It may be part of a chain but this wonderful fish restaurant serves arguably the best seafood in town.
A stone’s throw from the hustle and bustle of Market Square, Loch Fyne has made a name for itself among the locals as the place to go if you want decent seafood. From oysters to smoked salmon; you name it, they stock it.
You can feel guilt-free at Loch Fyne as they assure that their fish is only sourced from sustainable stock.
The restaurant has retained the character of the old building it occupies. It has low ceilings, nooks and crannies to hide away in, and large, old windows that let in light and provide views of the passers-by.
The decor is stripped to bare essentials, with pale wood furniture and white walls. The only colour is the flashes of deep green in the pictures of Loch Fyne that decorate the bare walls, adding a sense of serene nature to the restaurant.
The decor's lack of fuss is echoed in the casual atmosphere. Customers are mostly local, and are of all ages and types, from scruffy students to dignified elderly gentlemen. They all share one thing - a love of seafood.
The environmentally friendly ethos adds a more caring spin to the usual restaurant atmosphere, and the staff are pleasant, with a down-to-earth attitude.
A gentle hum of chatter always fills the restaurant, but there are areas where it's a bit more peaceful.
The menu covers almost every seafood, from their famous oysters and smoked salmon to their more adventurous dishes like goan fish curry (and there are even a couple of meat dishes and a vegetarian option too, if you’ve been dragged along against your will).
Prices vary greatly, from £1.50 for an oyster to £30 for a lobster, but all the prices are fair considering the quality. The £11 two-course set menu is a steal for lunchtime and is extremely popular with the locals.
For starters, the Loch Fyne fish soup is a deliciously light dish. Its warm orange tone and fresh seafood smell are enticing. Though it's difficult to pinpoint exact ingredients the combination is wonderful, creating a delicate fish flavour that's creamy and well-balanced, with a subtle hint of citrus and parsley.
The whole sole is a good example of how fresh white fish should be cooked. Served on the bone, it’s bursting with flavour and is soft, moist and delicious. The garlic butter adds a rich creamy quality to the dish but doesn’t overpower the fish's flavour. Unfortunately you have to order vegetables separately.
Pear and rhubarb crumble is also a delight as the fruit is still chunky and the sharpness of the rhubarb with the mellow sweetness of pear is an ideal combination. The heat of the dessert contrasts nicely with the cool vanilla cream that comes with it.
The extensive wine list is a broad range of crisp, floral and rich white wines and some light red wines to complement the fish. Prices range from £13.50 to £42.
All the wine is sourced from local organic producers, so you can drink and be proud of yourself at the same time.
The Last Word
A decent restaurant serving fresh seafood in a relaxing environment. It may not be extraordinary but it’s the beauty of simplicity that wins over the customers.