Renowned for bringing fresh fish and seafood to the inner cities and restaurant-next-doors, Loch Fyne is a great example of praising good produce and making the most of the simple things.
It’s always nice to fight for our local produce, too – well, Scotland local, but that definitely still counts – and see it appearing in all its glory upon our plates.
So, we decided to dip into our local Loch Fyne Bristol and try some of their new and classic dishes, breezing through the A La Carte menu on a sunny, hungry day.
We visited at lunch time, where there is also a 2 or 3 course set menu available for £10.95 and £12.95 respectively (amazing value actually, if you happen to be asking). However, we chose from the A La Carte Loch Fyne menu.
Loch Fyne Review – Starters
When it comes to a choice of starters or desserts, I’ll always pick starters. With the variety of fresh seafood on offer here – Loch Fyne even has an in-house fishmongers – that decision was made even easier.
Some of the dishes on offer here were refreshingly unique too, even if they evolved from some classics. The Mushy Pea Fritters were a great example – a Fish and Chip shop classic reinvented for the sit-down restaurant was a must-try in our books.
We also decided to indulge in some Salt and Pepper Squid, Pan-Fried Chilli and Garlic King Prawns – to truly represent the seafood on offer – and the Haggis and Cheddar Spring Rolls.
The latter were the most intriguing of all.
Mushy Pea Fritters – £4.50
When ordering something like this, there are certain things you worry about – too much or too heavy a batter, over-cooked filling or simply an oily hodge-podge of potentially delicious things.
This didn’t bring anything worrying to the table though. Instead, beautifully crispy batter covered mushy peas to create a mouthful that almost felt like an English pakora. However weird that sounds.
The wasabi mayonnaise was also a joy. It made for a lovely accompaniment, and wasn’t overly hot or too overpowering – essential when you’re trying to nestle alongside soft and delicate mushy peas.
Plus, there were five, so between the four of us we had one spare. That’s always a positive.
Salt and Pepper Squid – £6.25
This is always the go-to, and in a seafood-friendly restaurant you’d be silly to avoid.
The unique approach Loch Fyne take to this classic dish involved the wonderful crunch of the szechuan peppercorn and sesame seeds, which helped enhance the texture that can often be lost.
Long-story-short, salt and pepper squid is great, and this was a great salt and pepper squid.
Pan-Fried Chilli and Garlic King Prawns – £6.50
Appropriately big and juicy prawns cooked ever so simply – let those flavours sing, and why not – placed alongside some soft and doughy bread is a dream.
The oil made for great dipping too, which is essential (though a pleasant surprise – we were worried that the oil was for cooking and we’d be presented with a dry plate).
Inevitable mopping-up took place, which is the greatest compliment you can give.
Haggis and Cheddar Spring Rolls – £4.50
This dish scared quite a few of the group. Haggis is one of those dishes thats bark is far worse than its bite.
After all, in a restaurant famed for Scottish produce, how could you ignore wonderfully spiced meat, blended through with a good cheesy hit? The flavours balanced well, and were definitely an intriguing combination.
Mustard mayonnaise provided an added kick of spice and flavour that worked wonderfully too. Something about mustard and crispy filo pastry works incredibly well, despite it being a combination you wouldn’t expect to find very often.
Here’s hoping to seeing it more!
Loch Fyne Review – Mains
After a healthy selection of starters (so-to-speak) we were intrigued by some of the lighter mains and again, dishes that let the fish speak for itself.
As a result, two of our diners decided to indulge in the fish ‘Cooked Your Way’ – a dish that basically allows you to build your dish from scratch.
Add alongside a crab and lobster burger – brioche buns are forever a weak spot – and the new-to-the-menu half roast chicken for some non-fish-influence – and we had ourselves quite the combination of mains to try.
Half Roast Chicken – £12.50
It’s nice to make sure that not *everyone* ends up eating fish, so we indulged in the half roast chicken to change things up.
Resting happily among the ‘From the Land’ selection, the lovingly roasted chicken – served in its juices, naturally – also came rather intriguingly with crushed avocado, bacon and baby gem lettuce.
We added chips to round off the full dish, but those minor sides added something unique that other restaurants wouldn’t consider.
Crab and Lobster Burger – £16.95
The combination of flavours and textures in this burger was pretty interesting – a fishcake-esque crab patty had a touch of crisp and flake, smothered with prawn-cocktail-styled lobster meat and wrapped up in a brioche bun.
Although towards the end of the meal things got a little soggy – there’s only so long any brioche bun can hold out, after all – every mouthful was a good one, covering a variety of textures and tastes.
That, my friends, is everything you want from a burger, after all. As Loch Fyne themselves quote, “sometimes, everything just tastes better in bread”.
Fish Your Way – £14-£20
The everyday A La Carte menu now features this rather wonderful option, letting you pick your choice of fish – Salmon, Cod and a wide variety included – grill, steam or fry it to perfection, and add your choice of sauce and sides.
We doubled-up on this option, picking out the salmon and the cod and double-dipping on the hollandaise sauce. The sides though, were a true revelation – between the broccoli with chopped almonds, green salad, japanese brown rice and samphire, we tried some really delicious and definitely unique sides that won’t be appearing in many High Street restaurants on the regular.
It made this dish wonderfully flexible, and the custom-creation of something with a variety of flavours and textures is a really nice touch.
If you’d like to revisit your seafood game and try something new – or dip into an old favourite – then you can make a pretty healthy saving with vouchercloud too.
You can check out all of our Loch Fyne discounts and see if your next meal could be just as delicious, but cost a little bit less!