London SW1X 7RN
020 7290 7 101
Monday to Sunday 12-2.30pm
Monday to Sunday 6.30-10pm
We made our reservation for 101 on toptable.com, and were careful not to be late, as we were warned that they would cancel our reservation if we were late. That didn’t give us the impression that this would be a friendly place, but seeing that so many people have given this seafood restaurant outstanding ratings, we had to try it out for ourselves. In fact, according to a sign outside the restaurant, this was voted “The country’s best fish restaurant” by Harden’s in 2010.
101 is tucked away in a quiet corner of the Sheraton Park Tower, near Kensington Tube Station. Being the blur sotongs we actually managed to not find the entrance, and we entered the restaurant from the side door instead. But that aside, this was one of the most memorable dining experiences we have ever had.
Service at 101 is impeccable. We’re always conscious of ourselves looking very young, naturally, being students, and we can definitely tell if we’re treated as lesser-customers, which we have experienced at many a good restaurant. Not at 101. Throughout the meal, we were made to feel extremely welcome and comfortable. While we were camera whoring, our server stood by patiently to wait for us to finish, and he was almost apologetic that he might have rushed us into taking our photos quicker than we would usually have.
Anyway, our meal came with the most delightful amuse bouche, and we had bread with butter 2 ways: plain butter and seaweed salted butter. The latter was absolutely amazing and we kept asking for more bread to eat it with.
Our first dish was oysters 3 ways – shallot vinegar, yuzu sorbet and vodka, and tempura with soya pipettes. The oysters were served on a beautiful salt brick, and they tasted just as fine. At £4.50pounds for 3 oysters with our toptable offer, this was amazing value for money.
Next we had Red Tuna Tartar with Crispy Soft Shell Crab Tempura and sushi rice. Once again this was exquisitely presented, as was the Norwegian King Crab Risotto with Truffle Parmesan Pancake.
We had the Whole Seabass Baked in a Crust of Brittany Sea-Salt with Shellfish Champagne Butter Sauce and Sea Lettuce Mash as our main. This was £57 (pre-offer) for a two person portion. The fish came with the sea-salt crust and it was portioned for us table-side. The texture of the fish was delicate, and it came served with a delicious mashed potato with mussels.
As a side note, the toilets thrilled one of us in particular (no prizes for guessing who). She couldn’t stop gushing about the Molton Brown hand-wash and lotion that they provided for their patrons.
Overall, the food portions were very well balanced, and even though it didn’t seem like a lot of food, we left feeling full and very satisfied by this fantastic meal. As to whether this is indeed the country’s best fish restaurant, we’re still undecided as we haven’t had experience in other seafood restaurants. However, the next seafood restaurant we go to will have an incredibly high bar to match.
Additional note: We had 50% off our food bill from the toptable website.