Loch Fyne, The Old Post Office, City Square, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2ES.
The Loch Fyne restaurant chain specialises in seafood, and also sell fresh fish and shellfish, which includes selling seafood and larder foods via home delivery. Much of the seafood they sell they also produce.
The restaurant location visited in Leeds is in the Old Post Office, near the main train station. There is limited on street parking available near the restaurant, as well as some nearby car parks, all of which are comparatively expensive to use. This area of Leeds has a number of other restaurants to choose from, not just Loch Fyne.
This Loch Fyne was visited on a Sunday lunch time, and was overall fairly quiet, although it had a constant level of business.
Inside the location there is a counter of fresh fish and shellfish inside the entrance which is available to buy. The restaurant, bar and entrance is nicely decorated and gives a feeling of quality. There are salt and pepper grinders on the tables and thick, good quality paper napkins.
The food available is primarily seafood, and can be chosen from the Main Menu, some daily specials and from Fyne Dine, which is a set menu, from which you can have two courses – a main and either a starter or a sweet – plus a side order for £10.45, or three courses, plus the side dish, for £12.45. Additional side orders, and an appetizer, can also be ordered for the full main menu price. The menu features dishes that are on the main menu, but has a much smaller selection. This menu is currently being served every day, and not just weekdays, until 7 pm.
The drinks ordered were two 330ml bottles of Coca Cola, each of which was served with a glass of ice and a wedge of lime, and a 500ml bottle of Old Speckled Hen, served in a glass. The Coke was chilled and, being in a bottle, is of a better quality than draft. Old Speckled Hen is what could be considered a fairly mainstream bottled ale.
The food chosen was ordered from the Fyne Dine menu. The available side orders on this menu are twice-cooked British potato chips, buttered new potatoes, seasonal salad, French fries and seasonal mixed vegetables.
The starters ordered were Chicken Liver Parfait and Potted Scottish Peppered Mackerel. The first of these came with a slice of the parfait, a savoury type in this case, resembling a chicken pate, a spiced apricot and cranberry chutney, which came in a small, clip-top glass jar, sometimes called a Kilner jar, and some greens which appeared to be watercress. This was accompanied by two slices of granary bread served on a separate plate.
The mackerel dish came with the peppered mackerel served, in oil by the looks of it, in a larger jar of the same type that contained the sauce for the parfait, two slices of char-grilled granary bread and some green shoots.
Each starter could have done with an extra slice of bread, as there was more parfait and mackerel than could easily be accommodated on the two provided slices.
Both dishes were very nice, and the bread was quite tasty.
The two main courses chosen were Scottish Rope-Grown Mussels and an Aberdeen Angus Char-Grilled Burger, the latter being one of the very few meat dishes that the restaurant serves.
The mussels were served in a bowl shaped plate, possible a type of shallow soup bowl, and were cooked in a white wine and cream sauce with a wedge of lemon and were accompanied by a bowl of water with a piece of lemon to wash your fingers in and another, empty, bowl of the same size to put the empty shells from the mussels in.
The burger was served in a brioche bun with smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, lettuce and a slice of tomato, held together with a large wooden skewer, and was accompanied with a small bowl of home-made tomato & orange chutney
The included side dish ordered with both meals was a portion of French fries which were served in a small metal container lined with paper, and a small dish of mayonnaise, the same size as the one that contained the chutney that came with the burger, was also ordered.
There were quite a substantial number of mussels in their dish; sometimes, portion sizes for this dish (sometimes called Moules Mariniere) can be less than generous. There was a decent amount of sauce and it was quite flavoursome.
The burger was quite juicy and tasty which, given that this restaurant specialises in seafood, it might not have been. The other ingredients in the burger were all fresh and the bacon had quite a strong taste to it.
The French fries were of a thin type and were just cooked and piping hot.
Two desserts were ordered, both of which were Passion Fruit and Mango Sorbet, although there were several other flavours available. Each of these had three scoops of the sorbet which were served in a glass dish. The sorbet was quite strongly flavoured and surprisingly tart, with small pieces of mango in the sorbet. It also had quite a thick texture, more reminiscent of that of ice cream than that of a sorbet,
The total cost of the meal came to £30.75, a pretty good price for two three course meals including drinks. Although the service was a bit on the slow side when it came to bringing out new courses, this did not appear to be the fault of the waiting staff, as they were constantly busy and the dirty plates were cleared away promptly, so presumably it was being slowed down in the actual food preparation.
The Fyne Dine menu is good value for money, offering a big saving over the Main Menu prices – a saving of £22.01 according to the receipt, which is a substantial difference – and the dishes on it are also available on the main menu. All the food was delicious and Loch Fyne’s Fyne Dine menu is definitely recommended as good value for money.