Thursday, 29 July 2010

The One-O-One and Only

One-O-One has been sitting on my list, quietly waiting for my wallet to gain enough cushioning to withstand the blow. Located in the prestigious Knightsbridge, I was constantly sidetracked by the two department stores. But on the day, I said I deliberately saved this special restaurant for the 25th birthday of a very special someone.

The main dining room was divided by a curved wall, which I later read the interior was inspired by the symmetry of a shucked oyster. Walls were decorated with subtle details and a massive wine showcase in the middle. It shouts class and elegance. 

The menu was seafood dominated, and quite rightly so, complemented by a never-ending wine list. The sommelier had to restrict his recommendations to half-bottles, since the birthday boy only drinks 10% of what we order (tried and tested). Considering I hopped off the plane at midnight, I needed to go easy.

Amuse Bouche – Jelly with Shredded Crab
I saw a bit of crayfish in the jelly too. It was a block of seafood delight, a small taster of the scrumptious seafood ahead. It surely worked up my appetite.

Rock Oysters from Marennes D’Oleron – L’Experience Shallot Vinegar, Yuzu Sorbet & Vodka, Tempura with Soya Pipettes
Okay the dish may look mutagenic, I understand the line between ugly and quirky is thin, but hear me out. The server gently injected soya sauce into the tempura and removed the pipettes as he presented the dish.  The batter was thin and light; the creamy oyster was infused with a sweet soy sauce; I could taste the sea. The shallot vinegar lost the usual pungent sting; instead it was mellow with a hint of sweetness. Yuku (lime) sorbet replaced the traditional acidity, the zesty zing worked.

Norwegian Red King Crab Legs from the Barents Sea - Warm with Sweet Chilli-Ginger Sauce
Our server recommended the sweet chilli-ginger sauce, which was probably the worst choice of the list. The sauce overpowered the natural sweetness of the crabmeat, and so despite the fleshy crab legs, we could only taste the chilli-ginger.

Roasted Norwegian Halibut and Prawn dumplings, Coco Beans and Truffle Bisque
I could smell the truffle from 2 tables away. It was a moist piece, its juice blended into the truffle bisque. The dumplings were slightly hard on the skin, but the prawns inside were plump and crunchy.

Slow Cooked Arctic Cod from The Barents Sea Chorizo Risotto, Squid and Prawns A La Plancha
Chaotic fiesta? It was a palette of mix & match flavours and textures. I found it overly complicated, but mister thought it was a pleasant surprise with every mouthful.

Meli Melo Panna Cotta with Granny Smith apple Sorbet
Stunning summery dessert. Sorbet was refreshing, the thin strips of apple and jelly harmonised with the silken panna cotta. Perfect finish.

White Chocolate Mousse Juniper Berries Lemon Sorbet and Soft Gin Tonic Jelly
I stole one spoonful. Loved it. Can’t go wrong with ripe berries in a thick mousse.

Espresso was good, the petit fours were forgettable.

It’s not a daily diner. The bill came to just over £220 with half a bottle of Chenin blanc 2001, excluding service. The meal was worth every penny given the astounding quality of food and service. Snobby? Maybe. A bit of posh every now and then doesn’t hurt. Too much.

101 Knightsbridge

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