Restaurant Story — London (11/2014)

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Restaurant Story, headed by Chef Tom Sellers, achieved a Michelin star after being open only 5 months.  The cuisine features local products, often including locally-foraged ingredients.  Even though they were on Opentable.com, I could not book a solo seat even when availability was showing.  I had to resort to American Express calling in a reservation for me.

The restaurant is an easy 5-minute walk from the London Bridge Underground station.  You cannot miss the building as you walk towards it.

I arrived a little early because I wanted to ensure I built in some extra time for the meal.  When they called to confirm the reservation, they informed me that I would need to give the table up by 9 pm (giving me about 2.5 hours for the meal).  They only offer a 6- or 10 course tasting menu and they said that there probably wouldn’t be enough time for the 10-course menu.  Of course, I told them I would probably want the 10-courses, but that I can eat rapidly enough to probably fit it in the allotted time, as long as they can serve that quickly. They said they would make the notation that I wanted to order the 10-course menu.  It turned out that it didn’t matter.  My meal did run past 9 pm, but I noticed that there was at least one other empty table when 9 pm came and no one appeared to be waiting.

As shown below, the shorter menu was just a subset of the longer menu option.  So there was no doubt that I was going for the 10-course experience.

For the full write-up, click here.

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fera — London (11/2014)

 

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I had come across a short description of fera in one of my travel magazines.  The cuisine sounded interesting (fresh local ingredients and modernist cooking techniques).  As I had a trip planned for London, I went online to check out the reservation possibilities.  They have an online system, but reservations aren’t considered confirmed until you get a phone call and provide them with a credit card guarantee.  As I had decided on an early time slot on a Tuesday, there was no problem securing a reservation.

The restaurant is in one big room.  While it was fairly quiet when I was first seated, the noise level gradually increased as the room filled up to a constant noisy chatter.  Upon being seated, I was asked if I wanted water and a pre-dinner drink.  They left me with the food and beverage menus.  They offer an a la carte menu, as well as a single tasting menu (with some items taken from the a la carte menu). 

For the full write-up, click here.