Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
david goodfellow

One-O-One, Knightsbridge

Recommended Posts

I'm not very good with list's of any description. Certainly best restaurant lists bemuse me. Top this, top that, who actually votes on these things? Do they pluck a place out of thin air based on a single celebratory meal a year ago, or are they regular weekly diners that are able to make a valid comparison. In any event I always see places in food lists that have no right whatsoever to be there.

As I understand it the Times 100 best restaurants is compiled in conjunction with Hardens restaurant guide. A guide incidentaly that I contributed to last (and this) year, but am still waiting for my complimentary copy of. :hmmm:

Currently holding sixth spot in the Times list is One-O-One, up a very respectable three places from last years ninth.

How so? When there are a raft of highly creditable places behind it.

I wanted to try it out.

IMG_1120.JPG

IMG_1121.JPG

IMG_1093.JPG

Now then, this place is not new to me. I have been looking at it for years now. The reason simply because every now and again one or another high profile Michelin starred chef would publicly praise the work of resident Breton chef Pascal Proyart Strangely another reason that it has always been in the back of my mind is its constant inclusion in Toptable. There has always been some kind of special offer or two to tempt the punters through the door.

The only reason that we have not been before now is because it is a speciality fish restaurant, whereas we mostly prefer meat and game. Although having said that, over the past year or so we are far more receptive to eating more and more fish.

Deep in the heart of Knightsbridge with a horde of competition literally metres away, this can be a tough place to trade. Virtually next door is Koffmanns, and Marcus Wareing. Literally across the road is Heston's Dinner and Bar Boulud. Around the corner is Ramseys Petrus, etc, etc, etc.

Housed in the ever so slightly, and ugly, gerkinesque Sheraton Park Tower Hotel, the resaurant is not helped but hindered by its easily walked past nonedescript frontage.

We visited on a Saturday lunch, to while away the afternoon. Especially appealing on a lunch visit is the "Petits Plats" menu of up to six plates for an amazingly good value £37. This is in fact perhaps, as good a tasting menu that you will encounter for the money.

Bread was decent with a choice of three. Especially pleasant was the tangy saline seaweed butter.

IMG_1096.JPG

IMG_1098.JPG

As this was not a tasting menu as such, no amuse was offered. So we were straight in with Norwegian Red King Crab.

Witness celeriac remoulade, a tower of crab, Granny smith apple jelly and sorbet, walnuts, and a featherly light samosa filled with? Can't remember.

Good start.

IMG_1099.JPG

Pan fried Foie Gras next, perched securely on an island of baby spinach and salsify, this, lolling about in a chestnut cappuccino soup along with a flotilla of toasted croutons.

As you may expect a very nice eat indeed

IMG_1104.JPG

Seafood saffron paella with Tiger Prawns was accompanied with chorizo sausage and a rosemary skewered chicken brochette. Said rosemary somewhat overpowered the chicken, others may not perhaps think so. Again though an extremely enjoyable eat.

IMG_1106.JPG

IMG_1105.JPG

Gathering pace now Royal Sea Bream fillet, served with olive tapenade, crushed butter beans, poivirade artichokes, samphire and cockles barigoule sauce. Yea baby.

I can't remember the last time that we ate bream, possibly in the South of France, where it is known as Dourade. So I did not know what to expect. First mouthful was mackerel? I swear if I blind tasted this fish, thats what I would guess. Next bite the mackerel had almost disappeared. Were my taste buds playing tricks?

IMG_1108.JPG

In a way we were glad to see a bit of game on the menu and the slow roasted Oxfordshire wood pigeon with panchetta and thyme truffle potato mousse was much looked forward too.

Perfectly cooked pigeon, a feast for the eyes, but I'm afraid the truffle was too delicate a flavour for me. Not only here. This is the third truffle addition to a dish that has not made very much impression.

IMG_1110.JPG

IMG_1111.JPG

I took the cheese as one of the courses and we shared the dessert which was on the menu.

The waiter at the next table offered the customer a choice of cheeses and he chose a blue and ? I suppose its cheeky to listen in but the table was quite close by.

Blue appealed to me.

I was given no choice, the plate arrived tableside with comte and camembert on board.

I could have made a fuss I suppose, although it could have been that they were eating from a different menu, but I really don't think so, but can not be one hundred percent sure. In any event the cheese was ok.

IMG_1114.JPG

Only one dessert on the petits plats menu, which we were not really fussed at.

Manjari chocolate and passion fruit.

The souffle was a disappointment. It needed a viagra boost. Erect it was not.

Flaccid indeed.

The passion fruit element was good. Although overall the dish was poorly executed.

IMG_1115.JPG

Well, what did we think?

Overall a very good meal with more far more highs than lows, and on reflection we should have listened to the Michelin chefs as touched on above, and made a sooner visit.

I'm afraid I did not get the day boat, to pan, to table, zingyness that I had hoped for with the Bream dish. That is not of course to suggest anything less than pristine produce, it could even be that my expectation level was too high in any event.

Is it worthy of sixth place in the Times 100?

Have to reserve judgment on that one I'm afraid for now, but then again food is highly personal is it not.

However we have no doubts about the overall experience and would most certainly recommend a visit, and we will most certainly give it a return visit ourselves. Which should sum up what our feelings are for the place.

The carte can on first impression look expensive, however the Toptable offers are very tempting at less 30% or even more.

You can eat as little as two courses here for £17 at lunch, but you would not get as much enjoyment as trying a few more courses of what chef has to offer.

Give it a try, you know your worth it.

IMG_1118.JPG

IMG_1119.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Useful report as usual David, thanks. One of your comments strikes a chord

... but I'm afraid the truffle was too delicate a flavour for me. Not only here. This is the third truffle addition to a dish that has not made very much impression.

I also don't understand why so many chefs serve what can only be described as a defective dish just for the sake (I imagine) of having the word 'truffle' on the menu.

Really, truffle is something that either is served in adequate quantity and top quality, or it is a huge disappointment, ranging in taste and texture from nothing to cardboard.

I don't think I'll ever make it inside One-O-One anyway: once I've travelled to that corner, how to resist all the temptations within a few minutes walk? :smile:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good report David.We eat quite a lot of sea bream it is common on local fishmongers slabs since they started farming it,much preferable to soggy farmed sea bass.Your mackeral flavour would have come from its flank where the flesh had spent to long in contact with the guts,maybe you didnt want to know that?


Sid the Pig

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Useful report as usual David, thanks. One of your comments strikes a chord

... but I'm afraid the truffle was too delicate a flavour for me. Not only here. This is the third truffle addition to a dish that has not made very much impression.

I also don't understand why so many chefs serve what can only be described as a defective dish just for the sake (I imagine) of having the word 'truffle' on the menu.

Really, truffle is something that either is served in adequate quantity and top quality, or it is a huge disappointment, ranging in taste and texture from nothing to cardboard.

I don't think I'll ever make it inside One-O-One anyway: once I've travelled to that corner, how to resist all the temptations within a few minutes walk? :smile:

Good report David.We eat quite a lot of sea bream it is common on local fishmongers slabs since they started farming it,much preferable to soggy farmed sea bass.Your mackeral flavour would have come from its flank where the flesh had spent to long in contact with the guts,maybe you didnt want to know that?

M, Like me, you are a Koffmanns devotee and worship at the alter of Pierre.

Although I get distracted to the lure of pastures new all too easily :smile:

Thank God its only restaurants though, as I would not be able to afford to eat out at all if it was in another direction. :wink:

Sid, Thank you, I learn something everyday, thank God. Did not know it was farmed although I don,t think it would have been farmed here, especially given the mission statement of the chef.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

David you are a real chef groupie if you believe all the guff caterers put out.This is propably to much information on the subject ,any fisherman will tell you that seabream and mackeral are mostly found in the wild state near sewage outfalls or in currents carrying the effluent from them so you might even prefer the farmed type. :rolleyes:


Sid the Pig

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll bet that Bream was of the farmed variety, which is about as dull as farmed bass. Loads of it comes to the UK via France and Greece. I have not once ever encountered wild Dourade from a supplier. Is it avaliable wild in the Med area itself???

As a cook, I really only deal in wild fish where at all possible(if theres nowt about, then I don't tend to bother)as the alternative is usually the afore mentioned stuff. On a personal note, I don't like to see round fish served without skin, unless its been poached, which again makes me think your fish wasn't wild.

Im not totally convinced that all mackrel swim and party around 'kak' outlets!!

Anyway, so this restaurant was listed number six on the Times, best of the best list?? Hmm.....interesting :wink: Im fibbing,its not really!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Useful report as usual David, thanks. One of your comments strikes a chord

... but I'm afraid the truffle was too delicate a flavour for me. Not only here. This is the third truffle addition to a dish that has not made very much impression.

I also don't understand why so many chefs serve what can only be described as a defective dish just for the sake (I imagine) of having the word 'truffle' on the menu.

Really, truffle is something that either is served in adequate quantity and top quality, or it is a huge disappointment, ranging in taste and texture from nothing to cardboard.

The problem is more than likely because it isn't really the best time for black truffles, I bet if you asked they have used preserved or "summer" truffles (Tuber Aestivum) which aren't a patch on fresh Perigord Truffle (Tuber Melonsporum) which, IMO, are not at there best until later on, maybe in the new year.


"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is it avaliable wild in the Med area itself???

It is, it is, and the difference is stunning. Or maybe I just like that lovely sewage taste... :smile:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Useful report as usual David, thanks. One of your comments strikes a chord

... but I'm afraid the truffle was too delicate a flavour for me. Not only here. This is the third truffle addition to a dish that has not made very much impression.

I also don't understand why so many chefs serve what can only be described as a defective dish just for the sake (I imagine) of having the word 'truffle' on the menu.

Really, truffle is something that either is served in adequate quantity and top quality, or it is a huge disappointment, ranging in taste and texture from nothing to cardboard.

The problem is more than likely because it isn't really the best time for black truffles, I bet if you asked they have used preserved or "summer" truffles (Tuber Aestivum) which aren't a patch on fresh Perigord Truffle (Tuber Melonsporum) which, IMO, are not at there best until later on, maybe in the new year.

Agreed, of course, though I find a huge difference in quality also among truffles that are described to me as 'Summer truffles', maybe the area of sourcing does matter? Are 'Burgundy truffles' also T. Aestivum?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe they are also Tuber Aestivum and I think you are probably right about the area having an effect. Having said that best summer truffles I've tried are nothing like the best Perigord truffles. Similarly I've had T.Melonsporum from other areas, mainly Italian and Spanish, and they never seem to be as good as those from France.


"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Truffle, now theres another one. I know of a certain, very high regarded chef who swears by using frozen Chinese truffles. In his opinion may of his customers cannot tell the difference between truffle from truffle?!!

In his defence I must say he doesn't, as far as Im aware, try to upsell them as a more exotic variety. :wink:


Edited by Richard1 (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think I'll ever make it inside One-O-One anyway: once I've travelled to that corner, how to resist all the temptations within a few minutes walk? :smile:

Well, finally I closed my eyes and ignored all the competition and managed to cross the one-o-one entrance for dinner.

We tried the Wild Norwegian Red King Crab, delicious in both of the versions we chose. Woman went for the cold version, simply accompanied by a mayonnaise sauce (good). I must admit this was the best way to appreciate the marvellous flavour of the enormous legs of this beast. It was fun to eat, too, even if not very conducive to conversation.

I opted for the more elaborate version with sweet chilli and ginger sauce. It was a very classy sauce with a pleasant, far from overpowering kick.

These are not cheap items but they would have been worth the full price (£27 apiece) that we didn't pay (the usual toptable offer).

Then the seabass (also from the Barents Sea like the crab, according to the waiter) in salt crust, the preparation of it a piece of theatre seen one thousand times but endlessly fascinating. We had had one just a few days before in Seville and we must say this London one was much better cooked: absolutely stunning cooking in fact, the flesh so moist (however, the flavour of these Northern basses of course never matching that of their best Mediterranean cousins). Accompanied by various molluscs in a razor-clam shell, a tiny cylinder of potato puree, and a lovely shellfish champagne butter sauce with a sea lettuce mash, the protagonist of this dish really had the space to shine, and at the same time the chef had the opportunity to show his finesse. A very very well-judged creation. Again not cheap (£60 for entire fish), but also very much worth it.

Skipped desserts, skipped wine (the next day a rustic mega eat and drink at Briciole was on the cards...), but had the chance to verify that they belong to the 'cannot make espresso' club of fine dining restaurants.

Service is super and sweet once you manage to get their attention, which is not always easy with a rather full room.

Verdict: I feel a la carte you get the most sumptuous dishes (at the nearby table a Dover sole also looked very enticing), but we also want to try the lunchtime smaller dish sequence highlighted by David, which is very good value. And then again for dinner, possibly many times...if only Koffman's wasn't so close :smile:

(I' like a pat on the back from Sunbeam for confining the photos to my place, in due course).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a bit surprised that you gave it a whirl Marco, but pleased for us both that you enjoyed it so much.

Looking forward to seeing the photos, especially the King Crab, when you get around to putting them up on your site.

Comforting to hear that they were busy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you get the chance David try the a la carte - from your report (and especially the comments about truffles, fish etc.) it looks like it's a different kind of experience and the produce is on a different level. Mind you, I'm not saying the produce is Mikael Jonsson's standard...hard to beat that. Still, it's among the best seafood I've had in London (and definitely prepared better and more precisely than on my two visits at Hedone).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...