One-O-One (Knightsbridge), is the second restaurant-in-a-hotel I have visited in the past week. The first, Peninsula, was a bit of a diamond in the rough. One-O-One, although not quite the opposite, was rather disappointing in light of my high hopes and it ain’t cheap either – starters range from £14-£19, mains are £23-£29 or you can create your own tasting menu with 3-6 ‘petit plats’. With hindsight now I wish I had chosen the latter option, as at least with more variety in front of me the odds would have been stacked in my favour.

We kicked off with a forgettable morsel of brandade of cod and salmon with teeny weeny toast before moving on to starters – my choice being ‘red tuna tartar with crispy soft shell crab tempura, sushi rice and wasabi sorbet’. This was the best course of the meal and I’ll give you the good news first – the fish was soft and fresh and the wasabi sorbet and cubes of pickled ginger jelly were a joy, if mostly due to the excitement of tasting those flavours in an unusual form.

The soft shell crab however tasted mostly of batter and oil and I plead with you to tell me where I can find a decent version in London – every one I’ve tasted has been lacking in one essential flavour – crab. The sushi rice was fine, that is until I discovered a piece of cling film er, clinging to it. Not the greatest culinary crime ever committed but genuinely gross in the mouth nonetheless.

For the main course, my friend and I shared this magnificent seabass ‘baked in a crust of Brittany sea salt with shellfish, champagne and butter sauce and sea lettuce mash’. The spectacle of filleting the bass at the table livened things up a bit, although I actually had to sit on my hands to avoid reaching out and cracking the crust myself. I attempted  this recipe at home recently with slightly more messy results as you can see (below). Purely by luck however, mine turned out flaky and moist while the One-O-One version was a bit on the mushy side – a shame because the accompanying sauce was rich and silky.

My main issue with this dish though was the razor clam shell arrangement at the far side of the plate. Why would they tease us with the idea of the clam, only to serve up two (barely 2mm thick) rubbery slices nestled amongst some mussels and winkles? The mash was also disappointing – barely on the right side of gluey in texture and somewhat lacking the promised flavour of sea lettuce.

Now at this point the batteries on my camera ran out so I’m afraid we have to make do with a woefully inadequate IPhone picture. Don’t worry though, because there isn’t much more to see. We skipped dessert and moved straight to coffee. Some petit fours arrived which were, quite frankly, a bit crap. Actually, I rather enjoyed the passion fruit jelly so perhaps they were all tainted by the truly terrible macarons – like chewing on pieces of two day old meringue, not the slightest hint of melt in the mouth about them.

Considering that one of my dining companions had recently enjoyed an excellent meal at One-O-One, I can only conclude that the quality of the cooking is erratic. On this occasion we got off lightly thanks to a Top Table offer of 50% discount and the removal of my starter from the bill, meaning the damage came in at only £45 a head (including two bottles of Riesling). If I were paying full whack however, I can imagine feeling a bit ripped off.

101 Knightsbridge
0207 290 7101

One-O-One on Urbanspoon

Category: Restaurant Reviews 11 comments »

11 Responses to “One-O-One”

  1. gen.u.ine.ness

    No two guesses who your dining companion is :)
    I wonder why they don’t simply revise the menu prices instead of running a permanent 50% offer on TT. The cooking here is at a level where it is great with a 50% discount but way overpriced without.

    gen.u.ine.nesss last blog post..Le Bouchon Breton (2nd Visit) – Review

  2. James

    Loving the idea of wasabi sorbet.

    The best soft shell crab is in Scotland. They export nearly all of them to Spain and we import rubbish. Shame really. But if you’re lucky and find a willing fisherman (you can watch them coming in) they really are the best.

    Maybe they were running out of razor clams, and making up the volume, because 2 is almost worse than none. Now if it’s razor clams you want you need to head out to the Welsh beaches. Tons of them – and a million times easier than trying to catch fish, which I’ve never had much success with, but you really need staying power……

    Jamess last blog post..Warm fillet of salmon gravadlax with rosti potato, cucumber noodles, beetroot and a dill mustard dressing

  3. Wendy

    I like the i-phone pictures. They’ve got a kinda retro-polaroid effect going on!

    Wendys last blog post..Hello April

  4. Keri

    I’ve had good soft-shell crab at the Hare and Tortoise.

    Shame about One-O-One, I’d heard good things about it.

    Keris last blog post..Corned Beef – The Story Begins

  5. Gourmet Chick

    The fish does look spectacular although it always seems to me like such a waste of salt – can you use it again? Also you haven’t told us about why so many cup cakes!

    Gourmet Chicks last blog post..Favela Chic

  6. Helen

    Oh pants! Sorry I forgot. Well I have been eating so many cupcakes because I met the lady who makes Peggy’s Cupcakes recently as I am blogging for the Real Food Festival. Here’s the blog! The cupcake post will be up when I have emerged from flu hell.

  7. Charmaine

    Yegads, horrible macarons are a crime!
    As for soft shell crab, I’ve found that the Vietnamese restaurants have rarely disappointed on that front – nice juicy crab, and a crisp batter, fried with plenty of chilli and garlic. OM! Song Que’s version is a good’un.

    Charmaines last blog post..East side love

  8. Chris

    Best soft shell crab I’ve had in London was from Cay Tre in Shoreditch – but it had disappeared from the menu last time I was there, which was annoying.

    Best in the world, a place in Hyannis Port in Massachussets… a huge pile of them, with chips. Great.

    Chriss last blog post..Eating Eurovision!

  9. gen.u.ine.ness

    will be visiting one-o-one tonight :)

    gen.u.ine.nesss last blog post..Ristorante Semplice – Review

  10. Nick Walker

    More on the soft shell crab hunt (and yes I agree most of it is over battered and loses the flavour of the crab). My two London favourites are Spuntino and Automat

  11. Helen

    Thanks Nick! Love Spuntino. Love.

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