Restaurant Story: Published by Tom Sellers

By Stephanie Hirschmiller

Just ‘published’ last week, Restaurant Story is the debut restaurant from 26-year-old chef Tom Sellers, who, with backing from fellow chef Adam Byatt (Trinity), has transformed an old toilet block (yes really) on Bermondsey’s Tooley Street into a brand new, 40-cover restaurant.

Sellars has drawn on his experience under some of the world’s most talented chefs – including Thomas Keller at Per Se in New York, René Redzepi at Noma in Copenhagen, Tom Aikens at his eponymous restaurant in Chelsea for his imaginative and experimental cuisine. The restaurant is a very personal journey, telling Sellar’s own ‘story’ though food; whether plumbing the depths of his childhood memories or taking inspiration from one of his Michelin-starred mentors.

Set to be Restaurant Story’s signature dish is the Bread & Dripping – a twisted take on the original, lit at the table and served as an edible candle with bread to mop up the melted ‘wax’. Diners are instructed to blow it out once finished, which signals the arrival of the remaining courses from the open-plan kitchen. Further choices include Burnt onion, apple, gin and thyme; Scallops, cucumber and dill ash; Heritage Potato, radish butter and barley grass and Lamb heart, salad root and artichoke.

Desserts are just as out there with Rhubarb and custard cream soda served in miniature old-school milk bottles and drunk through striped straws or the Three Bears’ Porridge comes as a set of three child-sized bowls described by Tom as “one too sweet, one too salty, and one just right”. Goldilocks guests are left to decide which is which.

Oh and in case you’re wondering the venue no longer resembles a public toilet. Wooden cladding covers the outside and the interior has floor-to-ceiling glass windows on either side and the open kitchen – all Delftware, pheasant-red tiles. Otherwise it’s concrete floors, uncluttered walls and simple, pendant lights. Apart from the food, the personality comes in Rosie Blair’s crockery caricatures of animals eating, drinking and making merry.

Diners can choose from six and ten course tasting menus at £45 and £65 or any three dishes for £35 at lunchtime.

Restaurant Story
201 Tooley Street,
SE1 2UE,
020 7183 2117
www.restaurantstory.co.uk