On Thursday I was very kindly invited to Loch Fyne to try out their Christmas Menu. Those of you that read my tweets will know that I am fully on board with Christmas already, even through it is only the 1st of December. So, what better way to celebrate the start of the festive season than to head to Loch Fyne and see if I would swap a traditional turkey dish, to a FISHmas dish instead. So would I?
I love fish and seafood, and as such really enjoy dining at Loch Fyne. The Nottingham branch is located on King Street and the large double fronted building always looks inviting. Inside there is plenty of seating and it is light, open and welcoming.
We were seated by the window and perused the menu as we ordered drinks. I had the Rhubarb & Ginger tonic; Edinburgh Gin Rhubarb and Ginger liqueur, topped with Fever Tree tonic, berries and orange. Yummy! It is one of my favourite gin liqueurs ever. The Gaztronome had the Brewdog Punk IPA, a 5.6 % Scottish brewery’s craft beer.
I ordered from the Christmas menu as I got into the full festive spirit of pulling the crackers on or table (I lost…twice!) and Gaz ordered from the à la carte menu.
For starter I went for the squid rings and the pork, chestnut & celeriac sausage roll with stokes brown sauce (yes I was feeling indulgent and ordered two starters). The squid was covered in a thin batter, making it crisp and light. The aioli was a great accompaniment, garlicky and cooling against the hot squid.
The sausage roll was the highlight of the two though. The sausage meat was free from the awful gristle you can get in some shops, the meat flavourful and warm, the pastry crisp and glazed. Oh my goodness I wish I could pop to Loch Fyne every day at lunch for a sausage roll. However I wouldn’t be able to stop at one so would get incredibly fat, incredibly quickly.
Gaz ordered the grilled Scottish king scallops with spicy chorizo and garlic butter. These were delicious, soft and buttery and flavoured with what I think may have been parsley. A great start to the evening and I had high hopes for the rest of the meal.
For main, I went for the whole chargrilled sea bass with new potatoes and sauce vierge. The poor fish didn’t look happy to be on my plate but I was incredibly happy it was! The skin was crisp and lightly salted and the fish was cooked beautifully. It flaked easily and was incredibly fresh. The potatoes were boiled perfectly and seasoned well.
Gaz ordered the fish and chips with mushy peas and tartare sauce. I am usually intimidated when a plate comes full to the brim, but all I saw in Gaz eyes was a challenge. My god did he complete it. The hulking great piece of fish was quickly demolished along with the generous portion of chips. The tartare sauce packed a punch and complimented the rest of the dish.
Now on to dessert. As I was ordering from the Christmas menu, it was only right that I order the Christmas pudding with brandy butter. I am a huge fan of Christmas pudding and was really pleasantly surprised. It was soft and squidgy, packed full of fruit and lightly dusted with icing sugar. Loch Fyne don’t scrimp on the brandy in this. My goodness it packs a punch. Extremely alcoholic in taste, it was rich and delicious.
Gaz ordered the Crème Brulee, which I have never had before. The top was gorgeously caramelised and once broken the golden nectar was visible. I had a tiny spoonful and it was divine! Unfortunately as it contains cream and milk I had to steer clear but Gaz loved it.
The service throughout was brilliant and the waitress was friendly and smiley. The food came out quickly and a lot of care had been taken over the presentation of the dishes.
With that is was time to leave. The question is though, would I swap the traditional Christmas dish of turkey and all the trimmings for a ‘Fishmas’ dinner? In total honesty, yes I would. Turkey in my opinion is dry, bland and boring. I may not have a whole sea bass, but I can see a nice bit of battered cod right next to the roasted potatoes, stuffing and parsnips. I would cover it in gravy as usual (I know, don’t judge me!) and I think the contrast in flavours would work well. I think that there is definitely space to include a fish dish into your Christmas day dinner. A nice starter of scallops or smoked salmon or a spectacular main course of sea bass (or lobster if you are feeling posh) would certainly be a nice change.
The Loch Fyne 3 course Christmas menu is £24.95, £27.95 with glass of prosecco or £30.95 with a glass of Joseph Perrier Champagne. In my opinion, it is extremely good value for money and I wouldn’t hesitate to go back. Fresh food, brilliant service and a lovely atmosphere. Also if you book your Christmas party between 2-7th January 2018 you will receive a complimentary glass of prosecco! Why the heck would you not?