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AA Notable Wine List 2016-17
AA rating

About this rating

Restaurants are awarded from 1 to 5 Rosettes for culinary excellence. One Rosette restaurants are highly recommended in a local area and five Rosettes have reached the pinnacle of culinary excellence at a world class level.

Read more about AA ratings and awards

White-hot opening from a global talent

AA Inspector

At a glance

Vegetarian menu
Wines by the glass
Wheelchair access

The building is not exactly hard to spot – a Nordic-influenced modern wood-and-glass structure in what is essentially a traffic island at the Tower Bridge end of Tooley Street. It seems an unpromising spot to find one of the most extraordinary talents to emerge on the UK’s restaurant scene for many a year, but Restaurant Story is one of London's most personal and compelling dining experiences. Tom Sellers has a CV including stints under Tom Aikens here in London, Thomas Keller in New York and René Redzepi in Copenhagen, so expect a new-wave approach to the whole show, 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, and needs booking way in advance to bag a table. The room has a slick Scandinavian charm, deliberately 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 zen-like calm. Books line the shelves in meticulous colour co-ordinated order, and Tom invites you to bring a book to add to the collection. The menu arrives in an old book, appropriately enough, and consists of chapter headings from Childhood to Sea, Land and The End, and offers an eight-course lunch or ten-course dinner, the latter called Full Story, with a shorter mid-week lunch if you don't fancy going the whole hog. Creativity and ingenuity abounds throughout and everything is rooted in something from Tom's own story (or journey if you will). Every dish looks stunning on the plate: sometimes playful, sometimes simple, and always intriguing. Things get going with the array of 'snacks' that arrive in quick succession, giving a forestaste of the imagination, technical skill, impressive flavours and sheer fun that is to come. 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 might star in a dish with lovage, scallops are a perfect fit with cucumber and dill ash while pigeon is cooked to perfection, with, say, vanilla and bitter leaves providing a captivating combination. The final chapter might include a knockout pairing of foie gras and clementine, and among sweet courses, 'almond and dill' is an inspired combination of flavours, textures and temperatures. The passion for British ingredients and regionalism extends to fantastic cocktails, British beers, local gins, and there's expert guidance on pairing such eclectic drinks with the unique style of food.

Opening hours

  • Closed: 2 weeks August, 2 weeks Christmas
  • Days closed: Sunday
  • Closed for lunch: Monday
  • Lunch served from: 12
  • Lunch served until: 5
  • Dinner served from: 6.30
  • Dinner served until: 9.30

Chef

  • Chef: Tom Sellers

Food and drink

  • Cuisine style: Modern British
  • Vegetarian menu
  • Wines under £30: 4
  • Wines over £30: 147
  • Wines by the glass: 11

Price guide

  • Service charge
  • Credit cards accepted

Accessibility

  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Accessible toilets
  • Assist dogs welcome

Facilities

  • Seats: 37
  • Off-site parking available: On street, NCP

Additional information

  • Seats: 37

Getting here

Nearest train station

London Bridge, Tower Hill
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