Loch Fyne, Queen Charlotte Street: May 2016 Review

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This piece comes from Michaela Parker. You can see Michaela’s reviews for Bristol Bites here

 

Sitting in an unassuming corner spot by Queen Square lies Loch Fyne – a seafood and grill restaurant which has been highly recommended to me a thousand times, yet surprisingly, this was the first time I’d passed through its doors. One of 37 restaurants in the UK, the chain boasts shellfish and smoked fish that still comes direct from the shores of its namesake loch in Scotland as well a warm and friendly welcome which was certainly present, if a little rushed, as we arrived for our Thursday evening feast.

We were sat down at our table and our waitress quickly came over and introduced herself to us and took us through the menu. I’m not a fan of this process at the best of times as it can often come across as a little automated and this was no different. She spoke so quickly, we missed half of what was said, rendering the whole rigmarole pointless – Emma commented that she reminded her of an air hostess!

After foraging a drinks menu from a neighbouring table (we didn’t have one on ours), we ordered some refreshments – a large Pinot Grigio (£6.95) for me and a glass of Prosecco (£4.95) for Emma – and started perusing the menu. There was so much choice – a beautiful selection of mussels and oysters, with more flavours than I ever thought existed when it came to these things, and the new ‘In A Roll’ menu featuring a favourite of mine, the delectable fish finger sandwich – but I was determined to eat ‘From The Sea’ and was spoilt for choice.

After much deliberation, I started with Salt and Pepper Squid (£6.50) from the new menu and Emma chose the Pan Fried Chilli & Garlic King Prawns (£6.50). Both were fantastic choices and we devoured them! The balance of seasoning was perfect and Szechuan pepper served with the squid added a lovely zing to each bite. The sweet chilli sauce it was served with wasn’t your average sweet chilli sauce, though – more of a soy-based sauce with a nice kick but it worked really well with the dish, actually nicer than the side sauce I had been expecting! Emma loved the prawns – not too much chilli and the prawns were really succulent and tasty.

 

Loch Fyne - Salt and Pepper Squid

Loch Fyne - Garlic King Prawns

 

Next came the main event which, sadly, was a little more disappointing, at least for me. I had ordered the Prawn and King Prawn Jambalaya (£15.95) which just didn’t pack the punch I was hoping for. Not on the chilli stakes – the heat was there in perfect measures, but it was just incredibly underwhelming. The dish looked frankly boring on the plate – served in a dish without garnish, it looked quite bland. And more importantly, it tasted like something I could easily cobble together myself, which I hate when eating out. I immediately wished I had ordered the lobster or the Salmon Teriyaki I had also been torn between.

 

Loch Fyne - Jambalaya

 

Emma’s Duo of Lamb with Smoked Aubergine Purée (£19.50) fared better, though – she really enjoyed the eastern vibe of the chickpeas paired with preserved lemon and pomegranate seeds and the rump of lamb was tender, succulent and packed with taste. The only complaint lay with the pressed lamb shoulder – which she found a little dry but overall, a good choice as a non-fish option.

 

Loch Fyne - Lamb

 

Almost too full for pudding (but not quite!), I ordered the lemon tart with lemon meringue mess (£5.50) and it was sadly a repeat of the main course. The tart’s pastry was soggy and despite the filling being deliciously tangy, this spoilt it for me. And the lemon meringue mess featured no meringue – it was essentially just a lemon flavoured whipped cream! Still good, but not as described.

 

Loch Fyne - Lemon Tart

 

Emma was feeling brave and had ordered the Tasting Ashet (£9.95), featuring tastes of most of the dessert menu! The banana and chocolate split with burnt butter ice cream was the highlight and the first to be devoured. The saltiness in the caramel sauce worked well with the banana and chocolate. The orange polenta cake was moist and sweet and I quite liked the vanilla cheesecake too but Emma wasn’t so sure. Somehow we managed most of it between us and it left us stuffed!

 

Loch Fyne - Tasting Ashet

 

Overall, a good meal but after the anticipation beforehand, we were left a little disappointed by the food. Good fish and seafood alone maketh not a meal – Loch Fyne need to pay a little mind to the other elements too and we’d have enjoyed it a lot more.

 

Please note: our meal was received free of charge, but this in no way impacted on our opinion. We were not obliged to write a positive review, and the venue did not see this review before it was put up on the site.

 

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