Simply Fish, a new sustainable fish restaurant serving produce from Cornwall with Mediterranean, Asian and Middle Eastern influences, is set to launch in Camden with two further venues planned.
The 74-cover restaurant will open in Inverness Street on 22 August but the team have already lined up sites in St Paul’s and Chiswick to expand the brand into.
The collection of restaurants will all serve fish caught and delivered daily from merchants in the Cornish town of Looe. However as opposed to choosing from a list of prescribed dishes, diners will be invited to pick the fish they want to eat and select from a number of options including how they want it cooked and what sauce they would like it served with.
The kitchen and the development of the business will be headed up by executive chef Sherif Hassan who has conceived a menu which matches the Cornwall fish, including grey mullet and sea bream, with a range of cooking styles including pan-fried, steamed and grilled.
"I have always grown up with fish, I love it," Hassan told BigHospitality. "It has always stood out to me more than anything else. There is so much technique and detail and you can do so much more with it - more than meat I think."
"My family run a fish market in Egypt so it has always been around me," he added.
The half-Egyptian, half-Irish chef joined the project around five or six weeks ago after being put in contact with business owner Chris Singham through a mutual friend in the industry while Hassan was working as the head chef at Altitude 360.
Among the options open to visitors to the restaurant will be sauces such as ginger & oyster and Thai coconut and accompaniments including Jersey new potatoes, fries and steamed jasmine rice.
Diners who aren't as keen to create their own dinner can choose from a menu which features nine starters and 13 mains including Mediterranean fish stew, Cornish crabs with garlic butter and fries alongside meat options like prime matured rib eye steak. The build-your-own fish dishes will cost £12.50 while other mains will cost from £9-14.50.
"It is not over complicated," Hassan explained. "I have always wanted to do a menu where I could put a Thai ingredient in and also do Italian, English, French and all different influences. I have created some fine-dining dishes but with more of a relaxed atmosphere."
"There are some clean cut dishes and there are also some really creative options."
The restaurant will also boast a takeaway offering for wraps, baguettes and fish and chips and a deli offering selling stocks, smoked fish and salads and whelks, jellied eels and potted shrimps.
"We don't eat enough fish - a lot of our English fish gets sold to France, Italy and Portugal. We are trying to push people to eat more fish and I think a lot of people are turning away from meat a bit more nowadays because they are more health conscious," Hassan concluded.