Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Loch Fyne

Sat 9 June 2007

Loch Fyne sits in the now fully refurbished City Square. When I first moved to Leeds (the first time, in 2001) City Square was under scaffolding and remained that way for what seemed like an age. It's been open for a while and despite its proximity to the railway station and being surrounded by traffic it's a very pleasant place to sit out and have a coffee or some lunch.

And that's exactly what we did. Inspired by Loch Fyne's £11 lunch promotion we headed off to check it out.

The £11 lunch menu is quite short: a choice of four starters and four mains. You also get a glass of red, white or rosé wine. Andy started with the squid tentacles (mis-spelled on the menu) in chilli oil, and I went for the chicken liver paté with oatcakes. The squid was tender, tasty and had a good chilli kick. The paté was pretty good - and I actually really enjoyed it in combination with the oatcakes.

Our main course choices were grilled sardines with herbs and garlic and penne pasta with a smoked salmon cream sauce. As side dishes we had chips and a red onion and tomato salad. The sardines looked tasty and were quickly demolished. The pasta realy only deserves the description 'OK'. The sauce was a bit oily and salty and I found the dish rather cloying. I did like the addition of grainy mustard to the sauce, but I really felt I could have done a lot better myself at home. The tomato salad was also OK - after all, it was just tomato and red onion, but there was just a bit too much dressing for me.

The biggest disappointment was reserved for the chips. They were awful. They epitomised everything that's wrong about nasty pub oven chips. For a fish restaurant, sub standard chips are a disgrace. There's no excuse for not chopping some potatoes, frying them once and then frying them a second time on demand. None at all.

Of course, over two courses we also needed a second drink: a pint of San Miguel for Andy, a glass of sancerre for me (and improvement on the house rosé).

The total bill came to just over £30. For £11 you do get a lot of food, but whether you're inclined to eat it all is a different matter. The cheap lunch deal hasn't encouraged me to head back to Loch Fyne to spend more on the à la carte menu.

I have been told that Restaurant, also in City Square, is good but pricey. I managed to put one mate off Loch Fyne, who went to the Foundry instead and said it was lovely. Just two more places to put on the 'to do' list!

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Blogger Unknown said...

Shame you didn't enjoy it Alex. We went a few months ago for dinner and loved it. Also bought some smoked salmon to take home - lush!

10:38 am  
Blogger Alex said...

I did think the smoked salmon was very good!

I sometimes wonder about cheap deals - it's as though the restaurants don't quite put the same effort in, which is a shame, because a lot of people (including me) use them as a way of determining whether or not to splash out on a full meal.

I'm glad you had a good meal there!

11:33 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hmm..makes me think twice as had been wanting to get there for my birthday!

There is one pleasant exception to the rule of cheap deals though. Exchange 57 New York bar and grill (IKEA area, behind Pizza Hut)does great lunch buffets at £5.95. A very small selection of hot entrees include chicken wings,pastas, battered fish, potatoes, chilli and my all time fav; their baby back ribs

They have expanded it to dinners mondays and wednesdays as well; at £6.80 although I have not tried their dinner buffets.

I usually hit their lunch buffet when I am craving for the american-styled baby back ribs that they do so well. Alas, I ordered ala-carte once during dinner (£13.50 for a rack of ribs ala carte); and it was upsettingly dry to the bone.Not at all like the lunchtime buffet special of £5.80

3:18 pm  
Blogger Alex said...

Well, sourrain - Kirsty had a good meal there. And I'm sure if you were going for your birthday you wouldn't be opting for the £11 menu! :)

11:45 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went last week with a few work mates and had the £11 menu. The wine was good but the bread was mouldy and the fish overcooked. When there's so many other places to eat in Leeds I doubt I'll go back.

10:51 am  
Blogger Alex said...

Mouldy bread?!!??!?!

7:22 pm  

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