Restaurant Review: One O One Restaurant at The Park Tower in Knightsbridge, London
Highly regarded as one of the finest seafood restaurants in London, One-O-One brings the flavours of the sea straight to the plate in the most exquisite way. I visited the Knightsbridge based eatery one Saturday evening and was made to feel very comfortable and welcome very quickly. I was shown to my seat with my fellow diner, Nick, and was soon offered a glass of Moet to get the evening started.
The 3 AA Rosette rated restaurant wasn’t hard to find as it is located on the main street and is attached to stylish hotel, The Park Tower. Although centrally located, once inside you feel miles away from the outside world. Sipping on Champagne, we perused the generous menu, which offers upmarket seafood dishes and a tasting menu created by Breton chef, Pascal Proyart, who has cultivated his passion for seafood at One-O-One since 1998. Menu highlights include Jersey rock oysters, which can be served four different ways, Norwegian red king crab legs from the Barents Sea – also offered with four flavourings, lobster salad, Dover sole and whole sea bass. We made our choices with the help of our waiter and sat back ready to sample some fine seafood.
We didn’t have to wait long until we were offered an amuse bouche of Asian style croquette with wasabi mayonnaise. The croquette contained cod and salmon and was lovely in taste and deliciously crisp on the outside. It was a very nice introduction to the chef’s style of cooking. Our starters arrived soon after and my option of griddled red king crab legs with basil, tomato and citrus olive oil sauce vierge looked and smelled amazing. Served on a jet black plate, the red shell and tomato with green leaves looked striking and incredibly appetising, while the portion size was very generous. I can understand why this is one of the chef’s signature dishes – it tasted wonderful; the sweet flavours of the finely cut tomato and the tender, tasty crab made this a ten out of ten for me!
Meanwhile, Nick had opted for the scallops with duck foie gras, wild mushrooms, spinach vermouth and jus gras and he was equally as pleased as me. He said the delicate scallop was well matched with the foie gras, which was also delicate, but rich in flavour. Both were well complimented with a potato crisp, which gave the plate of food a much needed crunch. The earthy flavours of the mushrooms and foie gras were powerful but not overpowering to the other elements on plate. Nick was pleased at the good portion size and he also enjoyed a glass of oak smoked Chardonnay, which he said complimented the food very well.
After the success of our starters, we were very much looking forward to the rest of our meal. We had both opted for the main course of white halibut, abalone, pork belly, sunshokes, hazelnut, jus gras and sea spinach. The big piece of halibut on each plate was fried, giving it a nice, crispy texture on one side and the plump, meaty fish went really well with the tasty spinach as well as our side dish of pomme frites. The smoked pork belly was meaty, rough, full of flavour and very delicious. The sunshoke (Jerusalem artichoke) purée was not my favourite flavour but the crisps were very nice and the abalone (molluscs) didn’t look overly appetising but they did taste great. Again, the dish looked and smelled incredible – your senses are all involved when enjoying a meal at One-O-One, it makes the experience all that more pleasing.
For our final courses it felt like someone, somewhere, knew I had been longing for it – a dish rarely spotted on a restaurant menu, but one I had been keeping my eye trained to spot – the chocolate soufflé. A Manjari chocolate souffle-fondant sat in a ramekin aboard a black slate, which also housed a chocolate coated prune, Armagnac ice cream and was sprinkled with chopped up pieces of chocolate. The rich, delicate and mallowy soufflé was perfect, the prune was lovely and the ice cream was a fresh, tasty element to soften the intense flavours. The chocolate pieces added little crunches throughout and, quite honestly, I was in heaven with this dessert and I tried to savour every bite as best as I could. Nick, although not having quite the sweet tooth as myself, very much enjoyed his dessert of white chocolate, juniper berries, sablé, lemon sorbet and gin and tonic jelly. He commented that it was a light and refreshing dish with a good balance of flavours and textures. The sablé, a French shortbread cookie, added a crunchy element to an otherwise smooth dish. His favourite element was the sorbet, which was sharp and flavoursome and he felt the whole dish was really well executed.
It is safe to say that we both really enjoyed our dinners at One-O-One, the food is of excellent quality, it is very well put together and beautifully presented. Our waiter was friendly, welcoming, knowledgable about the food and wines and determined to help us on our way to having a great experience.
Before our evening at One-O-One had begun we had been invited over to No 11 Pimlico Road to sample a selection of their finest cocktails. With 21 cocktails to choose from we were hard pressed not to find something to our liking to spark up our Saturday night. From an Aperol Spritz to a Pineapple and Sage Mojito to a Chocolate Manhattan, there are an array of sweet, savoury and zingy creations to choose from. The atmosphere was buzzing and the cocktails were well priced – our favourites here were the refreshing and fruity Marmalade Champagne Cocktail, the rich and smooth Espresso Martini and the fizzy and fresh Classic Bellini (served with Champagne or Prosecco.)
In a nutshell
Growing up in a coastal town, I have always been spoiled when it comes to eating fresh and delicious seafood. Not only does One-O-One give you the finest principle elements, it serves them in ways I had not tasted before. The quality and effort put into each plate is clear to see, making the restaurant well worth a visit. And in case I didn’t mention it, the soufflé was a dream!
Address: The Park Tower, 101 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7RN