Loch Fyne Restaurant Twickenham – review

Formed in 1998, Loch Fyne Restaurants was established to cultivate oysters in the clear, clean waters of Loch Fyne in Scotland. The company has now grown to 46 sites and they employ over 1,200 staff working all over the UK. They don’t sell just oysters but fish in all its guises and even some meat dishes. They are committed to independent producers who use sustainable methods to deliver high quality foods. We are told that fish is good for us but we should all be concerned about about fish stocks and sustainability.

The Loch Fyne restaurant in Twickenham is housed in a former pub. It has retained much of its earlier restaurant review loch fynecharacter with oak-panelling contrasted with light cream walls. The original bar is still there although part replaced by a fish-on-ice display. There are chalk boards, and heavy wooden tables and chairs to add still further to the cosy ambiance. The layout of the old building might not do the serving staff any favours but it allows the guests the opportunity to find a quiet corner for an intimate soirée, or a roomy spot for a group gathering.

Those aforementioned chalkboards offer the day’s specials which our waiter informed us were some of the most popular dishes. It had a fish pie topped with mash, and gravadlax which I always find appealing, as well as smoked duck; but we wanted to try the regular menu. So we ordered a fruity rosé (Savino Primitivo, Italy and exclusive to Loch Fyne) and considered our selection.

The Loch Fyne menu had classic fish dishes like fish and chips, prawn cocktail with brown bread and butter, and moules marinières, but there is also innovation. How about Char-grilled South Coast squid with bok choi and sesame dressing? Spicy prawn and squid noodles with chilli, ginger and fresh coriander reflects the current desire for fresh flavours and light ingredients.

My guest, a man with traditional tastes, ordered homemade potted shrimps with mace butter and crusty bread. This had a charming rustic presentation with the seafood arriving in a small preserving jar – the sort with the rubber ring and the metal clip. The delicate shrimps were well seasoned and the onion gave an agreeable sweetness. Potted shrimp were a traditional Sunday teatime dish. It’s retro and comforting and there was plenty of it.

Whitebait with lemon mayonnaise was my choice of starter and in keeping with the fashionably old-fashioned theme of my companion. These little fishes had been dredged in flour elevated with a hint of chilli and were deep-fried till just done. Crisp, light and delicious. A squeeze of lemon was all they needed by way of condiment.

Char-grilled Loch Fyne Bradan Rost (kiln roasted salmon fillet) with mushroom, whisky and horseradish sauce was my guest’s main course. This dish is said to have quite a colourful history. Our waiter says the kiln roast salmon was originally going to be regular smoked salmon but the smoke-house burnt down. The resulting fish was eaten by the workers who proclaimed it to be quite marvellous, and so a fine dish was born of an accident. The two batons of fish were almost mahogany in hue and the moist flakes had intense flavour. This was deliciously foiled by the creamy mild sauce, and a bowl of fresh buttery seasonal vegetables completed the meal.

My main course was Scottish smoked haddock risotto with a soft-poached egg. The egg was just right with a runny yolk of golden richness. The risotto was pale and flecked with herbs. Note that the fish was white and not the “yellow peril” of yesteryear, bright enough to read a book by and filled with artificial colour. This Loch Fyne haddock, along with the salmon, is traditionally smoked over oak chips from old whisky casks. A romantic concept but that process really does impart robust flavour.

The celebrated chalkboards put in another appearance with the dessert suggestions. All the desserts are made in-house, and change with the seasons and availability of fruit. Ice cream, Christmas pudding, apple pie, crème brulée and sticky toffee pudding would have been more tempting had the savouries been less substantial, but we truly had been well fed. We chose the Scottish cheese platter to share. We enjoyed a mature cheddar and a Scottish blue with oat cakes, grapes and a homemade apple chutney.

Loch Fyne has a loyal following of regulars. It’s a restaurant with a solid menu for fish lovers, and committed carnivores and vegetarians are also considered. The quality of food was first-class and the serving staff were knowledgeable about the menu, the specials and the company ethos. An ideal spot to enjoy a glimpse of the seaside near the River Thames.

Loch Fyne Restaurant
175 Hampton Road, Twickenham, TW2 5NG
Tel: 020 8255 6222
Visit Loch Fyne here


Restaurant review by Chrissie Walker © 2018