, and Tom invites you to bring a book to add to the collection (add your favourite story to the story of Restaurant Story). The menu arrives in an old book, appropriately enough, and the Full Story consists of chapter headings such as Sea, Childhood and The End. Things get going with the array of 'snacks' that arrive in quick succession, including a nasturtium flower filled with oyster emulsion and a wee terracotta flower pot filled with radishes, edible soil and wasabi yogurt. The imagination, technical skill, impressive flavours and sheer fun should win over even the most hardened cynic. The bread and dripping is a signature which should be on the menu for as long as its doors are open - a candle made of beef fat, fabulous sourdough bread, veal tongue and apple jelly, and a powerful beef jelly extract. Onions star in a dish with Old Tom gin, apple and a hit of lime, while fallow deer is a fine piece of meat, cooked to perfection, with yeast and dandelion in a captivating combination. The cheese course is like no other - Picnic, it's called - and it's very cool, arriving in a mini picnic basket with red gingham cloth (the cheese might be Hampshire's fabulous Tunworth). Among sweet courses, 'almond and dill' is an inspired combination of flavours, textures and temperatures (if it is white it is almond, if it is green it is dill). The passion for British ingredients and regionalism extends to fantastic cocktails, British beers, local gins, and there's advice on hand with what's best to drink with what.

Further information

Tel: 020 7183 2117
Please quote 'The AA'.
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Days closed: Sun
Dates closed: 2 wks Aug, 2 wks Xmas
Days closed for lunch: Mon

Restaurant information

Cooking type: Modern British
Chef: Tom Sellers
Number of seats: 40
Accessible for wheelchairs.
Disabled toilets.
Vegetarian meals available.
Children's portions.
No children under 4 yrs.

Restaurant Story, London se1
  • Restaurant Story, London se1
  • Restaurant Story, London se1


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Nearest station: London Bridge, Tower Hill

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