Restaurant review: Loch Fyne

Where we dined:
Loch Fyne. Duke Street, Ipswich

Monday 12th November was me and my boyfriend’s anniversary and when deciding where to go for dinner that night, he suggested Loch Fyne. We’d never been before, but heard good things from people – plus he’d been saying for ages he’d take me! What better occasion than four years together.
The restaurant itself is located just before you reach the waterfront and docks, as well as being on the outskirts of the town centre – meaning you miss all that hustle and bustle but still have a really lovely dining experience, despite the traffic outside.
As we went early-ish on the Monday evening, it wasn’t very busy – there were only two other couples sitting in the same area of the restaurant as us – but it made the overall experience more enjoyable, with that intimate touch. The staff themselves were very attentive and didn’t leave us sitting or waiting around. Sometimes you get those waiting staff that are overly keen and end up being an annoyance, but not at Loch Fyne.
The decor inside was relatively simple, but still elegant. Although it was dark by the time we went, I imagine in the height of summer the interior is bright and airy – there are a lot of windows, allowing natural light in – and there is also an alfresco dining section. We were sat by the window, giving us the opportunity to people watch, but were also positioned next to the blackboard which highlighted plans and deals for over the festive period.

What we drank:
Jake – a pint of Peroni (on draft)
Me – a large glass of Pinot Grigio

Loch Fyne have an extensive wine list and being a restaurant specialising in fish and seafood, predominantly have white wines on the menu – although there a number of reds and rosés, as well as sparkling wines and champagnes on offer. Most of the wines are available by the glass (175ml or 250) and all can be ordered by the bottle, with prices ranging from £13.95 (house wine) to £29.95 (Châteauneuf-du-Pape).

What we ate:
Jake – Scottish Aberdeen Angus char-grilled burger followed by luxury strawberry ice cream (other flavours were: vanilla, chocolate and pistachio)
Me – Taglioline Provençale (with king prawns and squid) followed by crème brûlée (served with shortbread)

We both selected from the set menu, which is priced at £9.95 for two courses or £11.95 for three, and is available seven days a week – before 7pm on a Friday and Saturday as you’d expect, with those nights being the busiest. With the main course you are also entitled to a side dish with the options being: chips, French fries, new potatoes, mixed vegetables or seasonal salad. Having ordered a pasta dish, I opted for the salad as I didn’t really know how else to accompany my meal; especially as we previously shared a bread basket and didn’t order starters. The bread was a lovely opener with a mixture of white bloomer and wholemeal – it was definitely freshly baked and soft.
If you’re not into the limited choices within a set menu, there is also the a la carte option and the specials board, which lists a starter and three main course dishes. The starters range from oysters (which can be bought by unit, six, or half a dozen) cooked in a number of ways and accompaniments, hot and cold shellfish platters which can be shared and those who aren’t a fan of fish: a charcuterie plate. As far as main courses there are two options to have fish “your way” – the first being a standard fish and chips supper (served with chips, mushy peas and homemade tartare sauce), with your choice of fish: haddock, cod or fish fingers. The second is more of a conundrum and allows you choose your choice of fish, the way you would like it cooked, the sauce or salsa you wish to be served with it and two side dishes. There are also a couple of vegetarian and meat dishes – of course, the obligatory steak is on the menu!
I thoroughly enjoyed my first Loch Fyne experience and look forward to visiting again, particularly as there is so much of the menu I must sample! I thoroughly recommend going as well. It’s definitely a place that can be suited to couples looking for a cosy spot or somewhere to celebrate an occasion or larger-sized groups looking for somewhere fairly upmarket but quiet enough to enjoy each other’s conversation, a good glass of wine and some fresh fish!

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