Regular readers will know that seafood is very much my ‘thing’ when it comes to what I like to eat. I’ve been to Loch Fyne many times before but not for a few years, so was keen to give it a go, meeting some old friends for dinner in Chelmsford.
A dozen rock oysters to start. They were just about fresh enough (given that they have travelled from Scotland) and the sherry vinegar and shallot accompaniment was good, although not so keen on the salsa verde. The trouble is, recent visits to The Company Shed mean that my benchmark for oysters in the UK is so much higher than it once was, and this was apparent at Loch Fyne. The oysters at The Company Shed are twice as fresh and twice as good as those at Loch Fyne, add the fact that you can get three for the same price as one and there really is no competition. Once you’ve had the best, there really is no looking back.
Main course was much better. Scallops with black pudding, an absolute classic combination. Beautifully served with some micro herbs and with an equally beautiful pea puree. Twice-cooked chips on the side were nice but not great. The best bit was the samphire, always a favourite for me and very well cooked at Loch Fyne. On the whole a very respectable main course.
Those that I dined with have complained that I oftentimes sit on the fence when it comes to reviews on this blog so I’m going to be very clear on this one…
If you really like seafood, go somewhere else.
If you are a 'sort of' seafood fan, go to Loch Fyne.
And if you live anywhere in or near Essex, that ‘somewhere else’ just has to be The Company Shed.
Rich, Amanda and Charlie, I hope that is clear enough for you?