I’m English. Which means I wouldn’t normally get giddy with excitement when Germany win the World Cup.
But this year I drew Ze Lean Mean German Winning Machine in the Pepper sweepstake. And the prize was a meal. For two. At a place of my choice.
Expensive food! I usually sweat over breaking the £10 ceiling at wagamama, so I saw this as my chance to rub shoulders with the high-rollers. I wanted to sip fancy cocktails and nibble tiny tastes nestled on plates bigger than a banker’s head. I wanted to leave the restaurant with more gout than Henry VIII.
Fast-forward three months, 1,456,777 booking portal refreshes and 35 mate-date auditions later and I finally took my seat in ‘London’s version of The Fat Duck’, Restaurant Story. (Oh, and I ended up treating my girlfriend).
Restaurant Story is the imaginative work of Tom Sellers. He’s been on The Great British Menu and worked at some of the world’s best restaurants. All before turning 26. A quick scroll through his Twitter tells you he’s ruthlessly ambitious and incredibly creative. This, his first restaurant, was awarded its first Michelin Star within five months of opening.
When it comes to ordering, I always make the wrong decision and get food envy. At Restaurant Story you get the simple choice of either a six or ten-course feast. Naturally, with gout as our goal, we went for the full ten courses – EVERYTHING. Without giving too much away – just in case you one day decide to go – each course comes with a unique story, enthusiastically told by the chefs who deliver the dishes to your table. It’s captivating stuff; a beef-dripping candle (because Tom’s dad loves dripping), seafood exploding with dry ice, and surprise snacks kept us on the edge of our seats all night long (in a good way). Gimmicky, pretentious, fun, friendly, warm and weird. Whatever it is, it’s certainly not boring.
Growing up, my palate hit peak-experimentation the day I invented the Scotch egg filled with baked beans al la melted cheese. I had my sights set high. And Restaurant Story didn’t disappoint.
It was so good in fact, I’d happily name my first child Lothar Völler Klinsmann Müller Schweinsteiger Von Özil if it meant I could eat there again.