London Larder was devised in 2012 to bring you the ultimate eating and drinking guide to London. It was borne out of a need for up-to-date, quantitative and whole-heartedly recommended places to eat and drink.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Restaurant Story

London Bridge

On the approach to Restaurant Story, you can’t help but feel a little bit impressed that the building used to be a public toilet block. Inside, the interior is minimalist and unassuming and we felt hopeful as we looked forward to a ten-course Michelin standard dinner (Story has been awarded one star this month). During our particular visit, we could see Chef owner, Tom Sellers, tirelessly working away in the kitchen, getting us excited about what was to come and making for a fun inclusive touch.

A few tasters arrived, which were quite pleasant and varied, and then our ten course meal began. The first course was bread and dripping with dripping coming in the form of a candle, which we were very eager to try. Unfortunately, the dish was all too gimmicky and didn’t deliver on taste. The next few courses were also rather dull with an onion course (and little else) followed by scallops, cucumber and dill ash and then a Heritage potato course. The scallops were okay, but the potato course was rather uninspiring and overly buttery. The courses that followed were equally disappointing. On the other hand, there was one dish that was very good; the venison. The desserts could have saved the day, but were, in our opinion, the worst of the bunch;  almond and dill followed by prune tea, loveage and milk and finally pumpkin, crème fraiche and sorrel. The flavours were too bitter and just plain wrong.

On to the service; this also was not great. It just seemed that there was no love for the customers or appreciation from the staff who were working for an amazing chef in a Michelin starred restaurant. In such a relaxing environment you would expect smiling service and pleasant conversation, but there was no joy in the way guests were dealt with. I commented in private to the manager that our two courses at the start of the meal had taken over an hour to be served but was informed that when guests leave the table, however briefly, service is stopped. Another couple were complaining outside which didn’t make the experience any better. They were hurried along apparently, not great when the meal takes over three hours. In an effort to keep ourselves occupied, we ordered a lot of wine.

All in all there just wasn’t any love and care taken in any part of dinner. At £110 a head, we expected more from Restaurant Story. What a disappointment. Our opinion? Dabbous would be a far better choice for anyone looking for a Michelin starred experience with modern British cuisine.

201, Tooley Street, 

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