Double the Loch Fyne

It has been a weird couple of weeks for me, as I have been to Loch Fyne twice in the past two weeks, once during a mini break in Cambridge and then again for UK Mother’s Day!

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Loch Fyne Covent Garden London

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Loch Fyne Cambridge

My experience at the Loch Fyne in Cambridge was top notch, and it was also a great night out with a lively atmosphere! There was a certain seaside charm associated with the restaurant that made the dining experience authentic and felt aligned with its rustic Scottish roots. We also had a very good waiter from Brazil, who provided excellent service and was very attentive (not the case in London). We ordered the moules marinières (£6.95) to start and I was extremely surprised that I liked them! I have never really been a fan of mussels, but the sauce was creamy and delicious, and now I think I am a convert!

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Starter portion moules marinières

For my main course, I ordered the Lobster and frites (£24.95) and it was fantastic! It was a generous portion, fresh tasting and seasoned very well. It also didn’t hurt that it was cooked in butter! The frites were also proper (aka not chips) and cooked the way I like them, thin and crispy!

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Lobster cooked in butter

My dinner at the Loch Fyne in Covent Garden compared less favourably to my Cambridge experience. The restaurant lacked the same rustic charm, and the service was not as attentive. The waitress didn’t pay much attention to our table, but this may have been due to the Mother’s day rush! The food, however, was up to the same standards. I ordered the moules as my main which were tasty, but they totally screwed me on my frites portion! I felt a bit betrayed. My husband ordered the Thai green curry with monkfish and prawns (£14.95), and it was surprisingly good. The fish had good texture and the flavor of the Thai curry sauce really complemented the dish. (Sorry no photo!)

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Bread appetiser

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Main moules marinières

Overall, Loch Fyne is a very nice seafood restaurant providing simple, yet consistent, recipes and fresh ingredients. As this restaurant is a chain, it is not the greatest or freshest seafood you are going to find in London or Blighty (see my post on Chamberlain’s), but it is pretty good value (most dishes are under £20). They also currently have an offer online that saves you £10 if you go during the week or on a Sunday. Their set lunch menu is also extremely reasonable offering 2 courses for £10.

I would recommend this restaurant if you want a good quality seafood meal without breaking the bank.

Overall Score

Food: 3.5/5

Service: 3/5

Price: ££

Atmosphere: Best for groups, lunch and tourists

Website: http://www.lochfyne-restaurants.com/

Chamberlain’s: A hidden gem in Leadenhall Market

There is so much to say about this wonderful restaurant! Not only is this one of the best restaurants I have ever been to, but it is also the location of where I had my wedding reception last summer.

The restaurant is located in the beautifully ornate Leadenhall Market, one of the oldest covered markets in London dating back to the 14th century. It was primary used for the food trade, and has gained recent distinction as being the backdrop in several famous films including Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter series.

Chamberlain’s is primarily a seafood restaurant that prides itself on sourcing the very best food available. During my Valentine’s dinner my husband and I ordered the 5 course tasting menu and it was spectacular (£65 per person not including matching wine)!

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The meal started with a single champagne gratin of Irish oyster garnished with caviar. I am not usually a huge fan of oysters, but this was amazing! It was cheesy and delicious!

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Our second starter was lobster ravioli and was the best lobster ravioli of my life! The pasta and seafood tasted extremely fresh and was full of flavour.

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The roasted fillet of sea bass was by far my favorite of the tasting menu! It was light, flavorful and presented beautifully. This item is on their regular menu, and I would highly recommend it!

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The spectacular main course was Beef Wellington stuffed with foie gras. Having not grown up in England, I had never previously tried this traditional English dish, and I was not disappointed! It was not my favourite item on the tasting course since I am not a huge fan of foie gras, but the beef was very tender and my husband Sam really enjoyed it.

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I am a huge fan of dessert and especially anything that has cream, so I was beyond impressed with the Strawberry Pavlova! It was crunchy, had fresh strawberries and best of all delicious cream!  I was already very full at this point, but I managed to eat my portion as well as Sam’s. 🙂 The tasting menu concluded with Valentine’s Day themed chocolates and petit fours.

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The executive chef, Andrew Jones, joined Chamberlains in 2011 after holding the premier Sous Chef position at Claridge’s, and his delectable and innovative dishes that are not only extremely good value (try finding a superior tasting course menu on Valentine’s day for under £100 a person) but incredibly delicious! The service is impeccable, and the manager Xavier is always willing to go above and beyond to satisfy his customers.

This is my favorite restaurant in London, and I will always come back!

Overall Score:

Food: 5/5

Service: 5/5

Price: £££

Atmosphere: Best for business & special occasions

Website: http://www.chamberlains.org