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Seafood @ One-O-One, London [Restaurant Review]

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Reviewed by The Wild Boar

I didn’t have the best of starts to this meal. It was for a Sunday lunch, on a bitterly cold day with packed snow on the ground, and the last thing I wanted to do was drive into the middle of the shopping horde in Knightsbridge desperate to get the obligatory Christmas gift. I then spent ages circling around the restaurant looking for a parking spot as the girls in the car weren’t keen on walking too long from the car to the restaurant.

We were only eating here because Toptable had a 50% offer off the entire meal (drinks excluded I think; this promotion has been going on for a VERY long time) and the PigPig was keen to try it out. I myself wasn’t particularly interested as gen.u.ine.ness only gave it 4/10 although the blogger reviews on Urbanspoon were fairly positive overall. Also, while I like seafood on a whole, I tend to prefer it in the more traditional Chinese style I grew up with.

Well anyway, our party of three were amongst the first to arrive (again) and were promptly seated into rather comfortable chairs. Already, my mood is starting to lighten as I take in the surroundings; large cushy chairs, plenty of elbow space, well spaced tables, nice bright lighting. Also, I like the waiter who is happy to recommend certain dishes when asked what their specialities or more popular dishes were.

I missed the first round of bread as I had a visit to the toilet (the lighting shows off a decoration rather well, but was quite dark otherwise) but the waiter was happy to provide more. I started taking the focaccia as recommended by the girls, and it was actually pretty good, lighter and fluffier compared to others of its type. I actually preferred the brown bread though. According to the waiter, the bread was baked on site, and it certainly tasted very fresh and was nice and warm. The seaweed butter was also pretty good, but pales in comparison to Sketch’s version.


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Norwegian Red King Crab Legs from the Barents Sea; Grilled with Basil Tomato Olive Oil Vierge”. As I understand it, king crabs are the biggest commercially available crab and amongst the most desirable to eat. Anyway One-O-One serves the legs in four ways and I was initially going to be boring and have it on ice and lemon, but decided to be adventurous in the end and opted for this, which was apparently the most popular choice according to the waiter.


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Norwegian Red King Crab Legs from the Barents Sea; Grilled with Basil Tomato Olive Oil Vierge



The meat was actually very soft and quite sweet, but not as sweet as the plain ol’ mud crabs I eat in Malaysia. The cheese on top gave it a slight thermidor-ish feel but the sauce vierge was really good as the mild flavours complimented the crab flavour very well. The crab legs vary in size and the bigger legs were nicer to eat obviously. Altogether it was really good actually.

Rock Oyster from Marennes D’Oléron – L’Experience; Shallot Vinegar, Yuzu Sorbet & Vodka, Tempura with Soya Pipettes”. Beautifully presented on a bed of sea
weed, we chose half a dozen oysters. We were advised to start with the yuzu sorbet one, which was very nice and certainly a more interesting and innovative approach. After that we had the tempura oysters which had little pipettes filled with soya sauce which he injected into the oysters before removing. It was not bad, especially with the seaweed accompanying it, although the oyster taste was overpowered by the tempura. Lastly, the shallot vinegar (I could have sworn the waiter kept saying champagne) was decent, but there was more vinegar than shallot taste. Altogether, some interesting choices but the oysters were a bit lacking in their natural briny flavour.


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Rock Oyster from Marennes D’Oléron – L’Experience; Shallot Vinegar, Yuzu Sorbet & Vodka, Tempura with Soya Pipettes

Pan-Fried Hand Dived Scottish Scallop and Duck Foie Gras; Wild Mushrooms and Spinach, Vermouth Beurre Blanc”. My sis-in-law’s dish so I only had a few bites, but from what I had the scallops were good, sweet and not overcooked. Meanwhile the foie gras was also pretty good but the crust seemed a bit thick. The wild mushrooms added a nice flavour to the dish as well but it didn’t seem to gel very well.


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Pan-Fried Hand Dived Scottish Scallop and Duck Foie Gras; Wild Mushrooms and Spinach, Vermouth Beurre Blanc

Slow Cooked Arctic Cod from The Barents Sea; Chorizo Risotto, Squid and Prawns A La Plancha”. I admit I’m not very experienced in fish, but this cod felt a bit dry and rough; it certainly lacked the fat I’m used to in Chilean seabass. On the other hand, the squid and prawns were incredibly good and firm in texture while the risotto was absolutely delish.


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Slow Cooked Arctic Cod from The Barents Sea; Chorizo Risotto, Squid and Prawns A La Plancha

Roasted Norwegian Halibut with Tiger Prawn Dumplings; Paimpol Coco Beans and Truffle Cassoulet, Pork Belly, Sauce Nantua”. I have no idea what the second phrase in the description is as there certainly is no pork belly to be found! Much like my arctic cod, I found the PigPig’s halibut dry and rough while the dumplings were tasty but the skin was too thick for me. I wasn’t convinced by the presence of so many different sauces as well, I didn’t think it worked well together or individually.


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Roasted Norwegian Halibut with Tiger Prawn Dumplings; Paimpol Coco Beans and Truffle Cassoulet, Pork Belly, Sauce Nantua

Seared Lobster Tail and Honey Glazed Veal Sweetbread; Saffron Carrot Compote, Citrus and Vanilla Emulsion”. Again, my sis-in-law’s dish. The little piece of lobster I sampled was very good, while the sweetbread was surprisingly good as well. I didn’t expect to like it (never had it before) but the sweet sweetbread was nearly as good to eat as the lobster. The purple potato cubes look stunning, but tasted very dull while the grapefruit was too sour to mix with the meats properly for me.


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Seared Lobster Tail and Honey Glazed Veal Sweetbread; Saffron Carrot Compote, Citrus and Vanilla Emulsion

Passion Fruit Custard Tart with Floating Island; Mango Tartar, Coconut Foam and Ice Cream”. The tart itself was nice with a good blend of sweet and tartness from the fruit. The coconut foam had a strange foamy-solid consistency which actually was quite nice but I didn’t fancy much for the coconut flakes. The mango cubes added extra fruity flavour but proved a little difficult to mix with the rest.


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Passion Fruit Custard Tart with Floating Island; Mango Tartar, Coconut Foam and Ice Cream

Chocolate Brownies ‘Coupe Liegeoise’; Coffee and Salt Caramel Ice Cream”. We chose this mainly because we were curious what the coupe thingy was; it turned out to be a coffee flavoured foamy mousse-like blob, not half bad actually. The brownies were alright, but lacked proper fudgy texture. The honeycomb was a nice addition to eat with the coupe thingy as well.


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Chocolate Brownies ‘Coupe Liegeoise’; Coffee and Salt Caramel Ice Cream

Altogether the bill came up to £30 each for a three course meal and a bottle of still water to share. Service throughout was pretty good although there were only three waiters for the whole restaurant. For some reason the mains took awhile to appear as well.

Food – 7.0
Service – 6.0
Atmosphere – 6.0
Value – 6.0

“Ehhh, first half good, second half not so good”. I thought the starters were pretty good, especially my crabs. The fish fillets in the mains however were rather dry and disappointing in general. Plate presentation was superb but I feel that a lot of the touches were done more for the aesthetics than actually contributing to the flavours.

Would I eat here again? Unlikely, it’s pretty reasonable for £30 and hopefully the other mains are better, but I wasn’t terribly convinced by this showing.



One-O-One
101 Knightsbridge
Belgravia, SW1X 7RN
Tel: +44(020) 7290 7101
Official website



One-O-One on Urbanspoon

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