"When your family have been fishermen and fish restaurateurs for over three generations, you either love fish and cooking or you don't," says Pascal Proyart, chef at the newly refurbished and relaunched One-O-One restaurant in the Sheraton Park Tower, Knightsbridge. And, judging from the enormous seafood menu, the elegant marine design and fishy motifs in this 100-seat restaurant, he clearly belongs to the former category.
Growing up in his father's restaurant on the Brittany coast, Proyart received an informal education in fishing, diving and cooking before training at Les Sorbets hotel school in France. He has worked for some of the world's top Michelin chefs, including Jacques Le Divellec in Paris and Yves Mattagne at the Seagrill restaurant in Brussels, arriving in London two-and-a-half years ago to oversee the redesign of Sheraton Park Tower's original One-O-One restaurant.
Proyart and his 12-strong kitchen brigade cook lunch and evening menus that, collectively, offer more than 20 starters and 23 main courses in set-price form (£21 or £32 for two courses at lunch and dinner respectively; £25 or £42 for three courses).
Oyster, langoustine, haddock, salmon, lobster, red mullet, Dover sole, red tuna and turbot dishes prepared in classical style all make an appearance, but although the menu is extensive, some seafoods feature heavily, albeit in a variety of guises.
Sea bass, for instance, appears as a main offering either filleted and served with caviare and shallot cream sauce (for a £10 supplement); or roasted and served with artichoke barigoule sauce; or, if neither of these dishes appeals, flavoured with Asian spices and accompanied by pak choi.
For the scallop fancier, the starter selection offers Scottish scallops glazed in truffle sauce accompanied by copeaux of smoked foie gras; or served on a bed of sea lettuce with watercress cream sauce; or marinated in lemon and olive oil and served with sautéd fois gras and shallot croustillant.
Concessions to the non-fish-eater come in the form of a pigeon and a chicken dish among the main offerings, and a couple of beef choices: a starter of carpaccio served with pan-fried fois gras in hazelnut oil accompanied by a wild rocket Parmesan salad with truffle dressing, and a classically simple main offering of fillet of beef roasted in butter, which is dished up with a red Burgundy sauce.
Covers are currently running at about 70 per service with customers able to choose from an extensive and eclectic wine list of about 160 wines with representatives from both the Old and New Worlds.
One-O-One, Sheraton Park Tower, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7RN. Tel: 0171-235 6067