Newest Review: ... cost! I like the fact you can also purchase fresh fish/seafood from the counter at the Bluewater restaurant and they are always happy to... more
A haven for fish lovers
Loch Fyne Restaurants in general
Member Name: emmi2009
Loch Fyne Restaurants in general
Advantages: Wonderful selection of fresh fish
Disadvantages: Little choice for vegetarians or meat eaters
I have been to Loch Fyne a number of times - mainly to the one in Chelmsford but once also to the one in Bluewater. I have had varied experiences and despite two terrible ones i would say this is one of my favourite restaurants.
Loch Fyne started with one restaurant in Scotland on the banks of the Loch Fyne and although i have never visited, my dad has and assures me it's very picturesque! They aim to make sure all their fish meets their high standards as well as maintaning their ethics choosing the most environmentally friendly ways to source their fish.
You can even order fish directly from them to your home if you want to impress friends at a dinner party or if you want to cheat their restaurants have a take away service. You can find a ten pound off voucher when you purchase two main courses on their website although it can take up to a day to arrive in your email box.
They also have a light menu available where you can get a starter, main course, glass of wine and a side for around £12 although the menu is limited as would be expected.
The Chelmsford branch that i regularly visit is tucked away next to the river with a fantastic outside area which is decked. The interior is fresh and inviting with large wooden tables and is very spacious. The staff are exceptionally friendly particularly the greeter sarah who always ensures your table is in a position you would like and genuninely seems to have the time to talk to you even when busy. The staff and waiters are all poilte and friendly and the service is brilliant - if sometimes a little slow during peak times.
The menu is hugely varied on the fish front although if you don't eat fish (like my partner) or you are a vegetarian the choices are severely limited. As i say i have had a number of experiences and two of them were bad. I will start with these first as it's best to end on a high note......
My first bad experience was at the Bluewater branch of Loch Fyne. We ordered mussels to share and i had bream as a main course. They were both absolutely delicious, but around three hours later driving down the a12 i had to pull over to be sick, and after that was violently sick for a whole evening which was a real shame as it was my friend's 30th birthday! I put it down to the mussels although the other two people i shared the bowl with were absolutely fine. Then i went with a friend a few weeks later and we shared the loch fyne platter. This was a real experience for me as i had never had oysters before or even peeled my own prawns. I really enjoyed it and even tried a couple of the mussels although i must say i didn't enjoy them the way i had before. After this i decided to steer clear of mussels as it really made me feel ill eating them. I then went with my dad and his business partner a few weeks later and decided to have the salmon in whisky and shellfish sauce. This sauce had mussels in but i decided to only eat one. The salmon was absolutely perfect and you couldn't fault it at all. Unfortunately i decided to meet my partner at a bar about an hour later and within minutes i was in the toilet being sick and by the time i was home it was coming from both ends (sorry!). I was violently ill again to the extreme that i had to actually sleep on the bathroom floor. Since then i have completely avoided mussels and all shellfish and haven't had any trouble. Everytime i have a meal there it's delicious.
As a starter i would recommend the Loch Fyne ashet (you can also have this as a main course) or the salmon with wasabi and soy sauce or the goats cheese tart. Before the starter they always bring out some fresh bread and butter so if you aren't too hungry you might not need starters. As for mains the lobster is delicious but very expensive and quite messy and fiddly to eat. The fishcakes are always fab as is the fish pie and the smoked haddock on mash is delicious if you want something more filling. On my last visit i tried the salmon from the grill and it was probably the best i've ever had. My boyfriend has had steak there a couple of times and been very impressed.
As i say it's all a bit more expensive than you might pay in other restaurants - i would say a two course meal with wine can be anything from £30 a head to £60 a head depending on what you order.
One more thing is that they quite often run out of things which can be frustrating but this is due to the seasons and also the fact that they source their fish in scotland.
Summary: One of my favourite restaurants for a healthy meal