Restaurant: Where shall we eat fish?

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The Independent Culture
One-o-One is an odd-looking restaurant, one of those places that everyone must have noticed from the back of a taxi going up Knightsbridge, crouched down as it is beneath the rather overwhelming tower-block looks of the Sheraton Park Tower, but few have noted down in their diaries to go in. It looks like the sort of place that will be swarming with well- to-do Americans who are staying upstairs and don't feel adventurous enough to venture out into the big, bad city but will probably, none the less, have a good deal to say about it at the table next to you.

Actually, it's nicer inside than outside; the service is immaculate and unhurried, and it's quite good fun watching the sprawl of traffic along one of London's more crowded thoroughfares without being able to hear it.

It is primarily a business restaurant and, as such, is impressive - done out in dark marine colours, reflective materials and ultra-clean linen - but unromantic. And one of life's great mysteries is how anyone can keep a clear head and consume all the cream business diners seem to like. This is especially odd when you take into account that this is a fish restaurant. Chef Pascal Proyart, who came to the Sheraton Park Tower via L'Orangerie in Brussels and the Sea Grill Le Divellec in Paris, seems to have fallen in love with the sea bass.

Every chef has a right to have a favoured ingredient, but five-odd versions of the same fish is over-egging the pudding a bit. Starters were splendid - roasted sea scallops with wild mushrooms and pan-fried foie gras were delicious, though very filling - but, being one of the many who finds that sea bass once a year is plenty, I was stumped for a main course. It seemed churlish to choose from the small selection of meat dishes in a fish restaurant, so I had the bass, mostly by default. It had a nice crisp skin and the least rich sauce I could find, but still left me groaning.

One-o-One, William Street, London SW1 (0171-290 7101)


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