So the most recent crossing off came last week. Eating in a Michelin-starred restaurant.
I’m not a foodie in the obvious sense of the word. But I do like food and I do love cooking (although for reasons too various to go into right now I have not enjoyed cooking for some time).
Last Thursday I was treated to lunch at Restaurant Story by the Love Letter Writer.
When I originally looked at the menu online I was a little nervous. However I was enchanted by the idea behind Restaurant Story and I’m not a fussy eater (although cannot profess to having eaten coal before…). Plus, you know, it’s a Michelin starred restaurant for goodness sake. You don’t get to eat in one of those every day week year!
The premise of Restaurant Story (not the food, not yet…) is that diners take along a favourite book, leaving it behind at the restaurant with an inscription as to why he or she chose that particular story. As I didn’t know we were going until just before, I didn’t have time to sort a book to take. However I have now purchased a paperback of “What Katy Did” and will be sending it on to the restaurant soon. The books are in the lady’s and gentlemen’s cloakrooms. And I made a point of looking at those in both ladies cubicles whilst there!
The restaurant itself, physically, looks like a very smart garden summer house. A small unassuming wooden structure on a triangular junction on Tooley Street with floor to ceiling windows and a view, of course, of The Shard. An oasis of calm slap bang in the middle of a busy thoroughfare.It’s simply furnished and there is a viewing window into the kitchen. The staff were nothing but friendly. There was no pretention and they were happy to chat and answer questions. The sommelier, when asked to recommend a wine to go with the majority of the courses we would have, was considerate and informative. And the wine was bloody excellent.he menus were tucked into hardback copies of The Complete works of Charles Dickens – our copy was Our Mutual Friend (not one of my favourites I have to
confess…) and we chose the 6 course taster menu.
Before we even got to that there was a series of snacks including deep fried cod skin with cods roe dusted with juniper berries (Tom loves his gin), frogs legs (they really DO taste like chicken) and “Rabbit Sandwich”, a small, perfectly formed rectangle of shredded rabbit filled with a tarragon flavoured mousse, with a maizey crust with threebrightly coloured slices of (ironic?) carrot balanced on top.
So all of this before we even got to the main menu…
The waiter brought a candle to the table just as we finished the snacks (each one had been presented quickly and with a description of what was on the plate). This was the infamous dripping candle. By the time the warm sour dough (presented in its own leather pouch) arrived, the candle was well and truly “dripping”, great globules of delicious beef dripping, into which we dipped the sour dough bread. LLW was transported back to his (slightly northern) childhood Sunday lunches. I, on the other hand, had never had dripping before. It was finger lickingly wonderful.
You wouldn’t perhaps think that a dish of onions would be very exciting (see also Potato and Turnip which turns up later…) but this was of course, onions presented 3 different ways and surrounded by a gin and apple consommé (told you he likes his gin) and was utterly delicious.
The potato course was served with a ‘coal’ sauce. I’m not sure it really tasted of what I thought coal would taste like. But then I’m not sure what that is because I’ve never tasted coal. If you see what I mean… The mash contained no dairy at all apparently, yet it was the creamiest mash I have ever experienced and just melted in the mouth.
At some point I will run out of superlatives and adjectives to describe the beautiful food which was served to us that day, so I won’t describe every individual course. Suffice to say it was nothing like I had expected and yet everything I had hoped the experience would be.
When we left the restaurant the waiter actually commented on the fact that our enjoyment had been obvious. It was fun, incredible, the food was out of this world and most of all I will remember it not just for the food but the person I shared it with