Restaurant review: Loch FyneBy Jennie Slevin
January 30, 2013
When asked if I would like to dine at Loch Fyne, I was nervous.
Having recently had a bad experience with an oyster, I’d sworn off shellfish, but looking at the menu I couldn’t resist.
Scallops and Black Pudding (£16.95) has been a combination I’ve been tempted to try for years but it’s often seemed confusing to me.
From the look of them, I’ve always assumed scallops have a delicate taste but there’s something really robust about them that stood out against the meatiness from the crisp shards of black pudding.
I’ve been told they can often be chewy, but the chefs at Loch Fyne must have done a good job in cooking them as these were tender and moist.
The dish was served with a minted pea puree and baby leeks, giving a fresh, cleansing break from the rich, meaty flavours.
I also added a side helping of samphire, another thing I’ve been interested to taste but never had the opportunity.
To start, I had the Potted Smoked Peppered Mackerel with toasted bloomer (£4.95).
The large chunks of smoked fish had been blended into a coarse pâté and were served in a tiny jar on a piece of black slate.
The presentation was very pretty and turned a fairly standard starter into something quite special and fun to eat.
There’s nothing better to drink with fish than white wine and our waiter recommended the Awatere Pass Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand. At £8.95 a glass it may be more than most people are willing to spend, but it had a nice acidic kick which worked well with the creamy pate.
My partner stuck to beer and, despite a limited selection, was very happy with a pint of Peroni (£4.25) which he drank alongside his starter of Tempura Battered Squid with chilli jam (£6.25).
Like the scallops, the squid wasn’t overcooked (as can so often be the case), instead the hoops of lightly battered fish were light and soft and although my companion didn’t make the most of the sweet and sticky chilli sauce, I liked the heat it gave the dish.
He followed the squid with the menu’s crowning glory, Lobster Frites (£23.95).
The menu told us the lobster had apparently come all the way from Canada.
Being a British chain with its roots on the west coast of Scotland perhaps the pleasure would have been greater if the food was slightly more local, but the flavour was incredible.
As the enormous pink crustacean was carried from the kitchen, my partner’s eyes widened, and I could tell he was going to struggle to eat it. To his credit, he finished the lot, saving only a tiny morsel for me to sample.
Beginning to end, the Loch Fyne menu is full of meals you’d never be brave enough to cook at home and there’s an impressive choice even if you’re not the most adventurous visitor.
If you’re on a diet you don’t need to fret either as the Fish, Your Way section of the menu gives you choice on how your food is cooked. Diners can choose between salmon, hake or bream and they can have it pan-fried, grilled or steamed, chose a sauce and add two side dishes, perfect for the perfectionist who knows exactly what they want or those wanting to stick to a healthy eating plan.
Loch Fyne has created a special menu for Valentines Day celebrations. For more information call (0118) 912 3260.
- Telephone: 0118 9123260
- Website: www.lochfyne-restaurants.com
- Address: Loch Fyne