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Loch Fyne (Restaurant)

Picture of Loch Fyne in West End, London

2-4 Catherine Street, Covent Garden, West End, London, WC2B 5JS
Cuisine: Seafood
Tel: 02072404999 | Email to Loch Fyne | Transport: Covent Garden | Write review

Loch Fyne Review

Best for: well cooked fresh fish at reasonable prices.

Great: fresh seafood, service, and wine.

I have one rule when I eat out: pick something that I can’t (or won’t) cook for myself. Now, I should add that whilst I’m by no means a Michelin starred chef, I can cook. If you throw a selection of random ingredients at me, I can usually turn them into a meal.

Fish and seafood, however, elude me. Cooking them is a fine balance of timing and flavours: too long and they can be dry and rubbery; too little will make you rather ill; add too many spices and herbs and you overpower the fish; not enough and it becomes bland and tasteless. 

Frankly, the effort usually leaves me disappointed and with a lingering fishy smell throughout the house; not a winner with the housemates.

So it was with some excitement that I wove my way through the tourists and workers in the ever-popular Covent Garden to find Loch Fyne restaurant, the West End branch of this seafood restaurant chain. A whole menu full of dishes I couldn’t cook myself, I thought, however will I choose?

Loch Fyne may be a chain but this restaurant certainly didn’t feel like one. The spacious layout, with plenty of natural light, and a gentle hubbub of tinkling cutlery and content diners give it a distinctly Parisian brasserie vibe; not unlike my own kitchen (maybe).

Close your eyes, though, and take in the delicious smells of fresh fish and you could swear you were by the seaside; you can even taste the sea salt on your lips.

Whilst the décor wasn’t to my personal taste – the ceramic white tiles reminded me a bit too much of a fish & chip shop – the service more than made up for it.

Attentive, helpful, knowledgeable, but most of all, passionate about the food - more than dining guests could expect at my house - our waitress was quick to drag us up to the fish counter to show us the fish, lobsters, clams and other seafood; all delivered fresh on a daily basis and sustainably sourced.

When it came to choosing our food and drink, her advice made it that much easier. A delicious and very reasonably priced bottle of white wine – a Picpoul de Pinet - was only the start.

Gravlax, we were told, was too good to be missed, as was the potted crab.  Not one to turn my nose up at a good recommendation, I complied, noting that neither myself or my fellow diner had ever even attempted either of the dishes at home (bloody amateurs)! 

Cured for a week in salt, sugar and dill, drizzled with fresh honey and accompanied with warm bread, the tender and flavoursome gravlax was a solid winner.
 
For mains, after some considerable debate – the only thing we agreed that we cook at home was the smoked salmon tagliatelle - we opted for the whole baked sea bass with chili and coriander from the specials menu and a bream dish served with scallops and clams. There former was plentiful and its beautifully tender flesh had a great depth of flavour; the latter was delicate, perfectly complimented by samphire and spinach (the fish on its own would’ve been laboriously bland).

The crevettes in our seafood side order were a little rubbery but the mussels were some of the best I’ve tasted, so much that, despite the fact I’ve been known to cook them myself, I regretted not having them as a main.
 
The portion sizes were surprisingly generous and although we were utterly full, our greed got the better of us as we eyed up the dessert menu; the crème brulée gave a satisfying crunch when the glazing broke and the custard had a lovely vanilla taste.

The cheese board – all from the UK - was the perfect way to top off the meal, especially as we were treated to a glass of a port.

Loch Fyne may be part of a chain, but the quality of the food wasn’t that of one and neither was the service. With prices ranging from £11-£22 for a main, it’s the kind of place you’d be comfortable taking your mum, a group of friends, or even a date.

It might not be top of my list when seeking a restaurant in Covent Garden, but I would never turn down the opportunity to go there again. Just think of all the other dishes on the menu I have yet to try, and couldn’t possibly cook myself.
...read more

Customer Reviews for Loch Fyne

Average (based on 1 votes): 1 Atmosphere: Value: Quality:

The following customer reviews are not endorsed by Fluid London and are simply those of users who wish to publish their independent experiences of Loch Fyne.

“A very satisfying way to spend the evening. Superbly cooked food with a non-fussy execution which suited my palate to a tee. I wouldn't hesitate to go back to this lovely restaurant. A sure fire winner for a hungry diner with a taste for something by the sea.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Daisy Smith, London (5 years 6 months 4 days ago)

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Additional Information

  • Cuisine Type: Seafood
  • Dress Code: Not Specified
  • Group: Loch Fyne

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