History and Background:
11 courses. 23 dishes and 1 pot of quail tea…
“Our dishes are an edible story, each one inspired by a memory”
Tom Seller’s culinary debut (April 2013) with Restaurant Story, amassed worldwide popularity with chefs, critics, sommeliers alike. With everyone trying to take a sneak peek at what the next best thing in town is all about. It doesn’t come cheap though, only 2 set menus on the book at 6 courses for £65.00, or 10 courses for £85.00. But it’s a bloggers paradise. You would not think that a new opening at what was formerly an old public toilet site, in the middle of Bermondsey, would acclaim instant success, but it did. Tom’s impressive resume and experience made it a much anticipated debut to the food industry.
An understandably long post, I won’t be writing much, lets get cracking…
The meal: [10 course tasting menu, £85 + but we had an extra course for £15 more]
So before our 11 courses, you’re given 7 amuse-bouches. The cod skin, a clear resemblance to a garden patch, the design so delicate, so elegant. The second of the amuse-bouches, storeos, so clever and so witty. If you’re expecting it to taste like those oreo biscuits then think again. The smoked eel mousse melts on your tongue as you gently bite down the crunchy squid ink biscuit…
The prawns were really soft, and had plenty of taste to it. Laid on cling film, very sleek. At Story, it is all about the art of plating. Next up, rabbit sandwich, tarragon cream & carrot. Below we have the chicken, red mustard and soy. The focus was on the sauces here, since chicken on skewers is not something new. A new combination of flavours gave this little amuse-bouche its originality. (Photo taken by phine)
Whip out your phones, your cameras, your SLRs and get ready:
This amuse bouche is such a work of art. (It was served by a good looking chef too…) As the gigantic bowl of what looked like to be dry ice, was SOS, Snacks of the Sea. This consisted of Nasturtium and oyster – of which we did not realise that the flower was edible. None of us ate the flowers! Razor clam, crispy barley and Champagne, raw langoustine, devilled crab, scallop and apple were also present. The last of the amuse-bouches was the ox tail. Such an inventive, chic design. Tastiest out of all amuse-bouches so far.
COURSE 1: This is one of Tom’s original courses that he showcases prior to creating Restaurant Story. Dripping candle is actually beef fat and is edible. Warm sourdough, and rotten apple jelly. COURSE 2: Onions galore. Charred. Soft, caramelised Roscoff onions, a soft baby onion, an onion crisp, and apple consomme dressing, with gin and lemon thyme. Plenty of flavours here. Fresh off the ground.
Scallops were soft and succulent but not as good as Sketch, beautifully created though. The scallops, thinly sliced, marinated in elderflowe vinegar, served with horseradish milk, and dill oil. Accompanied by a small bowl of crunchy cucumber balls. We are given another snack below, brioche bread with black truffle and foie gras butter. Genius.
The camera’s favourite! Astonishingly beautiful. COURSE 4: I know you can get mash anywhere, but mash here was amazing. Creamy, and soft Apache potatoes mashed together with a touch of turnip halves and pitch black coal oil.
So 2.2 hours gone by, and we’re half way through, hurrah! Mel and Daisy above, and Allan below. All enjoying the lovely Heritage Potato course.
THEY BROUGHT OUT TWO REAL DEAD QUAILS AND THEIR EGGS
COURSE 5: Tale of a quail. It is very out there. The display of two seemingly dead quails were very unexpected. A rhetorical question… would you be able to eat after this? Daisy didn’t!
This little canape was really my favourite. There was something about it I loved. Reminiscent of dung, or some sort of excrement but it was surprisingly tasty. Quail tea was unique, though, slightly salty.
(Above photo taken by phine). So, the longest course of the meal gave us a taster to all parts of the quail. Good to know nothing’s going in the bin…
COURSE 6: Surprisingly, I didn’t really like this. I guess I’m not actually a fan of tartar. It’s such an exquisite dish though, beautiful. The bottom of the apple was truffle mayonnaise. Tartar was topped with cubes of apple and bacon, white truffle and a thin layer of jelly.
COURSE 7: Squid and stem tartare. Didn’t make a very lasting impression. Seems like a let down when in comparison to previous dishes. This was about the time when Daisy started running out of battery… remember to charge up before visiting!
COURSE 8: One of my favourites of the night. Succulent, tender, crispy, soft, it was all there. Had an excellent puree along and toppled with nuts. Amazing. The aroma and scent filled your insides, giving you a long lasting impression.
COURSE 9: Now Mel is a massive fan of foie gras, I’m indifferent to it. I’m more into softer creamier foie gras than cubed. This was creamy. Good creamy.
PRE-DESSERT: Now this was good. A restaurant knows how to regain the interest of the diner when it offers a pre-dessert. It’s very hard to top the ‘texture’ pre-dessert, but this was just as brilliant. Refreshing your tastebuds with more neutral, savoury flavours. Meringue, cream and lemon ice shaving and some white chocolate. Very wintery.
COURSE 10: I didn’t like this… because I don’t usually like anything clementine flavoured. Nice try though.
COURSE 11: Almond and dill. Such beauty and creativity in this course. The almond ice cream is supplemented well by the almond crumble. Really clever colours used here. Very almond-y, very milky, and a great combination of dill oil and dill snow makes this dish the one to wait for.
PETITE FOURS: Rosy marshmallow teacakes. A nice end to a very, very, long meal.
Service: Casual settings, young staff, professional but not overly formal. 12.5% service charge. Due to the originality and the constituents of some dishes, it was recommended for them to explain the dish to you. At times, the explanation of the dish wasn’t too clear cut, too wordy. It is easy to lose focus to what they’re saying especially with the distraction of the course in front of you.
Bits and bobs:
- Coat hanging service
- Please allow 4 hours to eat a 10 courser
- Try some wine. They’re known for it too
- Can be hard to find. Get a map out.