There's no natural light while the electric lights are turned down low, to try and give it perhaps a romantic atmosphere. Any pretence to such atmosphere is however shattered by the noise drifting along the corridor from the adjacent George pub which is also part of the Andaz Hotel. Piped jazz into the restaurant does little to hide the background noise of a pub full of drinkers. I can only think this was a dead space in the hotel that, in an ill conceived moment, they thought to turn into a restaurant.
The reason I had chosen to eat at here in the first place is that on my recent visit to Duck & Waffle, passing Catch on the way, I saw they advertised Norwegian King Crab as a starter on their menu. It stuck in my mind and made me think they are serious about seafood. One-O-One attached to the Sheraton Park Tower in Knightsbridge is a remarkable seafood restaurant and shows that hotel restaurants can be first class and I was hoping Catch would be in the same mould.
When I placed my order for the king crab, I was told that it was not available today which was a disappointing start. The waiter told me that dressed crab was available instead which hardly seemed like an adequate substitute. Deflated, I went with it anyhow.
The dressed crab came but was nothing special, the food feeling generic like the hotel setting. The waiter too, while he was polite and did everything he should do like asking me if the dish was okay, gave the impression that his heart wasn't really in it, as if the very setting itself was sapping his energy. The sommelier showed the most enthusiasm, a credit in a room that radiates apathy.
For the main course, North East Arctic cod with lemon & ricotta tortellini and peas (£24). Sadly uninspiring in every way with a presentation that even a home cook should aspire to surpass; tasting it did nothing to lift my flagging spirits. The pasta on the tortellini was thick and rubbery (and left on the plate), while the cod lacked any sparkle offering up a texture more often mushy than flaky. At this price, it simply wasn't good enough, one only has to look to Bibendum earlier in the week where the hake on the '£30 for three courses' lunch menu was a league better.
I declined dessert. The ever enthusiastic sommelier smilingly brought some chocolate truffles to the table for me while I settled the bill, which proved to be, sadly, the best part of the meal.