“ 17 King Street Nottingham. tel = 0115 9508481 „
Located right in the heart of Nottingham city centre, just a stones throw from the bus and tram stops, Loch Fyne is a small restaurant that specializes in seafood and fish dishes, many of the ingredients being provided by their sister company, Loch Fyne Oysters.
We visited a couple of weeks ago. It wasn't our first visit; we'd been several times before. As well as myself, my parents were also with me as they were celebrating their 26th wedding anniversary, and with the restaurant being one of the smarter places to eat in Nottingham, the relaxed and cosy atmosphere made it a lot less stuffy, and perfect for a treat.
Its a relatively small restaurant, only seating 56 people, and it has a friendly and relaxed atmosphere at any time of day. Because of its early closing time, 9.30, it also has the advantage of being drunkard free. Tables are small and cosy, and the decoration celebrates seafood, and Scotland, brilliantly, without feeling like you've descended into some kind of bagpipe blowing, kilt wearing hell. The staff is smartly attired, and presentable.
At the rear of the restaurant is a fresh fish counter - Not only can you purchase fresh fish and seafood to take home at the end of the evening, but you can even see the staff removing the fish to cook your meal. The kitchen is also visible towards the rear of the restaurant through a small hatch, and you can witness the chefs preparing the food.
What we ate:
We each ordered a starter and a main course, as well as several side dishes to share. The menu had a decent variety of fish and seafood dishes, as well as vegetarian and meat dishes.
Our starters were: Loch Fyne Kippers - £6.95, Thai Spiced Mussels - £5.95, and Peppered Mackerel Pate and oatcakes -£4.95
Our Main courses were: Fried Garlic butter king prawns with a Provencal sauce -£10.95, Pan fried fillet of Shetland Cod with vegetable ratatouille - £14.95 and
Glen Fyne sausages with mashed herbed potato and red onion gravy - £8.95
We also ordered side orders of Mash, New potatoes, and seasonal vegetables to share between us.
How it tasted
The starters took about 15 minutes to arrive, which considering the meals were freshly cooked to order (we saw the staff member running the fish counter choosing the fish for our dishes and passing them to the chefs) is a pretty good time.
My kippers were juicy and moist, lavishly buttered and almost falling apart at the touch of a fork. They were presented butterfly style rather than two separate fillets, the fish is sliced down the middle and then opened. They had a strong smokey flavour, and a delicious saltiness to them.
My parents seemed very happy with their starters also- My dad polished off his Pate in a matter of minutes, and my mum praised the flavorings used on the mussels. I personally hate mussels, but I did scoop up and try some of the juice from my mums I could taste chilli, lemongrass, and ginger, and it was a delicious combination.
Having allowed us a few minutes after our starter, the waiter (again with a smile!) served us with our main course and side orders.
My prawns were plump and juicy, and the garlic was not overwhelming. The Provencal sauce was rich with fresh tomatoes, wine, and garlic, and provided the perfect accompaniment. My mums Cod was a generous fillet, which she pronounced the perfect size, and the ratatouille served with it was fresh tasting, with all the different vegetable flavors coming through.
My dads sausages came in a small dish, with the mash and gravy served separately. There were 4 sausages, of about finger thickness, and they looked brown and succulent. The mashed potato was flavoured with garlic, butter, and spring onion amongst other things, and the gravy was rich and thick.
Overall, we were all incredibly impressed with our food the freshness was evident as we saw our fish being taken from the counter prior to cooking, and the portions while not huge, were more than enough to keep us satisfied. Presentation was excellent - at one point a neighboring table ordered a hot and cold seafood platter, which was carried past our table. It looked like a wonderful, colorful carnival hat, and we made a mental note to order one to share on our next visit.
We were welcomed by a smiling waitress as we entered who took our reservation details and then seated our party of three in a comfortable table towards the back of the restaurant. Our table was to seat four, so she removed the extra place setting to give us more room to spread out, and presented us with the menus and the wine list. She then left us alone to make our decisions, and told us to feel free to ask her any questions about the menu.
She returned a few minutes later to take our drink order. Although the wine list was impressively large, we didnt order wine, as my mother is teetotal, my dad was on a diet, and I just dont drink wine much .We ordered a lime and soda, an orange juice, and a glass of cider, all of which were delivered to our table, this time by a male waiter, who gave us a cheerful smile, and asked us if we were ready to make our food choices.
Having been chattering away, we hadnt even looked at the menu yet, so asked for another few minutes, which the waiter cheerfully allowed us before returning to take the order. We also made requests for my mums dishes to be cooked without wine, which was no problem at all.
I liked the fact that we were not rushed to order, and nor were we rushed through the courses. Many restaurants seem to bring out one course immediately after you finish the other, a practice I despise, as it doesnt allow the flavours from the first course to disappear. Loch Fyne however allowed us plenty of time to rest between courses, even checking we were ready for our main course before bringing it out.
The restaurant was spotless. Tables were cleared promptly as customers left, the toilets were not only clean, but smelled very pleasant, and what we could see of the kitchen through the hatch was also very clean. The chefs wore gloves and a hairnet, which is something I always like to see in a restaurant.
As you can see from the dishes we ordered, Loch Fyne is certainly not cheap but its not overpriced either. For what you pay, you get excellent service, generously sized portions, and a comfortable atmosphere. Altogether, including several rounds of drinks, our meal came to around £70, which had we split it three ways (we didnt, it was my treat to my parents) would have come to £23.50ish a head, which was very reasonable.
I cannot fault my experience here. The service was excellent, the meal was freshly prepared, well presented and delicious, the restaurant was clean and comfortable, and the value for money was great.
Obviously with this having been a repeat visit, you already know I like this place, and this visit made me like it even more. Ill definitely return!
Loch Fyne - Nottingham
17 King Street
Tel: 0115 988 6840
Fax: 0115 988 6841
Mon-Thurs 9am to 9.30pm
Fri 9am to 10pm
Sat 10am to 10pm
Thank you for reading!