A lot of heart and soul has gone into Tom Seller’s first restaurant, Story. The beautiful menu is derived from his reputable training (Per Se and Noma) and also that from his own life and family. The 6 and 10 course tasting menus are very much in line with the current trend; a blend of incredible technical execution, a bit of quirk and earthy, well crafted small morsels of food. What you can expect from your plates at Story is in style with that of Roganic, Dabbous and Nuno Mendes.
Before our 10 course meal a series of small snacks arrived as if all at once in front of us. Not loving the lack of attention and lack of explanation that came from the delivery of 5 plates at once, all illusion of dramatic presentation was lost. However most of these small bites were lovely, and mind you very seasonal. Strongest of the snacks was a whole nasturtiums flower stuffed with a an oyster emulsion, a rather surprising eel mousse Oreo cookie and a hearty rabbit ‘sandwich’. Unfortunately dehydrated cod skins with cod roe, similar to what we have seen on a number of menus fell short of the expectation, as did a stuffed radish which was so overpowering with radish I cannot event tell you what it was stuffed with.
The 10 courses started with the pièce de résistance, an edible candle made from beef dripping. Impressive in delivery would be an understatement, this is an idea I have never seen or heard to be attempted before. Although slopping up beef fat with a bread roll may seem unappealing, the dripping was meaty and set the tone for the whimsical narrative of the rest of the meal.
Burnt onion, apple, gin and thyme reminded us of Seller’s days at Noma. Scallops, with cucumbers rolled in dill ask was a highlight with punchy flavours and interesting textures. Mackrell with strawberry and beetroot with raspberries and horseradish snow were pleasant to eat, but rang true to countless dishes we have had in the past (Pollen Street Social, North Road to name a few).
The heritage potato was surprisingly the highlight for me. The perfect pommes puree was seasoned well and moorish. Sitting closely in second favourite course was the wild pigeon, so wild I had to spit out the piece of lead from the bullet.
Deserts were strange; in parts were incredible, and parts unbearable. Prune tea, lovage and milk skin just didn’t sit right for me. I am a big fan of lovage, however with a consolidated milk skin it just makes my stomach churn. Although completely strange to offer guests oats for dessert, risking potentially detracting for what was a satisfying meal, the too salty, too sweet and just right Three Bears Porridge was impressive. Interestingly sweet was more enjoyable then ‘just right’, raising the point that no chef in his right mind would create a dessert designed to be disliked!